We Must Stop the Right-wing Rhetoric that Incites Violence

As Americans and people of common decency, we are deeply saddened and offended by the most recent violence perpetrated upon Gabrielle Giffords, a warm and compassionate young Congresswoman from Tucson, Arizona and the other innocent people standing nearby who were wounded and killed. We have no choice but to be outraged. Democracy and freedom are under attack whenever people are threatened with violence or become the victims of actual violence because of their political opinions or beliefs.
This political assassination attempt could have happened in California or anywhere in the U.S.A. It happens often in Pakistan, Mexico, Iraq and other third-world countries. Sadly, we in the United States are not immune. Perhaps it is should be less surprising given the frequent right-wing references to revolution, violence and Sara Palin’s “target” list that includes a map with enemies identified in a rifle’s cross-hairs. No joke. When violent rhetoric is ramped up as it has been over the past few years, it cannot be surprising that hate groups and crazed individuals will rise up and respond. In fact, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center there are over 60 active hate groups identified in California alone; 66 in Texas and 18 in Arizona. And that list has grown over 250 % in the past few years!
With six innocent and decent people killed and several others wounded by a deranged young man-with-gun and bizarre political extremist views, it is time to speak up and demand consequences for violent and hate-filled speech by right-wing extremists, led by the Glen Becks and Sarah Palins of the world, and not give them a pass on their rhetoric. Whether intended to or not, hateful and violent speech incites unstable and violence-prone people to lash out and hurt and kill children, doctors, highly-respected judges and senior citizens as well.
We know the right-wing spin machine is fast at work. They’ll end up trying to persuade us that it’s all Obama and “the lefties” fault because of their policies, and that the leftties’ rhetoric is just as violent and inciteful. As we know, the propaganda machines of the right have never been concerned with the truth, so I’ve included a link below (which you can cut and paste) that demonstrates how this type of hateful rhetoric has been amped up by the right-wing for years. With that being said–and it should be reiterated over-and-over so the toxic and violent references of the right stop, there should be no similar violent images from the left—or anywhere in our political system. We have a way to speak: it is through the ballot not bullets (a shocking suggestion of bullets where ballots don’t achieve the “desired” result– attributed to Sharon Angle in her campaign against Harry Reid where she continuously talked about “Second Amendment remedies.”)
But the facts are clear: it is these very people who, by virtue of their constant references to guns and violence, MUST be held accountable. We must demand a stop to the gun metaphors of bullseyes, targets and firing machine guns as a political campaign activity (actually conducted by Ms. Gifford’s opponent, Jesse Kelly, during the campaign prior to the November election). When you hear people using the “right-wing’s” talking points about how the left is just as hostile, you’ll be able to refute their claims. They are factually false.
The hate-mongering must end. Glen Beck and his cohorts must be made to understand that free speech has consequences and responsibilities that go with it—especially when inciting and hate-mongering are conducted through the air-waves. No more wistful mutterings about killing Michael Moore, or calling for insurrection and overthrow of the government with “2nd amendment rights.” It is the Glen Becking that provides the encouragement to those who are deep into hate or madness and who believe that they are entitled to impose their views through violence and destruction.
Even assuming no ill motives to the politically heated rhetoric of the “right” espoused by Beck, Bill O’Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage and Ann Coulter and others, are certainly not stupid people. They know that their rhetoric plays to those with a propensity for violence. The goal is that it stop; that the violence stop and that we find a way to respectfully disagree without forcing our opinions on one another through the barrel of a gun or other acts of intolerance and destructive conduct.
Enough already. Let’s take over the debate and demand that the facts speak for themselves. And in the meantime, let us all share the weight of six innocent people whose lives were taken by a madman for their simple act of participating in an act of liberty–meeting their congresswoman to express their concerns or appreciation. This is America, after all—where we pride ourselves on liberty and the ability to disagree in freedom and in safety.
See the Insurrectionism Timeline at http://www.csgv.org/issues-and-campaigns/guns-democracy-and-freedom/insurrection-timeline

12 thoughts on “We Must Stop the Right-wing Rhetoric that Incites Violence

  1. In 1995, when Bill Clinton’s political fortunes were at their lowest, the Oklahoma bombing occurred. Immediately, Clinton made several speeches in which he blamed the inflated political rhetoric of the right for creating a climate that incited the crazies. We now know reading Dick Morris and Paul Begala (his political advisors during this period) that the effort to blame this act of a madman on the right was no accident. It was, in fact, a carefully crafted political scheme to tar the right (which was Gingrich and Limbaugh at the time). It helped rebuild the political career of Bill Clinton and it distracted the American public from shortcomings of his policies.
    It is no surprise that we see exactly the same strategy being used again. President Obama’s fortunes are at his lowest and anything that distracts from him and his policy shortcomings would be good for the left. Tarring the right with the actions of a barking mad man may seem bizarre, but the bizarre has worked before. Note, however, how selective this strategy is. For example, when James Lee took hostages and committed his crimes no one tried to discredit the ecology movement since he was also a barking mad echo terrorist. I could go on, but it would be redundant. This murderer was mad. His acts were foul and profundly evil. Using his actions for political gains is odious at best.

