Yesterday, following the shooting in the DC area, a “friend” posted on Facebook, “I guess that’s one way to open Republican seats…”
I assume he thought his comment was both humorous and somehow appropriate.
Therein lies at least some of the tragedy.
Can you imagine following the 2012 Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting, anyone making a “joke” about that being one way to increase Netflix sales?
Apparently, when it’s about political differences, we’ve reached a point where such comments are acceptable.
Speaking of tragedy.
A couple of other friends made some very compelling points on Facebook. I just wanted to share:
They say that if you put a frog in a pot of cold water, then turn on the heat, the frog won’t know it’s boiled until it’s too late.
Well folks, the water’s bubbling and I’m starting to feel the heat.
For the past year, the rhetoric that we use in political discourse has ratcheted up to the point that today, someone attempted to assassinate multiple members of Congress. Political assassination, let that sink in.
Before you rush to tell me it’s gun violence or mental health, I’m going to stop you. Today wasn’t gun violence, it was political discourse, by other means. Murderous means.
There is a concerted effort to silence political opposition and many of us have been passive supporters of that campaign. Yes, I’m talking about you.
Casual comments about doing “whatever it takes” to stop your political opponent, quietly cheering violent protesters, and considering cessation from the union, have empowered a systematic campaign to silence the political opposition.
These efforts are no better than what the KKK did to freedom riders in the south or the fear tactics used by men to silence suffragettes at the turn of the century.
I’m well aware of both conservative and liberal attempts to do this, so don’t tell me it’s ok because someone else did it first.
It’s time to stop – everyone. If you don’t like Congress, go walk precincts for their opponent. If you don’t like Trump, go raise money for Bernie or Warren. If you see a protester threatening anyone’s free speech, condemn them without reservation or equivocation.
No more talks of treason and coup d’état. If Trump gets impeached, that’s part of the process. If he doesn’t, that’s part of the process too. If this Congress pisses you off, I promise the next will do the same to me.
Go campaign, go argue, God knows I will. But please, stop with hyperbole and stop passively approving or insinuating that violence is ok. Because that is what led to today.
It’s not too late, let’s jump out of the water.
The Congressional shooting took place about two blocks from where I once lived in Virginia. I was a member of the YMCA next to the baseball diamond. I know most of the people who were practicing there this morning.
I have a lot of thoughts on this. Still processing.
It could have been so much worse had Majority Whip Scalise’s security detail not been there. Rank and file members of Congress don’t have Capitol police assigned to them, so it is a blessing that a member of leadership plays baseball.
I find it painful that the over-the-top rhetoric that characterized the last campaign and the last six months has continued to escalate. This seems to be the logical next step of demonizing people with whom you disagree, and the result of an environment where people make money off of driving that demonization.
Some of the reactions I see to the violence are startling. If your reaction is anything other than sympathy for the victims and their families, you might want to stop and reconsider your relationship with politics. You may be part of the problem.
Today is clearly a turning point. I am hopeful that this will be a wake up call for a return to civility, rather than an event that emboldens the radical elements in society and further drives us apart.
I can’t even begin to top the gist of those sentiments. I’ll just re-quote one part:
“If your reaction is anything other than sympathy for the victims and their families, you might want to stop and reconsider your relationship with politics. You may be part of the problem.”