I have known for years that the American dialogue was filled with vitriol and hatred. Rightwing wingnuts post hateful rhetoric, wishing politicians dead and wish harm to their political enemies. Right wing political pundits do not hold back, constantly promoting bogus claims death panels, Kenyan birth, terrorist sympathies, socialist health care, and of course second amendment remedies. Then, silence. A gunman fires into a crowd, killing six and critically wounding a sitting congresswoman. Silence. A nation in shock, grieving for the dead and seeking comfort in the fact that the congresswoman survived this brutal attack. But where will our nation go from here?
It is not as if Congresswoman Giffords was unaware of threats against her. Her offices had been vandalized during the health care debate, and she knew full well that she was on Sarah Palin's map, under the cross hairs. Yet Congresswoman Giffords ignored the threats to serve her constituents, and held an event in the open, though one could feel the unsettling, stomach turning vitriol that filled the political air. Then...
We all wish Congresswoman Giffords a full recovery after a miraculous turn for the better. But now is the time to step back and look at our nation, look at what we have become. We have become a nation of paranoia, and yet our talk show hosts stir the pot, bringing out those who will snarl and expose their teeth to the vulnerable, to the prey that sits out in the open. Then, without warning, they strike.
It is clear that our nation has been in a downward spiral as of late, and it does not appear that things are getting much better. But to those like Sarah Palin, Glen Beck, Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Michelle Bachmann, Sharron Angel and others who promote hatred and fear, your rhetoric put people over the edge, and all it takes is one to pull the trigger. They should hold their heads in utter shame tonight if they have any self respect.
Our prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords and her family this evening, as we sit down to dinner with more optimistic news than we had this morning. The event is still devastating to those who lost loved ones, to those who witnessed the tragedy unfold, and to all those who turned on the television thinking that watching the GOP retake the House was the most stomach turning thing we would see this week. We were wrong. America is under attack from the inside, and we need to take our country back from the extremists who have our democracy in the cross hairs.
This is a plea for sanity. George Harrison's last words were "love one another." Let's end on that note.