Mayhem in Tucson

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Credit: James Palka/AP

It can be truthfully said that the political rhetoric in America using terms of violence and combat, do contribute to our long history of political violence. Should politicians avoid such rhetoric? The answer is yes, if they are to be responsible public leaders, seeking to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution and its intents.

Our government was designed by the founders to avert a revolution, they themselves had to fight to gain independence from the dictatorial one person rule of the King of England. To that objective, their design has been well proved, the Civil War, excepted. The design allows for change and expression of political grievance without having to resort to violence. That design, while imperfect, has served America well.

However, the founders also saw as fundamental to the aversion of Revolution, the right of free political speech. There are many Americans in the media attempting to lay part of the the blame for the shooting tragedy in Tucson, Az. at the feet of persons like Sarah Palin, who referred to a cross-hairs target on U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Gifford's political district. This is wrong! First, there is no evidence yet, whatsoever, that the alleged perpetrator, Jared Lee Loughner, ever even listened to or took ideas from, Sarah Palin's references to Gifford or her District. Even if there were, political free speech is a bedrock cornerstone of individual freedom in America, and must not be abridged by law as a consequence of the actions of a few.

Public reaction to tragedy often wants to throw the baby out with the bathwater in their zeal and haste to address the causes of the tragedy. Their passions and empathy take hold of their reason, and many unite around those passions in a call for legal reform. This very fact of human sociology was debated intensely by some of our nation's founders, who created a law based government in such a fashion as to prevent public reactionary passion from governing the nation. The U.S. Senate, often referred to as the deliberative body of Congress, was designed for this purpose as a check and balance against the passions that may take hold in the House of Representatives in response to constituent's reactionary passions.

Political free speech, must remain unencumbered by government censorship and retaliation. The reasonable and rational public is not without redress against those politicians and media persons whose exercise of political hate speech serves their selfish ends. The public has the vote to exercise against politicians who spew hate and violent rhetoric in their speech, and the clicker to change media channels on those who would incite public passion and persons to violence.

While the founders sought to avert revolution by government design, they also believed in the right of freedom loving people to overthrow their government that would subject the people to violations of basic human rights. A leader who rises up advocating revolution as our Founding Fathers did, should not, and cannot, be subject to laws that preserve the rights of tyrannical government, while compromising the basic human rights and freedoms of the people; not if that nation is to remain a country of free people.

I find Sarah Palin's, and many other public leaders and spokesperson's references to violent metaphors injurious to the well being of the culture of our nation. I don't patronize the likes of Keith Olbermann, Rush Limbaugh, or Glenn Beck because of their irrational references that incite. I don't and won't support politicians like Sen. McConnel or David Dukes who would divide us as a nation for their personal gains. However, as much as I dislike their rhetoric and its potential to incite an unbalanced person to political violence, I must insist that their right to such speech is absolutely necessary to the freedom of the American people. It is my fervent hope that most of my fellow Americans would agree.


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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on January 12, 2011 7:39 AM.

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