Monday, January 10, 2011

Free Speech is not Responsibility Free

Yep, the right-wing whiners are acting just as I predicted, trying to blow off Jared Loughner's shooting as some kind of isolated incident done by a madman. And sure, dude is not right. But as someone who has taught high school and college students, I also know that adolescent anger also can be targeted to specific people, and that these people are especially susceptible to persuasive individuals. You know,people like the Goldline-sponsored Glenn Beck, who encourages thoughts such as "new currency" and government controlling the "grammar structure" check out youtube #3, the "Final Thoughts" of Jared Loughner ). Loughner targeted Rep. Giffords and this event for a reason, and at some point, I think we'll see it's related to some of things he had fed to him. (And don't play the "how do you know" card. I know because while I was born at night, it wasn't last night.)

Oh, and Loughner isn't the only guy in trouble out West for going after Dems. Today in Colorado, a Social Security recipient was arrested for threatening staffers of Sen. Michael Bennett and talking about setting fire to their building. The same story shows that 2 other men were arrested in Colorado over the last week for threatening president Obama. These people aren't pulling these threats randomly out of their ass. They are consuming the words of what they're being fed, and taking it to the next level. As someone who also has worked in media, I know damn well that responsible media members must be aware of how people take what is put out on the airwaves and in print. But apparently, too many people would rather be paid by being outrageous instead of using their power wisely. Well sorry, but free speech does not mean responsibility-free speech, and it is time to take further action to expose those who don't get that difference.

I am disgusted by the lack of introspection I'm seeing on the right. They still refuse to admit that maybe, just maybe, someone could take these words to heart and decide to dish out their own "Second Amendment solution." I'm not shocked by this in any way (after all, if you had mental strength and introspection, you probably wouldn't watch Beck and listen to Palin), but it tells me they will not learn from it. And so they must be taught the lesson in ways other than reasoning. They made that choice, us on the left didn't.

Now some have said I've been a bit harsh the last 36 hours, but I don't apologize for being honest. I am at the end of the line of turning the other cheek and letting things like this drop, because being decent does not seem to be rewarded in our lowest common denominator "ratings, money and power by any means necessary" society. I know that the people that allowed this environment to fester would love nothing more than to have it go away. Palin and Beck and Roger Ailes are working out their ways to minimize and avoid any responsibility for this incident whatsoever, because they know what they have led to.

They will try to let this connection go down the memory hole. Just like with the cop-killer in Pennsylvania, the Holocaust Museum killer, the shooting of Dr. Tiller in Kansas, the shooter of Arkansas Dem official, and several other non-fatal incidents. Don't let it happen.

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