Ok, so I am going to exaggerate things a bit to make a point.
So basically what happened this weekend is that fundamentalist, right wing extremist mufti Palin (with help from fellow radical clerics Beck and O’Reilly) saw their fatwa against Democrats acted upon by a domestic terrorist from the radicalized province of Arizona. Six people dead (including a young child)and around a dozen more injured because mufti Palin’s utter contempt for how the Democratic process works in this country and the conviction that political differences must be dealt with by threats of violence and ultimately murder.
Funny how things don’t get characterized this way when a white Christian commits the terrorist act. In fact, I am convinced that had there been a shadow of a connection with the Middle East or Islam, the above description is exactly how it would be characterized on shout radio and Fox News. No proof would be necessary beyond the posits of the uninformed pundits. The muftis and clerics would be under arrest. There would be 24 hours news cycles with cries for justice (more blood, more violence).
Instead, we reliably hear the right practically defending the actions of this murderous lunatic and blovating about how ‘it isn’t hate speech’ and that putting targets on named Congress members districts and using the term ‘take them out’ wasn’t a call to violence. We hear them distancing themselves from the terrorist’s political views by saying ‘he’s not one of us, he’s just a crazy person’. And of course the clinging to the gun culture that feeble minds find important: ‘gun’s didn’t kill those people in Arizona, a person did’. Yes, a person with a gun. A person with a gun that (ironically enough) was banned as an assault weapon until 2004 because of it’s high capacity clip. Oh, and suck on this NRA: who stopped the shooter? Not some ‘patriotic’, high minded, gun toting, shout radio regurgitater, but two men with their bare hands.
Amongst the calls to attenuate the vitriol in political discourse, Fox and others are taking this as an opportunity for further fear mongering and political attacks. The comment sections on the local media outlets are filled with the kind of ignorant, right wing parroting that I have commented on before (and come to expect from the backwater thinking that characterizes much of Cincinnati).
I can only hope that the nation learns a lesson from this. Perhaps it will, but post 9/11 memories lead me to believe it will not be a lasting one. Which makes me ask, what will it take for America to become de-radicalized, where disagreements in principle or thought are dealt with in a civil manner rather than at the point of a gun?