Violent Rhetoric From The Right.

With the recent shooting/assassination attempt a lot of vitriol is being spewed back and forth in the news trying to villify republicans and democrats and blame them for what happened.  And what I think is despicable about this is not that we should ignore underlying issues, but rather that it is being done in a partisan way, as if all democrats or all republicans are evil depending on which party the shooter was registered with.  It is very important to address the issue of violent and extreme rhetoric which, with the exception of extreme remarks about bush (who to be fair did technically commit war crimes and use war to make money for his friends ie war profiteering, among various other controversial things generally thought of as immoral), there really isn’t a lot of that from the mainstream left, though you can always find nutballs on the internet.

There are many examples of violent rhetoric coming from the right (and many just from the new “tea party” candidates who liken their elections to a violent revolution with extremely high stakes).  Here are some highlights:

“I hope that’s not where we’re going, but you know if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I’ll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.”

– Sharon Angle, tea party candidate suggesting someone murder her opponent.

”Our nation was founded on violence. The option is on the table. I don’t think that we should ever remove anything from the table as it relates to our liberties and our freedoms.”
– Tea Party candidate Stephen Broden

”I’m thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I’m wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. … No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out.”

– Glenn Beck, (who went on to have the most popular “news” show in the US) May 17, 2005

”My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building.”

– Ann Coulter 

Etc.

Normally these people would be peripheral, but they aren’t just in the mainstream of the party, they pretty much are the mainstream of the party.  Republicans do something else which is very dangerous and can lead to violence, not actually suggesting violent action but trying very hard to effectively convince people that things are true which, if they were true, would actually justify violence.  If a candidate is a bad candidate I’ll vote against them – but if I become convinced that they’re trying to pull the plug on grandma against her will and deny healthcare to kids with down syndrome because they’re not “productive” enough, and make us a communist dictatorship because their political heroes are hitler and stalin and obama isn’t a US citizen and he’s not a legitimate official and he’s dissolving the constitution for kicks, I might conjure some violent solutions even if they don’t point me in that direction, which they often do.

Now I’m not saying republicans are all evil – just most of the ones in washington : P

But seriously, I think it is vile to use this attack in a partisan fashion to villlify people who haven’t said these outrageous things, but I have no problem with it being used to tell the people making these actual statements to tone it the fuck down.  And if the next time sarah palin or rush limbaugh want to make some crazy shit up, if it occurs to them for two seconds what some nutball might do if they believe it and it makes them think twice – then good.

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About agnophilo

Nerd.
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25 Responses to Violent Rhetoric From The Right.

  1. TheSaltMine says:

    The partisan system is a brilliant tool, if you think about it. Keeps people polarized rather than actually addressing anything of even mild importance. Disseminates large groups into smaller ones; makes them all useless. Utter genius, really.

  2. The shooter was a pagan devil worshiper with an alter in his backyard that had a skull on it.Any relation to you?His connection to you is more intimate and real than the one you are trying to hallucinate between him and real Americans like Sharron Angle.

  3. agnophilo says:

    @TheSaltMine – Sadly.@LoBornlytesThoughtPalace – Do you always have to be a condescending psychotic bitch, or could you take a day off now and then?

  4. @agnophilo – But condescending is exactly what your own posts always are. It doesn’t feel very good having your own bile directed back at you, does it.If you crazy lefties ever got a glimpse of your shamelessness and decided to do something about it, there would be peace on earth.

  5. Mugo60 says:

    @LoBornlytesThoughtPalace – Right or left makes no difference. Everybody knows what YOU say is means nothing.

  6. @Mugo60 – That simply can’t be right since I am correct over 100% of the time!

  7. What happened on Saturday happened because a very sick man didn’t get the help he needed.  This was all avoidable if only someone had taken him by the hand and insisted that he get treatment.  While I dislike violent rhetoric and wish our public discourse were more civil, I don’t believe that the violent language can be blamed here.  But yes, our politics has become a moral thing with opponents not merely having idea with which we disagree.  They have become EVIL!  Satanists!  Nazis!  Comomunists!  You name the epithet.  And why?  Are we so insecure in our own ideas that we have to demonize those who disagree with us?  Can’t we talk things through? 

