Greer McVay’s Web Log (BLOG)
Volume 2, Issue 19
January 8, 2011
It is not a good idea to “reload” instead of retreating. “Second Amendment” remedies do not work. This morning’s shooting at a community event in Tucson, Arizona that claimed the life of an aide to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and six others, including a nine year old child; and left in critical condition the Representative and as many as nine others, is likely a testament to the utter stupidity of provoking people who cannot distinguish between a metaphor and a command. Sarah Palin and Sharron Angle and Bill O’Reilly and Glenn Beck and their ilk have all contributed to this tragedy and all have blood on their hands. Their repeated cries for people to harm those who would disagree with them haven’t been tacit; it has been insultingly blatant. As Americans we all have a responsibility to stand up and demand that all such encouragement of abhorrent and violent behavior immediately cease or be met with social outrage and derision.
Dog whistle politics have been building pressure for the last two years. When the Department of Homeland Security published a report in 2010 that indicated homegrown, “Lone Wolf” extremism was growing and required focused eradication, the loudest voices of the Republican Party and political Right denounced the report as part of a socialist plot to unfairly target outspoken patriotic Americans. Instead of quashing the extremists from both, any, either or no political party, Republicans refused to step back from their partisan dogma. They refused to insist that radical followers use calm and clear thinking when dealing with issues to which they were opposed. The rhetoric has been ratcheted up month after month and today’s outcome should have been expected. As a matter of fact, Democrats requested that their Republican counterparts limit the incitement, but were dismissed as playing party politics. How unfortunate for the victims today that those pleas went unheard. How unfortunate for America.
With every single opportunity Sarah Palin finds, she blurts or Tweets a new version of the term, “Don’t retreat, Reload.” This statement, repeated ad nauseum to a nut with a gun becomes a programmed directive. When Sharron Angle indicated that an out-of-control Congress could be brought down with “2nd Amendment remedies,” she was threatening honest candidates with the consequences we saw today. Bill “Tiller the Baby Killer” O’Reilly pounded the notion into the heads of his legions of followers that George Tiller, was a murderer and not worthy of the life that God had bestowed upon him. Glenn Beck sounds the alarm with each daily broadcast that encourages Tea Partiers and other right wing protesters to go to extreme measures to do the dirty work he knows he would never do. What prompts the attempted mass murder of an elected official? A misdirected notion of national honor and glory or perhaps, sheer insanity.
The simple truth that any half-observant person could see is that all of us have sat back and allowed the right wing to incite violence in every form imaginable. Perhaps we did so in the name of freedom of speech or because we simply find some of their actions so laughable. However, now, after the inevitable, we want to feign shock and outrage as if any other outcome was ever a possibility. We must decide here, today, to stand behind our words of prayer and sympathy. John McCain, Sarah Palin, Mitch McConnell and others expressed condolences to the families directly impacted by this tragedy. The question I ask is what actions will they take in the coming days, weeks, months and years, to show that they really are saddened by this event?
Does Sarah Palin’s expunging her own website of the grotesque map targeting legislators she wanted “taken out,” one of whom was Ms. Giffords, mean that she has finally become as appalled with herself as 80% of Americans have been since she hit the national stage? Or is she just making a cursory effort to “CYA,” intending to fool us into thinking that she genuinely cares about anything other than her own self-interests? I will believe she is sincere if her actions shift from name-calling her enemies to finding more productive ways of working with those with whom she disagrees in an effort to bring the change America voted for in 2008.
Jared Lee Loughner, the person being held as a suspect in this mass murder allegedly posted on his website dissatisfaction about the government, healthcare reform, etc. The House of Representative Republican majority is poised to vote on repealing the new healthcare law as early as next week. They know that 1) their bill will never pass the Senate; 2) President Obama would never sign it into law; and most importantly, 3) this healthcare reform is exactly what the nation needs and deserves. The only beneficiaries of repeal would be healthcare providers and some corrupt Legislators who benefit financially from the largess of the healthcare lobby. If they really were sincere they would stop pandering to their red-meat-seeking base and their corporate benefactors and take care of the people’s business in a way that helps the many rather than the few.
Today is the saddest day I can recall in two years. My sadness is not caused simply by knowledge that at least six people lost their lives senselessly, but because I fear this is not the end. My concern is that as we came together immediately following 9/11, we gradually went back to our old ways and we will do so with this tragedy. However, I pray everyone will stop looking at their fellow man as the enemy and use their collective common sense to understand that big corporate interests are holding the strings that ultimately infringe upon our ability to pursue happiness. The enemy is not, contrary to the incessant rants of Fox enthusiasts, any of our 'socialist, marxist, communist, fascist, liberal, Lame-stream elites.' Those are the people struggling to solve the problems in spite of constant opposition from those who sell their votes to the highest bidders.
I call on every elected official, political pundit, political celebrity and person with a microphone or blog to use your voice to encourage healthy debate and civil discourse. Eliminating the propaganda and campaigns to misinform is necessary to truly find middle ground and facilitate the cooperative living of 300,000,000 people sharing the United States of America. Otherwise, there will be continued consequences for our inaction.