The Politics of Hate – When Politicians Scream “Fire” in a Crowded Theater.

You would have to be living in a crater on the Moon or under a rock somewhere not to notice the increase in vitriolic politics.  Lathering up the masses into a frenzy of anger often gets them to the polls – but does it incite actual violence?   Sheriff Dubnik said it better than most when he said  “Arizona has become the mecca for hatred and bigotry.”    Cute pictures with candidates targeted with cross-hairs on a map as well as rhetoric involving “taking back our country” might have undo influence on a mind that is not totally sound.

Today, the consequences of the politics of hate came to violent life.  Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords – one of the few democrats that Arizona has left was shot at point blank range.  She was appearing at a public venue where people could feel free to come up and ask questions.  But in this instance – someone brought a gun.   The authorities are judging it to be an attempted assassination.

Slogans like Sharron Angle’s  “Second amendment solutions” or Sarah Palin’s  “It’s time to lock and load” may make for great campaign copy.  Certainly its viral marketing on steroids. But with six people dead an five fighting for their lives, what sounds like great copy becomes another matter entirely when slogans become reality.

Politicians need to take responsibility for their actions and think before they speak.  Neither Sarah Palin nor Sharron Angle were on the other side of that gun.  But they need to “man up” and accept some responsibility or what happened.  After all, they left the gun locked and loaded. It only took an unbalanced mind to pull the trigger.

It’s time to tone down the rhetoric – big time.  The first amendment may give us the right to free speech  But the law has also determined that free speech does not include the right to scream “fire” in a crowded theater.

© 2011 Ruthmarie G. Hicks –

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4 Responses to The Politics of Hate – When Politicians Scream “Fire” in a Crowded Theater.

  1. Cetis says:

    Persecution is simply prejudice in action. Those responsible for the shooting: Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, O’Reilly, and their disciples of hate, both local and national, will now want everyone to dial back the rhetoric. There is no equality of responsibility here. The right has fomented this climate of hatred and has repeatedly used “lock and load” metaphors to make their points. Fascists!

  2. What I find amazing, even in these times, is the American Left pointing out that now is precisely the time to have a legitimate conversation on the prevalence of weaponized language while the Right has chosen not to engage, but rather, to double down on that language.

    The long haul towards civility is looking a lot longer.

  3. admin says:

    Hi Cletis – I think its amazing that Palin is silent while her “boys’ on Fox do all the work – and distortion is hard work!

    Hi Grey – We are a world away from civility. Sad, but all too true.

  4. Pingback: The Robber Baron Economy » Toning down the rhetoric - or not - Obama vs Palin

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