Political Opportunism Obscures Facts and Insults Intelligence and Integrity, Re: Climate of Hate, International Herald Tribune/New York Times, January 10, 2011

Two things are abundantly clear now that the dust has settled after the recent tragic shootings in Arizona which left six dead, fourteen wounded and nearly killed Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

First, Jared Loughner, the shooter, is a violent, deeply disturbed young man whose behavior had posed a substantial risk to the community for quite some time. Prior to the shootings his actions were consistent with schizophrenia or some other psychotic illness. There is nothing to indicate that there was any political motivation whatsoever behind the shootings or that they were anything more than a product of his illness and sick, delusional mind. He had no connection at all with Sarah Palin, the Republican Party, the Tea Party or any other right wing movement. He is a deranged, mentally ill, 22 two year old lunatic, not an ideologically driven assassin. Palin, the Republicans, Tea Partiers or other right wingers are not responsible for the shootings. He is. They didn’t drive him to pull the trigger. His demons did.

Second, attempts to make Palin and the political right in the United States culpable for the shootings and blame them for the “climate of hate” which supposedly created the conditions in which such a horrible event could take place are completely false, historically inaccurate and nothing more than crass political opportunism of the worst kind. The International Herald Tribune/New York Times article referred to above is a prime example. Palin, the Republicans or the Tea Partiers had nothing to do with the shootings, nor have they ever advocated assassinating anyone or espoused violence as a means of achieving their poltical ends. The Democrats are far more responsible for whatever divisiveness which exists in the country because their rhetoric has consistently villified their opponents and used the language of war to belittle and ridicule them and sow discord. That comes straight from the top. President Obama frequently does it, one particularly egregious example being his statement that “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun!” when discussing the Republicans. In fact, long before Obama came along the Democrats and the left in general were responsible for most of the political violence and rhetoric in the U.S. That is a staple of theirs…if you can’t beat them, beat them up or blow them up or shoot them or some such thing. Left wing playrights even created a stage performance in New York about killing former President Bush. If history tells us anything it is that political violence is overwhelmingly a product of the left in America, not the right.

By ascribing blame the way they have Democrats and the left are exploiting personal and national tragedy for political gain. It doesn’t get any more cynical and sleazy than that. It is an insult to our intelligence and integrity and tells us what they think we really are…pawns to be manipulated. The International Herald Tribune/New York Times should be excoriated for publishing such tripe, although given the papers outlook and track record nothing else could be expected.

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