Rhetoric Can Nourish Environment of Violence


[Preface – The intent of this article is to bring about calm language and discussion from everyone.  We can’t change the worst that has happened, but we can repair our conversations and move forward.

There has been increased violence toward our democratic politicians, and my goal is to discuss why this is happening so we can collectively change this problem.

This article is not anti-republican; I have voted for multiple parties in the past.  I’m an independent who has been appalled by certain politics in recent years.]

Did rhetoric from Jared Loughner contribute to violence previously done by others?  Most likely, the answer is no in this case.  He was an individual who most people saw as unstable, and his speech and writings were pretty much available only to those who knew him personally on some level, and knew he was unstable, or even dangerous.

The case changes when viewed against the past couple years of political rhetoric.  Rhetoric coming from republican leaders and some of their major public supporters prefaced a dramatic increase of threats and violence against democratic politicians.  Unfortunately, a small amount against politicians is normal in this country.  However, the rates against democrats increased far beyond their republican counterparts over this period.

Republican leaders continually go far beyond stating disagreements and providing arguable facts to support their positions.  They incessantly label democrats as “socialists”, a word loaded in this country from years past.  To this day, the republican leadership will not emphatically denounce continued accusations that President Obama is not a born American, and they don’t reprimand their house members for shouting this.  They continue saying, “Obama is trying to take our guns”, when Obama has never taken a single step to do so.  In the current climate, statement tags like “jobs killing”, which republicans tie to most democratic supported bills, make many Americans see flames instead of intelligently looking at the options.

Why do republicans insist they are the only ones in the room that are right and fiscally responsible?  This country’s economy, while headed by a republican controlled congress and President, was the first major power to spiral into recession.  While still under republican watch, the recession was widely seen as the worst since The Great Depression, and it was worsening.  Additionally, the democratic president, before 8-years of republican control, had the country’s budget balanced and paying off debt.  President Bush came into office, gave away $500 to all taxpayers with the country’s budget subsequently falling into the red and never returning.  Therefore, it is not a natural assumption that Republicans suddenly have all the right answers, and if you don’t agree with them, you’re wrong and anti-American.

This country needs constructive debate from both sides that is not inflamed by fear mongering tag words and phrases like, “socialists”, “jobs killing”, “taking our guns”, and the currently ubiquitous, “democrats are destroying the world’s best health care system for our children”.

Palin talked about “mama grizzlies” protecting their republican young.  Democrats have mothers, too, and they want to see their children’s lives in good hands.  Republicans are not the only people in this nation that love America.  Many stable people are caught up in this republican fear-mongering, so just imagine how unstable people are taking this rhetoric.  This rhetoric is polarizing.  A polarized population is further from agreement and any ability to get along than before the polarizing actions.

It is time all sides put down their arms, discuss the issues, look for common ground, and compromise where needed.  If we don’t do this, it could be said Middle Eastern-style politics has found its way into domestic American politics.  Nobody wants that.

Any side that continues using polarizing rhetoric will continue to increase the fear and despair in this country that leads to horrible tragedies.  It has to stop.  People “hired” their politicians to work with other politicians to lead this country to more greatness.

We, the people, do not want to see our political employees wasting time having food fights.  The mandate of the people is, “get along, make our country work, or we’ll vote you out.”  Listen to us.

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Filed under American Government & Institutions (state & federal), Political Parties & Partisan Politics

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