Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Tucson massacre, why Sara Palin and the Tea Party are not off the hook

Following Jared Loughner’s mass murder attack in Tucson Arizona on Saturday January the 8th, a lot of criticism and blame were leveled at Sara Palin and the Tea Party movements. The criticism was aimed at her use fiery gung-ho rhetoric against president Obama and other political rivals from the Democratic Party, specifically the crosshairs map. Palin’s first reaction was to take out that map from her website, and then remained low until Wednesday. On Wednesday she posted here reaction on vimeo. She looked very presidential there when she said these were just metaphors. By expressing her shock from that horrific crime, addressing president Obama with the language of mutual respect and appealing to the Americans sense of unity; with no guns in the backgrounds, just the interior of an American family home, Sara Palin gave her best performance. She had to, no need to explain why. But that does not get her off the hook, not the presentation, not the arguments in it, and not the fact that no direct link was found between Jared Loughner’s demented worldview and Tea Party’s ideology. Loughner may have been born a loaded gun, and his nazi ideology was the bullets in that gun, but someone or something directed him at Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. And that was the political discords in his country and in the state of Arizona in particular, he was not living in a vacuum.
No one is saying that metaphors of guns and war should not be used in political discussion, that kind of an idea is undemocratic and unacceptable. But in this case the metaphors became images, drawn, and caricatured in massive demonstrations, and later animated and reenacted in campaign ads. And when that happened, they stopped being metaphors and became suggestions. And when those suggestions expressed their authors’ hatred of Obama, Pelosi, and other Democratic Party candidates, those suggestions became recommendations to some, reinforced by the fictitious claim that personal liberties are at stake.

The most famous example is John Dennis’ wicked witch ad. This was a campaign commercial based on the ‘Wizard of Oz,’ where a Nancy Pelosi look a like was the wicked witch. In it John Dennis, who ran against her, enjoyed melting her with a bucket of water. In Israel he would have been investigated on suspicion of incitement to murder, (afterwards no charges will be filed.) But there were other example, more disturbing, with a lot more hatred in them. They targeted Nancy Pelosi, but in Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is the closest thing to Nancy Pelosi.

Does this means that if all these Tea Party festivities not existed Jared Loughner would have harmed no one?

Given the testimonies about his demented nature the answer is clearly no, he would have vent hatred some how. And it would have been monstrous.

But had Jared Loughner not existed, will someone else; slightly more balance may be, do that kind of slaughter, that kind of terrorism?

According to sheriff Dupnik, this is highly likely.

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