  8. I’m so sick of irresponibilty I just want to puke on anyone who blames anyone but the guy who did this horrendous thing.Why can’t we call a spade a spade anymore?

  9. Justin says:

    It’s hillarious that you feign objectivity, then exclude some of the most violent remarks because it was against a republican president. (In other words~ a president you don’t like.)I wish I could rec this.

  10. @VilaSpiderHawkAuthor – Exactly this. Thank you for the level-headed response.The mantra of, “Even if they’re not responsible, they are, because they could be,” is just irresponsible. And even if — if — it can be proven otherwise (let’s slow down, a minute, here; the trial hasn’t even begun and  the Court of Public Opinion is already handing out guilty verdicts left and right (no pun intended)), no one can claim that these individuals don’t have the right to free speech.Conservatives can quote-mine, too. It’s not exactly difficult to find hateful, violent rhetoric from either side. You can claim that “these” Republicans are the mouthpieces of their party, but wouldn’t that be like my quote-mining for some of Obama’s gaffs or personal attacks on his detracters and then saying that they’re “the” Democrat mouthpiece? (There are plenty of examples, if you want to look for them.) If it was a Republican who was shot — and I don’t mean this as hyperbole — there would be plenty of people in CNN meeting rooms doing everything they could to tone down the anti-liberal rhetoric.My point is, if you want to tone down the rhetoric, how are you going to protect free speech — for better or for worse? And even IF a severely mentally disturbed person overheard certain words and it motivated him to take such deadly action, then shouldn’t the important part of the piece be getting positive help to people with mental illness, reducing the stigma on mental illness, and learning the warning signs to properly identify people “on the edge”?

  11. coolmonkey says:

    I find it funny how Conservatives keep using Obama’s “if they bring a knife to a fight, we’ll bring a gun” phrase as though it equalizes all the other nasty filth they have spewed over the years.

  12. agnophilo says:

    @VilaSpiderHawkAuthor – I agree.  And the extreme rhetoric is a symptom of politicians not interested in policy clutching at any straw they think might get them re-elected.  If your platform is “we’re not commies and we won’t try to murder your family in their sleep” it’s not like you have a lot to live up to once you get elected.@Inspectorgrampy5 – I agree.  I just think that violent rhetoric and conspiracy theories do occasionally provoke violence in disturbed people.  I’m honestly surprised this sort of thing doesn’t happen more often.@The_Innocents_Corner – What violent rhetoric that compares to the above has come out of the high-profile, mainstream left lately?  I mean there was a movement promoting bringing assault weapons to presidential events and carrying signs paraphrasing jefferson saying that now is the time to “water the tree of liberty with the blood of tyrants and patriots”.  What in the same ballpark, hell even the same galaxy has happened on the left lately that compares to this stuff?@coolmonkey – It is sad that they think that even applies.  It doesn’t come close.

  13. YouToMe says:

    @Inspectorgrampy5 - I agreeI agree Mark. Both sides took advantage yet again of a tragedy, but I agree those quotes were horrible influencers too

  14. The_ATM says:

    You have some good points.  I am a personal responsibility type of guy.  I don’t really care if people say stupid violent things.  Most people are reasonable enough to sort the noise out.What I find most irresponsible is the people who, when a crazy person shoots some people up, look for someone to blame besides the crazy people and the people who knew the crazy person.  This is a giant distraction; a big waste of time.  You could be making posts about things that don’t matter and things that do not require spin.

  15. agnophilo says:

    @JulieDeer – Thanks for commenting : )Hope you had a good day.@The_ATM – Putting out that kind of extreme rhetoric makes it more likely that some lunatic will shoot someone.  The stats on how many republicans believe obama is muslim, not a US citizen etc are scary.  If you get a few million people believing this nonsense some of them are gonna be off their medication.

