Sunday, January 9, 2011

What Conservative Rage?

I think it is time to be honest about the violent rhetoric and rage that masquerades as patriotic feeling in light of yesterday's murder of Judge Roll and 5 others including a 9-year-old girl. The Tea Party is to tax policy as Joseph McCarthy was to national security.

It is a phony political entity projecting its paranoia to force fear buttressed by violence.

It simplifies the complexity of a social phenomena and asserts the answer lies in the exertion of power and force.

I'm not saying the Tea Party ordered yesterday's shooting but what I am arguing is that the Tea Party made threats to the effect that shooting Rep. Giffords (albeit behind a symbolic smoke-screen) would be a good thing.

Sarah Palin placed a rifle scope over Representative Giffords district as a symbol of the derelict Governor's political passion in helping the conservative candidate win the Arizona 8th congressional seat from Giffords. Representative Gifford's opponent raised money by offering an M-16 target practice session as a viable political action rally. 6 people are dead as collateral damage in the wake of an assassination attempt that targeted Representative Giffords. I think one can infer the beliefs of these "Patriots" as an input to real behavior without mistaking correlation for causation. Tea Party patriots have raged with superficial machismo behind their 2nd Amendment rights as if they were people seeking liberty in the wake of an invading army occupying their land.

The psychology of the 2nd Amendment
was based in the need to avoid the type of forced obedience the colonial territories suffered under the Crown and the British armed forces. It was not written so white people afraid of difference could gather and assert violence as some American heritage when difficult times demand we think.

The current mood of the American Conservative and the G.O.P. bullied by Tea Party rhetoric is violent and to deny that is to be naive. Then when a sick individual acts consonant with the empty originalist libertarian rhetoric the Tea Party asserts, conservatives try to walk it back as if there is no connection between the two events. To not consider the recent past pronouncements of self-asserted "Patriots" as an input into yesterday's events is silly. The kid was mentally ill but resided in Arizona where heated Tea Party rhetoric to the shooting of Rep. Giffords was given approval as legitimate political language. What more evidence do we need? But the idea that it is simply heated language that killed Judge Roll and the others yesterdays seems to me to ignore real cause.

We don't have humane policy positions in this country in regards to health-care or gun c
ontrol and to ignore that when responding to this event seems to be planting the seeds for the same ugly fruit to flower later. This happened not just because of inflammatory language. It happened because one of our major political parties thinks that government should not regulate our freedom in responsible ways. If Loughner had been given proper medical care when he was kicked out of Pima Community College and if he was not allowed to buy a Glock, conceal it and carry it then a nine-year-old girl would still be alive. You will not hear mea culpas from the Right. They are already using this event as an excuse to argue for more lax gun control (e.g. "If more people were able to carry concealed weapons at the event then they could have shot Loughner before he shot others.") Watch, this will become about the necessity of Libertarian freedom (as if a 22 year old boy with bi-polar disorder has Libertarian freedom).
I think it is foolish to allow McCarthyite bullying to define the American experience and it needs to be opposed. I'm all for avoiding the post hoc fallacy but am done giving assent to the violence espoused by Tea Party "Patriots" after the fact that violence has happened. Rep. Giffords was targeted by the Tea Party with intimations of violence against her. She is recovering from a head wound today.

Seems like a logical inference can be made.

No comments: