Monday, January 10, 2011

News Analysis: Soul-Searching in America Over Giffords Shooting

How the politics of violence has become the national conversation. Political cartoons too.

From Denny: With the outrageous heinous shooting this week of Democratic Congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, has come some serious soul-searching in America. It's about time and past due for about three decades now - ever since the rise to power of vitriol-rhetoric spewing Republicans.

Father of hate speech Newt Gingrich 

It all began with the rise to power of conservative former GOP Speaker Newt Gingrich when he came from Ohio into Georgia and was elected in a very conservative district in 1978. I remember, while living in Atlanta, his rise to power and commented how this would not bode well for America for decades to come. Hate speech-fear promoters and insincere morality screamers always prove destructive to a nation. And now that famous mathematical exponential curve has reached its peak when it reveals that violent political discourse leads to violent acts of assassination.

Signe Wilkinson

Conservative media, GOP strategists, Tea Party share collective responsibility for violence 

At the moment the Republicans, the Tea Party, all the conservative talk show people like Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh. GOP political strategists, conservative media and the Fox News crowd are working hard to run as fast as they can away from their messy collective responsibility. GOP political strategists spew out constant poisonous political rhetoric to stir up the angry emotions of their base so they will go out and vote regularly for Republicans.

Bulls-eyes tagets and guns aimed against liberals

All of them have promoted hate speech and fear of loss as well as promoted violent acts against any Democrats and liberals. As the conservatives see it no one but "their kind" deserves to live in this country or breathe the same air. While we liberals tolerate the conservatives to live and breathe in America it is clear they do not look as tolerantly or as kindly upon "us."

They consider us beneath their feet and subhuman. At some point decent people just have to stand up and yell, "Enough!" Maybe now, after this vile shooting of so many innocent bystanders at the Giffords meeting, America will wake up and finally agree to dial back the garbage rhetoric. Maybe now politicians will fire their idiot strategists and get serious about governing this country properly.

Why our politics are so violent - political vitriol

As is typical of the American mindset, everyone is trying to play "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" for just one reason why this political assassination happened. It's a confluence of reasons. For one thing, the shooter is a 22-year-old man who grew up in an atmosphere of political hate. He does not remember a time when people who voted on opposite sides of the aisle could carry on a civil political discourse. We have an entire generation of young people who have never experienced such decency and mutual respect.

Mental illness causing violence 

Another reason is the shooter is mentally ill. There were many warning signs along the way and no one did anything about it. The college that kicked him out did not pass it along to authorities. Did they contact his parents? Where are his parents and family members in all this? When someone is slowly descending into insanity there are plenty of family, friends and co-workers who are aware something is definitely wrong - yet no one did anything?

How Congress and the President can solve the problem

The American people won't be violent if they have jobs, don't have to worry about home foreclosure so they don't end up homeless, will still be able to retire by age 65 and not worry about getting shot when they go to the polls to vote.

 Reinstate the balanced and fair news controls by the FCC that were abolished back in 1987 by the Republicans who wanted free rein to create today's mess.  Legislate  cable, network TV and radio to conform to a national standard that does not incite the population to commit violent acts.

Wake up, Congress and Mr. President, you have a lot of work to do - on yourselves.

Cartoonist opinions of where the metaphor of literally shooting our politicians becomes a dying  reality:

Ed Stein

Nick Anderson

Chip Bok

Jeff Stahler

Gary Varvel

Signe Wilkinson

Paul Szep

Lisa Benson

Steve Kelley

Steve Benson

Congresswoman Giffords survived a point blank range shot to her head and is still responding well to her doctors:

Steve Benson

How good is our aim at becoming a better society, a better nation?

Has America become a nation of violent fools?

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