January 12, 2011

THE RHETORIC ISN'T THE CAUSE BUT THE JUSTIFICATION:

First Comes Fear (ROBERT WRIGHT, 1/11/11, NY Times)

[T]he emphasis the left is placing on violent rhetoric and imagery is probably misplaced. Sure, calls to violence, explicit or implicit, can have effect. But the more incendiary theme in current discourse is the consignment of Americans to the category of alien, of insidious other. Once Glenn Beck had sufficiently demonized people at the Tides Foundation, actually advocating the violence wasn’t necessary.

By the same token, Palin’s much-discussed cross-hairs map probably isn’t as dangerous as her claim that “socialists” are trying to create “death panels.” If you convince enough people that an enemy of the American way is setting up a system that could kill them, the violent hatred will take care of itself.


Rush Limbaugh, of course, went further than "socialism" and compared the adoption of health care reform to Nazi Germany. Meanwhile, Sharron Angle and other Tea Partiers were talking about armed insurrection being an appropriate response to the state of the country. And Ms Palin just finished the souffle by targeting the congressmen who'd voted for health care and encouraging supporters to "RELOAD." As Mr. Wright suggests, if the Right's rhetoric were correct then assassination would be justified.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 12, 2011 5:41 PM
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