  2. Annonymous, above, insistst that “this murderer was mad”, and then argues that “using his actins for political gains is odious at best.”
    And yet I cannot help but observe that nobody on the right would call that Fort Hood shooter, who killed quite a few people, merely “a madman” and then deny any political basis. Of course, he was a Muslim, and the right has DIFFERENT RULES that apply to Muslims that do not apply to non-Muslims.

  3. This is in response to the Fort Hood shooter comment.
    You bring up a good point. The Fort Hood shooter was, by my definition, as barking mad as anyone. However, is my definition relevant? The Fort Hood shooter screamed “Allah Aqbar” and received training online from a network of Islamic terrorists. So, he was part of a network or a conspiracy. His behavior, however mad by my perspective, is consistent with the whole islamic terrorist paradigm. So, I think you have to look at him as something different then the madman in Tucson. As far as we know, the Tucson terrorist was a singular event. We do not know that he was part of a network and he seems motivated by his own madness, not by a religious based terrorist network.

  4. The first post is intelligent, sympathetic , and provides a studied opinion of the recent events. The second post attempts to refute the first, but falls grossly short when he tries to reference the Fort Hood shooter to the Arizona shooter – Every time that senseless tragedies like this are committed, it is odious at best for anyone to use it for political gains.
    So I ask, second poster, why again harp back to, “Well Republicans did this last time, blah blah blah”. Get off your partisan horse and address the issue.
    “Whether intended to or not, hateful and violent speech incites unstable and violence-prone people to lash out…” – Where the hell does the author get the authority to say that? Where’s the evidence? Show me even a tenuous link between right-wing rhetoric and the this crazy’s motives. Of course, there is none. This guy could have been inspired by Big Bird for all anybody knows.
    The point is there is a severe lack of evidence and logic behind attacks on right-wingers like this that point to a horribly callous intention to push a petty political agenda

  5. People like Hannah-Beth Jackson are the problem with this country. She is so stuck in her ideology she can only blame the group that she doesn’t agree with as the culprits. I just saw a program that showed all the left and right groups taking things off their websites, and all the speeches from both sides that said things that were inappropriate-BOTH SIDES ARE DOING IT! She is acting like a five year old when she writes a column like this and only blames one side, when we all need to work together to make a difference. Just Google George Bush and look at all the hate from the left.
    To spout off at the mouth about something when she has no facts is ignorant at best. From what I have heard so far about the shooter is that he is a left wing democrat with mental problems, and there is no PROOF that anybody is at fault except for the shooter himself. We need to quite blaming each other and start working together, there is plenty of blame to go around.
    Check this website out Hannah-http://punditpress.blogspot.com/2011/01/insane-liberals-can-someone-plz-kill.html
    Both sides are guilty, what about the violence on our TV’S, radios, movies, video games? I guess that’s ok! And yes Hannah, the left are just as guilty, WAKE UP! We’ll never work together with both sides acting like children.

  6. I wonder if you can find any examples of Clinton blaming the right? Or anything whatsoever that verifies what you claim?
    I remember the times, and the right WAS stirring up anti-government hatred. The militias had been in actual shootouts with police. Bombs were going off at government buildings.
    Even George HW Bush had been speaking out against the hate speech that was going on.

  7. “Everybody does it” ??
    On one side you have people in high office, candidates, and the top establishment of the conservatives all using violent imagery and speech. On the other side you can come up with some guy who left a comment at a blog, that was quickly taken down.
    So I guess you make a point. “Both sides” is the same when it’s everyone on one side, and one or two on the other.

  8. Like I said, the far left and the far right are like five year olds on the playground pointing fingers; and you Dave are one of them. At least most of the politicians I have heard from so far have said that no one is to blame, and we need to tone it down a notch. But not you Dave, the left have never said anything wrong in your mind; it is all the right-AMAZING!
    Why don’t we just go through the internet and count all the hate speech from both sides, and the side with the most hits is wrong and the other side is right and doesn’t have to change because they have less hits-like I said , five year olds. Just Google kill George Bush, and read all the comments from all the websites, there are thousands of them. Both sides are guilty of hate speech, and to use this killing for political purposes like Hannah has done is disgusting. Until the far left and the far will admit that they are both wrong we will never get anywhere.

  9. Hello Dave, why don’t you try searching the internet before you open your mouth! The left even have a game where you can kill George Bush, or a kill George Bush t-shirt. Thank God Sara Palin wasn’t around when JFK was assassinated; the left would be trying to blame her for his death-GUARANTED!

  10. Don’t forget the moving about assasinating George Bush (the “killing of a president”). And, remember, Bob Kerry when he said he was going to the whitehouse to kill a bird with a stone. Yuck, Yuck, Yuck. Or, when Hinckley shot Reagan, was he just a nut or was he inspired by the hatred from the left? Actually, he was just a nut, but the argument could have been made.

  11. Dem stands by Nazi comparison
    (CNN) – Rep. Steve Cohen, the Tennessee Democrat who compared Republican efforts to criticize health care to the works of a famous Nazi propagandist, is standing by his heated rhetoric on the House Floor Tuesday night.
    Make sure you condemn that kind of comment as hate speech Hannah, Ops he is a left wing democrat, that makes it ok!

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