Just want to scribble out a couple quick words about the shooting tragedy in Tucson that killed six people and people on the right getting defensive about calls to tone down the rhetoric. No one is directly blaming the rhetoric and decidedly uncivil tone for the shooting. I think we all are in agreement it is the result of a lone gunman (isn’t it always?).
But unlike the way the far right demonizes all Muslims after any Islamic extremist terrorist act, the rational middle is asking—BEGGING—the extreme voices to tone it down. Stop strapping guns to your hips every time a Democrat talks about health care reform. Stop the “tree of liberty” hyperbole. Stop threatening census takers with violent language simply because they’re doing a job we’ve been doing for decades. Stop shoehorning gun imagery to gin up support. It’s cheap. It’s weakminded. It’s unnecessary. And it’s not asking too much.
No. That climate did not create the conditions to lead to Tucson. But it doesn’t help when we have serious issues in this country and can’t have a serious discussion because the far right supporters have one hand on their guns.
The rational middle, which is most of us, are tired of it. We’re tired of the feigned outrage, the bloviating ignorance and the constant campaign of polarization and demonization. The time is now to turn the volume down. If ever there was a time to dispense with the politics of fear and separation.