Political Rhetoric Assertion False in Giffords Attack
It started almost immediately after the horrific news of what occurred in Tucson over the weekend.
Within minutes of the news, tweets and blog posts started sprouting up blaming everyone from Sarah Palin to the Tea Party. Again, the beautiful revolution that is modern communications reared its ugly head. Lots of folks wanted to play the blame game and it was seemingly down party lines.
Besides being sick, unjustified and downright wrong, those assertiing that somehow a graphic with cross-hairs or anyone’s speech about “reloading” during a heated political campaign motivated a mentally-imbalanced freak to commit these crimes is baseless. It doesn’t stand up to any serious examination.
Did Sarah Palin remove the graphic in question from her website shortly after the accusations? Apparently, the answer is yes. At the same time, a liberal blogger on the Daily Kos website, who lives in Giffords' home district, removed a blog post from earlier in the year claiming Giffords was “dead to me.” Was that in equally bad taste? Of course it was. Apparently the desire to remove any incriminating evidence of bad taste runs deep on the conservative and liberal side.
Has the public discourse in the United States crossed the line in the past several years? Perhaps it has. And, perhaps it has not.
Since modern Americans tend to fail to learn much about our nation’s own history (partly because our schools fail to teach it, while still making sure we all know what Kwanzaa is), political discourse in the Republic is very predictable. The more equally divided we are, the nastier it gets. Take the time to read your American history and you’ll see things haven’t really changed much over the years.
Going back to 2003-2004 when then-President George W. Bush was consistently met with signs and protests calling him a “murderer,” or people holding signs of him depicted as Hitler, the discourse on both sides has heated up significantly. During the Bush years, there were also signs showing the President of the United States being decapitated or with a gun to his head. It’s funny, I don’t remember the New York Times or MSNBC (or Fox News) running those stories.
Even Palin has been the target of this repugnant rhetoric. During the 2008 election cycle, a local museum protested the conservative candidate by depicting her in a hunting scene with a man pointing a rifle at her head. Getty Images removed it from their site all of a sudden. Luckily, we have a screen grab of it. This did not make the NBC Nightly News.Continued on the next page