Friday, January 14, 2011

Civility in Public Discourse and the Arizona Shooting

Obama is asking that we return civility to the public discourse. "We" are all to blame for the heated rhetoric that led to the Arizona shooting. There are two things wrong in the media reaction to Obama's speech. One: "we" are not responsible for the shooting, nor is any of the political speech from either the left or right. Second, Obama and the left are willing participants in the politics of destruction. Look at the civil way the left and the media has handled their disagreements with George Bush and Sarah Palin.

The heated rhetoric is from both sides, and I dare say, that if - and hopefully when - Obama care is defunded, declared unconstitutional, and repealled in every way that we will see even more violent rhetoric from the left than we do now. I wouldn't be surprised by violence similar to that in the anti-World Bank / G7 riots we see the world over. By the way those riots you've seen on your TV screens are coming from the left not the free-market right.

The frauds at MSNBC and the NYTs choose not to cover or sensationalize activities that don't promote their narrative. Example an anti-illegal immigration sherrif in Arizona was hung in effigy; pinata with his name was beaten until the head fell off and then the head held up to the jeering crowd. Now, I have little problem with this display, but imagine if the person beaten in effigy was on the left? That video, with its accompaniment of head-shaking actors pretending to be objective newscasters, would be played for days on end; with these same objective newscasters tut-tuting sadly; bemoaning the "extremism" on the right; and "fearing" for the future of our great republic.

Back to Obama: some of Obama's speech is very, very good:

As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let’s use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy and remind ourselves of all the ways that our hopes and dreams are bound together.
Obama Urges Civility at Tucson Memorial

So, Obama, does anything in the above paragraph apply to you in how you view the world and your political adversaries? Will you criticize your staff and the media when they simply point fingers and irrationally assign blame? Will you review your rhetoric and your allies rhetoric regarding the Arizona immigration law? Or healthcare? Or gay rights?


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