Is This the Beginning?

Mitchell, Lincoln A.

While the shooting [in Tucson, Arizona] was in some respects one very unstable man acting alone, it is also intellectually and politically dishonest to ignore the political context in which this happens. As our politics became increasingly saturated with violent images, use of the term revolution, replacing the word stop or block with kill, threats by candidates that if elections did not turn out their way it might be necessary to resort to violence, the chances of something like this happening grew. Military analogies have long been part of the language of political campaigns in the US, but in the last few years this rhetoric has moved to a different level. While the right wing should not be blamed for this incident, they probably should take this opportunity to take a closer look at the potential consequences of what they have been saying and doing these last two years, but so far they have not.

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Harriman Institute
Published Here
May 9, 2012