02011-01-09 | Uncategorized | 7 comments

I don’t read any political blogs and mostly stay away from reading newspapers (never paper and only occasionally online). So it was while reading a tech blog that I came across this.

A congress person is killed
after one person paints a target on them
and another person held shooting campaign events to “get on target” with that person.

I think every politician or media pundit who doesn’t strongly distance themselves from events like these needs to be voted out of the office, or in case of the media pundits ostracized.

Using target signs and that kind of language in combination with violent video games and a struggling education system is a recipe for disaster. And for a nine year old child to lose her life in the assassination of a politician… if that does not wake people up to the kind of sick political “discourse” that’s happening in the USA, then what will? Debate – yes, absolutely. Arguing, even yelling, sure that’s also part of it. Using targets and murderous language in public is not. I mean how can we create stronger bullying laws for schools and then allow this to happen?

Makes me sick.


  1. steve

    You are spot on.

    You have probably heard about the violence happening in Ivory Coast after their “election.” Laurent Gbagbo claims that he is still president, while the data shows that Alassane Ouattara has won by a 5% margin. Gbagbo refuses to leave office.

    Can we really be all THAT different given what has just happened? No we don’t have “the level of violence” that Ivory Coast does, but our “political discourse” really isn’t all that different from a qualitative standpoint. The political environment in this country is just as barbaric.

    I think we delude ourselves with the self-talk that we have the “peaceful passing of power” when the level of discourse to get there is … qualitatively similar.

  2. yumi

    The day before I had a discussion with family about the power of media and delusion.

    Media gave the dangerous a voice.
    Not only an image to play with and Photoshop, but words for the unqualified, giving them a voice and rise to an iconic level. I told him, it was the, “Photoshop for words”.

    The incapable are given a voice.

    Marginal people looking for stature who do not care for the good of all, but their own fanatical views.

  3. marijose

    Rep. Giffords was critically wounded, but is alive. Let’s see if her colleagues who we elect to represent us and who have “joked” about “taking opponents out” not only distance themselves, but vehemently denounce such dangerous rhetoric. I’m not holding out much hope.

    Politics and media punditry are not zero-sum games. Unfortunately way too many politicians and talking heads are making incredible amounts of money and are getting elected making unbelievably irresponsible statements that benefit only them.

    My dad often says that every right has a corresponding responsibility. Yes we are fortunate to have the right to free speech, but with it comes a huge responsibility to use it sensibly. The precept of right speech definitely comes to mind.

  4. steve

    For a bracing perspective on the sophomoric quality of our political dialogue, I would ask you to look back 200 years to a seminal essay on political theory which throws a glaring light on the state of our political debate.

    In his piece of elegant reasoning, “An Answer to the Question: What is Enlightenment?” Immanuel Kant, a serious contender for greatest philosopher of all time and one of the brightest minds who ever lived, had a forceful way of describing enlightenment as,

    “a human being’s emancipation from its self-incurred immaturity.”

    So why self-incurred? Because, when it’s not due to a lack of smarts, looking to someone else or to the talking points of a political party for your cues is,

    “a lack of resolve and courage to make use of one’s intellect without the direction of another.”

    So, in Kant’s estimation, laziness and fear are why we choose to be immature.

    “If I have a book that reasons for me, a pastor who acts as my conscience, a physician who determines my diet for me, etc., then I need not make any effort myself”.

    I would add MSNBC, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Bill Maher and the army of pundits who make a living as rhetorical grenade throwers to this list.

  5. Steve(Brokerbiker)

    This is a terible tragedy for America and follows from the lack of civility in our political system and society. The media has focused on those who scream the loudest and speak the most irresponsibly. Even the most educated people I know lash out in anger and hatred due to fears they have uncovered listening to fringe media characters whose ratings depend on their ability to incite and misinform.
    Sick and saddened…

  6. Brenda

    My deepest sympathy to the families that lost their love ones. Prayers for recovery for this public servant to be a miracle of change in all of us.


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