Wednesday, January 12, 2011

President Obama Has a Good Night and So Does the Nation

President Obama did an excellent job at the memorial for the victims of the Tucson shooting. Watching 26,000 people at a memorial was a little strange at first but very moving by the end. The intern, Daniel Hernandez, simply amazes me (quick, somebody get his resume!).

And then there's Sarah Palin and her strange video. The Duchess of Wasilla, with her 20-foot scorpion tail and her $14 million yearly income, is claiming victimhood. Meanwhile, six people are dead, a number of others are wounded, and Rep. Giffords has suffered major injuries that will impact her for the rest of her life. Sarah has a strange definition of what a victim is.

On the far right, a great many people in the last two and a half years have engaged in rhetoric that goes far beyond arguing a point. There have also been deliberate attempts by conservative leaders to stir up the anger, fear and hate of their followers. It is no accident that violent, threatening imagery has been part of the package. It is clear that many on the right, not just Palin, do not understand the real concerns many Americans, including liberals, have about the kind of rhetoric that keeps surfacing. In a comment on his blog to a commenter named Paine, S.W. Anderson of Oh!Pinion makes those concerns quite clear:
We’re bleeding-heart liberals over here, Paine. We really do care about people who’ve been killed and injured. We really do want to see to it more aren’t hurt and killed. We’re not insisting the radical right go away or sit in the corner being quiet from now on. This isn’t an election year, and when the next one rolls around the most strident on the far right will have trotted out two years’ worth of fearmongering and distractions, so that this horrible incident will have faded to the background.

What we want, for everyone’s sake, is for those who allude to using guns, to using force; those who depict our government and leaders as devious, dishonest, without conscience or a shred of decency, to cut it out. Just stop it. If your position is strong, your ideas worthy, your candidates suitably attractive and persuasive, you can win elections without doing those things. Your side always gets plenty of money for that purpose, no matter what else is true. So, your side doesn’t need to keep dishing out the red meat, the angry, resentful tirades, the racism and the hate talk.

Give S.W. a read. He's been around awhile and knows what he's talking about. By all means, there should be vigorous debate, but violence and the rhetoric of violence has no place in a democracy.

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Anonymous political consultant said...

Obama is, without a doubt, a master communicator. I too was moved by his comments. And you can tell why he was elected in the first place when you hear him speak like this. Thank you for your blog and your comments.

8:02 AM  

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