As medics battled to save the Congresswoman’s life, carry away the dead and tend to the wounded, Sarah Palin and [Gifford’s opponent in the 2010 campaign Jesse] Kelly leaped into action… by shutting down their websites and feverishly sanitising their Facebook and Twitter accounts.
However, as thousands of comments were deleted from Palin’s Facebook, one seemed to survive the cull. “”It’s ok. Christina Taylor Green was probably going to end up a left wing bleeding heart liberal anyway. Hey, as ‘they’ say, what would you do if you had the chance to kill Hitler as a kid? Exactly.”
Since Obama’s election, there has been increasing anger from the Tea Party over health care reforms and…immigration. Looking at the protesters signs at their rallies, there are countless examples of threats and the promise of violence. In this atmosphere, is it surprising that such incidents have not occurred before.
As angry and hostile as the right-wing attacks are, I do not think Sarah Palin was responsible for the Tucson shootings anymore than Rahm Emmanuel actually wanted his politicial enemies murdered when he recited their names, smashed a fist into a hand, and yelled “dead.” But the marginally sane are often drawn to fringe groups where they can absorb ideas without actually being part of the group (and can be easily manipulated too.)
It would also greatly help if Democrats, especially those in Congress and the White House, would call the extreme hard right out on their violent rhetoric and oppose it, rather than being the timid little church mice they too often are, saying nothing. But this should not be done in a hostile, threatening way as that will just add to the growing tension. I came of age in the 1960’s and was politically active. It was a violent time with assassinations, cities burning, “Kill The Pigs” protest signs, Weather Underground bombings, the deranged Manson Family murders, and backdropped by a lunatic war. It got crazy then and it’s getting crazy now. Do we really want the country to fracture? Because it could, especially if the rhetoric continues to escalate.
There should be no complacency on this side of the Atlantic. There are many, including some in the European Parliament, who are as bad, when it comes to expressing hatred of immigrants and Muslims.
The US debate is just beginning. Perhaps it is a debate that Europe should also consider.