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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Overheated rhetoric

We still don't know what demons led Jared Loughner to purchase a Glock 19 semiautomatic weapon and open fire on Arizona Democrat Gabrielle Giffords and dozens of other innocent people.

We do know, however, that overheated rhetoric has dominated what passes for political discourse in the United States, whether it be from Fox News executives saying a rival broadcast network is run by Nazis, a failed Republican candidate suggesting "Second Amendment remedies" or a failed vice presidential candidate placing "surveyor marks" over candidates like Giffords singled out for defeat in 2010.

And there is also something wrong with the false equivalence suggesting the heat from the left in recent year is anything close to a match for the "Thunder on the Right."

Trying to name violent leftist movements, I'm hard pressed to get beyond the 1960s Weather Underground and some elements of the 1930s labor movement. We need to look no farther in our past than Timothy McVeigh to see a persistent vein of violence on the right.

When it comes to words, there's no shortage of right-wing firebrands from Father Coughlin to Joe McCarthy. What's new and most troubling about our current state of disunity is that the overheated rhetoric is coming from "leaders" like Roger Ailes, Sharron Angle and Sarah Palin. Again, I fail to find to find equivalent examples of fire-breathing on the left.

We will eventually learn what drove Loughner -- and it appears he has read tracts on both sides of the spectrum.

We do know that in today's America the left has no equivalent to the heated voices on the right -- and that the future of our democracy rests on turning down the flames before they consume us all.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

There was left wing violence at the 2008 GOP convention, not reported very widely though. But it is inexcuseable at any forum where ideas are being expressed, particularly in a country where our right to free speech separates us from most places on earth. God help those families.

January 10, 2011 12:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about the guy that flew a Cessna airplane into the IRS building in Texas? His manifesto was rife with leftist rhetoric about how he did not get the government jobs he deserved. How about when August 6, 2009 Black Tea Party Activist Kenneth Gladney Beat by SEIU Thugs for handing out Gadsden flags?
Even recently, Clay Duket the man who opened fire on a Florida school board, posted a “last testament” on Facebook decrying the wealthy and linking to a slew of progressive sites including theprogressivemind.info and MediaMatters.org.

Hell, the Tea party was blamed for all of that, then the left got REALLY quiet when they found out it was one of their own.

The fact of the matter is the left has always been the violent side of the political spectrum. Even today we have Van Jones and Andy Stern calling for "revolution in the streets". The only thing that is different is the left has figured out to use Saul Alansky's tactics of smearing the right while the left is doing the exact acts they decry.

You sir, are a great example of why "Massachusetts Liberal" are one word, and a foul one at that, in most of the country.

January 12, 2011 10:01 AM  

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