Civility Anyone?

By Richard Thayer

It’s unfortunate, but as the recent tragedy in Arizona points out (once again), there are people in our society who take politicians, pundits and parties seriously when they talk about “taking back our government,” as if our government had actually been taken away.

By and large, deranged people like the shooter in Tuscon, Arizona Saturday, believe that everyone who writes a column, posts a blog, has their very own radio or television show, or has been elected to public office by the majority of the people, is playing with a full deck of cards.

These people (the deranged) believe it when a congressman shouts out in the hallowed halls of Congress that the president is a liar. They believe it when they are told the president is not an American citizen. They believe it when a former vice-presidential candidate places certain representatives in the cross-hairs of a gun; they believe these people are worthy of being targeted. They see themselves as being patriotic.

In light of Saturday’s shooting, many people are reflecting on the part that inflammatory (crazy) rhetoric may have had on this senseless tragedy.

Pima County (Arizona) sheriff Clarence Dupnik, no doubt voiced the feelings of many when hours after the shooting on Saturday he said at a news conference, “When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government, the anger, hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous.”

Many nodded in heart-felt agreement to those sentiments over the weekend.

But not all.

Senator Jon Kyle (R-Ariz) took exception to the sheriff’s comments saying they were inappropriate and nothing more than mere speculation on his part.

Conservative radio host Jon Justice took his criticism of Dupnik’s comments one step further by calling for his immediate resignation.

Which just goes to show that what was once considered the “lunatic fringe,” is now pretty much mainstream.

Sadly, television and radio shows are governed by their ratings. A politician’s popularity and their re-elections are tied to their ratings. And in many cases the crazier, the more off-the-wall the celebrity or politician is, the higher their ratings.

As we have all come to learn, ratings are more important than just about anything else.

Including common sense.


One Response to “Civility Anyone?”

  1. mcoville Says:

    In your attempt to look for “civility” you spend your entire post blaming one side of the debate and ignore the reality that the scumbag who pulled the trigger was more likely to agree with the left-wing crowd than that of your disdain.

    A class mate that knows the shooter described him as a left-wing political radical. Last time I checked that described the president more than Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin. Maybe you need to look at the hateful rhetoric of Olbermann and his “worse person” list of targets or Dylan Ratigan’s call for open revolution.

    Above all I would love to see Democrats/Progressives/Liberals avoid looking for a way to blame their “enemies” and remember that a innocent 9 year old girl was just murdered by a lunatic and her family does not need her death to be used as a political weapon.

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