As Matt W. notes in his comment: "Failing to specifically condemn violent rhetoric in our political discourse makes the whole thing kind of pointless."
I agree. Failing to condemn specific violent statements that have been made by politicians in recent months is needed. It's just too easy to agree with a generalized statement, without feeling any remorse for one's actions.
‘Not here, and never again’
January 9, 2011
Anyone who seeks to use violence as a means to solve political problems is a coward. Today’s horrific attack in Arizona is nothing less than naked intimidation by a person who doesn’t have the courage to fight for his beliefs through passionate participation in the democratic process.
We are left asking a question that isn’t new, but newly painful.
What has happened to our civic discourse?
We know certain things to be true no matter our personal politics.
No American should ever live in fear because he or she is a public servant.
No one should fear becoming a public servant because he or she might be killed.
No one should avoid public forums, town halls, or any other venue for holding representatives accountable in public, for fear they might become an “innocent bystander” on the evening news.
No American should ever fear for a child’s safety at a political event, yet today we lost a 9-year-old child.
No political disagreement should cause us to forget that we are all brothers and sisters, committed to achieving the best for our nation and our neighborhoods.
Yet today, ordinary citizens and public servants were murdered in cold blood. Today we commit to condemning violence and the threat of violence wherever and whenever it occurs.
We are reminded today that we can never be casual about threats of, or allusions to, violence in our political arena. We are reminded that we must never allow our differences to lapse into calls for, or threats of, violence. As Rep. Giffords herself said with now brutally tragic prescience, “[PalinPAC] has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district, and when people do that, they’ve gotta realize there’s consequences to that action.”
If we live in fear for our own safety, we’ll be unable to engage in the kind of vigorous political debate that these times demand...
Maura Larkins says:
January 10, 2011
The following is something the Washington Post just published. You be the judge of whether or not you want your readers to see it in conjunction with your post about appropriate public discourse. I submit that you are solving nothing if you're just telling everyone to be nice. Problems need to be solved, and if problems are not confronted, they rarely go away by themselves. Eventually, somebody quits being nice.
Palin mired in crosshairs map controversy after Tucson shootings
By Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 10, 2011
…Part of Palin’s political success owes to her knack for frontier imagery and provocative sound bites, as in the health-care debate when she tweeted after the bill had passed Congress, “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!” But Palin is on the defensive at this moment because of her decision to make Giffords, who remains in critical condition after being shot in the head, one of 20 Democrats marked for defeat in the midterm elections.
Palin set up a Web site called “Take Back the 20,” which included a map of the United States with crosshairs on congressional districts of Democratic candidates she had singled out for defeat.
The map drew immediate criticism. Among those who voiced disapproval was Giffords.
“We’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is that the way she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district,” Giffords told MSNBC at the time. “When people do that, they’ve got to realize there’s consequences to that action.”