Yesterday, at a local Safeway, a disturbed young man shot a number of people, including Rep. Gabielle Giffords, federal judge John Roll, and a nine-year-old child. I didn't comment. Partly because I wanted more information, but mostly I was too angry and heartsick to form coherent thoughts.
From what I've read, and the YouTube videos I've seen, Jared Loughner was a disturbed individual, and quite probably mentally ill. Because of this, I'm told that I should not consider this a politically motivated act.
Rep. Giffords' office is just around the corner from where I live. During the health care debate, there were Tea Party picketers on that corner, as was their right. But their shouts at passing cars, and the signs they carried were troubling and offensive. After the vote on health care, her offices were vadalized. During the mid-terms, her political opponent's Tea Party followers placed signs across the street that came strategically short of promoting direct physical violence.
For the last two years, we've been inundated by the right with lies, omissions, and ad hominem attacks. And I'm not even counting the clinically insane things said, which served only to gain or divert attention. Fox news' unending string of propaganda does a huge disservice to those who naively look to them for actual news. They know this. How could they not?
To Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Sarah Palin and all the corporate ghouls that control them, hate is just another commodity to be packaged and sold to the masses.
You can't saturate a nation with this sort of stupidity, and not expect someone, mentally ill or not, to react to it.
Now it has come to this. We live in a nation where a valid argument against one's opponent is that he is too smart. A nation where a significant percentage of people consider quantifiable, demonstrable proof of something to be merely opinion. A nation that rewrites it's own history when it makes them uncomfortable. A nation that changes it's constitution when they find it to be inconvenient. A nation that values expediency over what is right.
And, perhaps someday, a nation of people no longer worthy of their liberty.