Monday, January 10, 2011

Yes, Virginia, rhetoric leads to violence

The punditocracy is all a flutter, trying to assure anyone who will listen that Saturday's massacre in Tuscon is the act of a lone lunatic, and is certainly not in the least bit connected to the rise of right wing hate radio and the mainstreaming of paranoid conspiracy theories, militarism, birtherism and end-of-America-sharia-law-is-imminent poppycock that is the staple of Faux News.
We all witnessed with our own eyes the insane spectacle of spittle flecked middle aged white folks screaming that health care was a socialist plot to kill Granny. We all witnessed them bring guns to campaign rallies to intimidate anyone to the left of Atilla the Hun. We all witnessed with our own eyes their violent actions at town hall meetings, we watched them stomp heads in Kentucky... David Neiwert puts together a long list of recent right wing violence here.
Here in Washington State the owner of Ruby Ridge Dairy, Dick Bengen, is so lost in the violent rhetoric of the right that instead of dealing honestly with the employees he has abused and cheated for years, he chooses instead to threaten them with a rifle for daring to assert their human right to organize a union.
None of this is particularly new. The right has always responded violently towards the prospect of progress.

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