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The Unfortunate Politicizing of a Tragedy

January 11, 2011

Shocking as the attack in Tuscon, Arizona was this past weekend, the unfortunate politicizing of this tragedy has also been shocking.  The number of news organizations, editorial writers, and other pundits who have sought to establish blame for this tragedy for political reasons has been unfounded and inappropriate. This is not a time to score political points, but to unite with one voice against violence, and for our elected officials to stand in defiance to the terror waged against one of their own.

I was impressed by one of Speaker Boehner’s  first acts as the new Speaker by suspending their repeal efforts and showing leadership by stating, “An attack on one who serves is an attack on all that serve”.  I thought this showed unity at a time when we needed it and was an example of appropriate leadership during this difficult time.  Unfortunately, some in the media, and others associated with this tragedy, have done the opposite.

Almost immediately some were stating that this was due to language used by the far right, Rush Limbaugh (Pima County Sherrif blamed his rhetoric), Sarah Palin using a target graphic in one of her PAC publications, and the Tea Party (see Paul Krugman’s weekend article from the NYT).  What is not disputed is that the person responsible is clearly crazy and motivated by hate.  A pundits comments, or a political graphic don’t make people hate others, or cause them to commit violent acts alone.  We now have evidence that this murderer was a far-left extremist (favorite books including Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto), described by a former classmate as a “left-wing pothead”.  Certainly not someone who would fit into the Tea Party mold.  Clearly this was a disturbed individual with a long history (police called to his campus 5 times) of strange and disturbing acts, warning of an eminent act of violence.  He should have been put in a mental health hospital, he should have received help, and he should have been addressed well before this act took place.  Certainly, there is no reason to assign this terrible act  of violence to the political speech of one person, party, or group.

We should all watch what we say and keep our political discourse as civil as possible.  But now, in this time of turmoil and mourning, no one should be looking to exploit it for political gain by assigning blame, especially when there is no evidence of the shooters motivation.

Our thoughts and prayers go to the victims of this horrible attack, and we pray for a fast recovery for Congresswoman Giffords so she may continue to serve her district.

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11 Comments leave one →
  1. David Leone permalink
    January 11, 2011 2:56 am

    Good Article.

    This is only such a big up roar because she is in politics and this Crazy Nut tried to kill her and someone else that day. It was his Plan, it could have been anyone he could have selected that day. This happens so often on the streets today but it’s in the spotlight because it’s such a ‘Blame Game” for the mighty (Political). If this had been an ordinary citizen we would have heard about it to but not to this extreme. Lets stop blaming everyone, take care of our own and do something about it. Police America and Shut The Boards! God Bless the family and friends of everyone who has suffered in anyway from this, our Hearts are with you in KC.

  2. January 11, 2011 2:59 am

    thank you for your comment, David. Please feel free to subscribe to receive my future postings on politics and current events. Thanks again!

  3. delatopia permalink
    January 11, 2011 5:33 pm

    He is apolitical, not left-wing. Don’t decry the political smears imposed by one side and then throw your own garbage in the pile. People with agendas, sheesh. Read the NYT article on how his mental state draws from both sides of the political spectrum but is clearly just about insanity.

    In addition, I saw plenty of hopeful posts from Republicans in the hours after this tragedy, just begging for the shooter to have been Hispanic. I would say that’s just as bad as any politicizing you can cite.

    Clean up your own yard first, buster. I realize that we are all only responsible for our own actions, but trying to paint conservatives as the guardians of sweetness and light is irresponsible, untruthful and just plain wrong.

    • January 11, 2011 5:50 pm

      Delatopia, I think your misreading my post here. I’m not sure why you think I have an agenda here. I only pointed out his far-left view, because that’s how people who knew him described him, and to show that he would not identify with the Tea Party if he was politically active. No agenda there, no political smear. That’s the fact of how people described him. His political view points didn’t make sense because he was nuts! I’m sure you did see Republicans posting their wishes for him to be Hispanic, and I would say the same: that’s wrong. I never said anything about conservatives in this post. That’s the point, conservatives and liberals have nothing to do with this. Politics has nothing to do with this. But here we have people in the national news media and the Sheriff of Pima county blaming people for this tragedy. That’s wrong. The only person to blame is Jared Loughner and his mental state.

  4. January 11, 2011 6:26 pm

    your again missing my point. it doesnt matter what his politics are. from the evidence we have, he is all over the map politically, he’s insane, and some described him as left. I’m sure he believed things that would be left-wing and right-wing because he’s crazy. the guy didnt even vote in the last election. it doens’t matter. the point is, it is wrong to blame others for someone else’s violent acts, especially with no evidence.

  5. Jim permalink
    January 11, 2011 7:42 pm

    Using the NYT as evidence to back up a point he is not left-wing is a very weak defense. His idea of a “new money system” was using WEED, not gold and silver as some on the right suggest. This guy was not sitting around listening to Rush or Beck on a daily basis. If this was the case, wouldn’t this be a daily thing happening everywhere? When people close to him describe him as a “left-wing pothead” he isn’t independent by any standards. Political agenda and spin by the media is so overwhelming they are ignoring the tragety itself. The left is also thrilled this was a white male with a name they can use, not Muslim. No reports of shouting “Alah akbar!” before carrying out his actions.

    “Tell a lie often enough, loud enough, and long enough, and people will believe you.” -Adolph Hitler

    • January 11, 2011 7:45 pm

      Thanks a lot for the comment Jim. You make some good points. Please subscribe to receive future posts about politics and current events. Thanks!

    • Delatopia permalink
      January 11, 2011 8:55 pm

      I dare say leftists are not as thrilled with the shooter being a white male as conservatives are disappointed that he’s not Hispanic or Muslim. Look in the mirror, pal. You sound positively glum that he wasn’t a Koran-toting suicide bomber.

      • January 11, 2011 9:00 pm

        Again. It doesn’t matter who he is. Hate and insanity drove him to this. Bottom line. I appreciate the comments and please subscribe for future posts. Thanks!

      • January 12, 2011 2:45 am

        Why the hell do you keep bringing up his political views. You were just told 3 times that had nothing to do with the post yet you keep bringing it up. No one cares what the shooter’s race, religion, or ethnicity was. The only ones who seem to care are those on the left who are using this to make a political point and people like you who buy in to it. The only person responsible was him. That was said in the post and it was said to you agin in responses. Yet you continue to make a political point about this and thats disgusting.

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