So last night I was watching Mean Girls, having a beer and doing my little sister's art homework. This was probably at about 1:30, and I wasn't in bed because I'm leaving for a semester in Spain tomorrow and I have an eensy bit of anxiety about that. Anyway. You know that part where Tina Fey has to talk to all the girls at the assembly in the gym? And says "You guys have got to stop calling each other sluts and whores, it only makes it okay for guys to call you sluts and whores"?
Well, our political leaders have to stop calling each other sluts and whores. Somewhere along the line it became acceptable--common, actually--for politicians to use language and rhetoric suggesting that they want to kill each other. Actually, you know what. Not politicians, in the broad sense. It's the right wingers. Maybe I'm not being politically correct, but last time I checked Dennis Kucinich was not exhorting his supporters to "don't retreat, reload."
It's just words, you say? Actually it's not--because when an ordinary citizen publishes an image of crosshairs over another ordinary citizen's name, that's criminal threatening. Apparently when Sarah Palin does it it's advertising. And please don't tell me that it's the same thing as violent lyrics in rap music. This is actually an argument some people are trying to make, that Sarah's hit list and Lil Wayne's lyrics are the same thing. The thing is, folks, is that Lil Wayne is not a.) a quote unquote "respected" political figure or b.) the commander of a vast army of fucktards and racist grandmothers.
No, Mama Grizzly did not pull the trigger. But she must take the lion's share of the blame for for the violent rhetoric that's become the norm. We don't know yet what Loughner's motives or politics were, and we can't blame the Tea party (yet). But I for one do blame Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and their whole gleeful posse of teabaggers for creating a climate in which it's perfectly okay to talk about murdering American political figures. They blatantly capitalize upon the inanity of people too stupid to look up "communist" in the dictionary or correctly spell "public," and act surprised when somebody gets shot. They didn't fire the gun, but they loaded it. These crazies whip up ignorant people into a faux-populist frenzy with words like "socialism" and "death panels," and then tell them all to go buy some guns. That's like giving a two-year-old a couple of Adderall and an espresso and then letting him drive a semi truck. People are going to get hurt.