  16. @agnophilo – Well, let’s see.Ex-Congressman Paul Kanjorski called for Rick Scott to be “[Put up] against a wall and [shot].” NPR commentator Andrei Codrescu said, of conservative Christians, “The evaporation of four million… who believe in this [Christian] crap would leave this world a better place.” Howard Dean said, “I hate [them] and everything they stand for” of Republicans. Nina Totenberg, a reporter for NBC, said of conservative Senator Jesse Helms, “I think he ought to be worried about what’s going on in the Good Lord’s mind, because if there is retributive justice, he’ll get AIDS from a transfusion, or one of his grandchildren will get it.” Comedienne Sandra Bernhard performed a piece saying she hopes Sarah Palin gets gang-raped. Chris Matthews fantasized about killing Rush Limbaugh. Pop singer Madonna threatened to “kick [Sarah Palin’s] ass!”Again — this is what’s known as “quote mining,” looking for quotes that paint all members of a particular organization or group in a certain light. You can just as easily do it for Democrats as Republicans, Christians as Atheists, conservatives as liberals. We only see what we want to when we have an agenda to prove.

  17. The_ATM says:

    @agnophilo – Like I said, it is irresponsible to blame people exercising their free speech.  Take Obama, for example, with his if they bring knives we will bring guns thing.  I don’t want Obama blamed when some guy doesn’t understand a metaphor and shoots some knife-carrying Republicans up.  I don’t want public officials to be subject to nonsense quote mining. The great thing about this controversy is that on both sides it has done a great job exposing the hypocrisy.  The pundits are all blaming each other for the things they themselves do.  It really shows you how petty the whole thing is.  They have the biggest media outlets in the world as a stage for drama… apparently soaps aren’t doing it for people.

  18. agnophilo says:

    @The_Innocents_Corner – Only one of your quotes even comes close to the ones in this blog.  Another is from a provocative broadway show that isn’t meant literally, another is chris matthews being stupid while comparing limbaugh to a bond villain, the evaporation quote – you do know that christians don’t evaporate, right?  I’m not talking about negativity, I’m talking about calls to violence against the other party.The closest thing you have is a heated comment against one man, and because of his individual actions, not his party or gender or anything of the sort.Valid point sort of, but I don’t think there’s any real comparison.@The_ATM – Free speech doesn’t mean it’s ethical to say anything.  It just means the government shouldn’t be empowered to decide what is ethical.  That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t censor ourselves.  And the obama gun to a knife fight quote is ridiculous and not even remotely on par.

  19. @agnophilo – The point is, in less than 20 minutes, I could find several examples of liberals accepting, promoting, or encouraging violence against conservatives with a simple Google search. If a mentally ill person wants to find a quote, or command, or “subliminal message” to lock into, he’ll find it ANYWHERE. That’s why all this focus on who “might” have encouraged him to do this overlooks a very important point that can ACTUALLY be used to help people: That Jared Loughner is severely mentally disturbed, and that his parents’ denial of his mental illness coupled with social stigma towards mental illness led to his being left undiagnosed and untreated until it was too late to save 6 people’s lives.

  20. i’m sorry, but in keeping with my new policy of not co-commenting any post containing a comment by loborn, THIS IS NOT A COMMENT.

  21. agnophilo says:

    @The_Innocents_Corner – If I had spent 20 minutes looking for quotes the list would be about 20 times longer.  And you only found one quote that was comparable, and as I said it was directed at one person based on that one person’s actions, not a generalization or call to violence against any group.  It’s like the difference between someone murdering their neighbor because they had a beef with them and taking out 10 or 12 people because they’re black, women, jews, democrats, republicans, whatever.

  22. agnophilo says:

    @complicatedlight – And this is not a response : P

  23. @The_Innocents_Corner – The point is, in less than 20 minutes, I could find several examples of liberals accepting, promoting, or encouraging violence against conservatives with a simple Google search.In that time, I’d be able to find documented instances of 1960’s civil rights protesters being more than peaceful demonstraters. Examples alone wouldn’t put them on par with white supremacists.Isolated counter-examples don’t dispel arguments of general trends.Okay, lets take a baby step from rhetoric to actual violence: You’d be hard-pressed to google examples of liberals attending political rallies with guns strapped or bared. Conservative Tea Party protesters, on the other hand…

  24. The_ATM says:

    @agnophilo – “Free speech doesn’t mean it’s ethical to say anything”A fact of which I am well aware.  This was far from my point.  Oh well, resume the quote pissing contest.  The whole point of my comment is that the Obama quote would be a stupid thing to say was violent, but the end result is that he will–as well as every other public official–criticized in the same oppressive manner.  And you are encouraging it.

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