Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Finding common ground in shock and sorrow

I'd like to believe that no rational person will think today's shooting in Alexandria is a good thing. It is not. It is the work of an unwell person. We must not resort to violent attacks on those with whom we disagree. Though I'm not a Bernie Sanders fan, I agree with what he said today:

"Let me be as clear as I can be. Violence of any kind is unacceptable in our society and I condemn this action in the strongest possible terms."

I'd like to believe that in the shock and sorrow that are sensible reactions to this shooting we can all find common ground, but I fear that will not be the case.

Newt Gingrich, for example, said, "It's part of a pattern. You've had an increasing intensity of hostility on the left." When a reporter pressed Gingrich on this point, Gingrich said, "You've had a series of things which send signals that tell people that it's OK to hate Trump, it's OK to think of Trump in violent terms, it's OK to consider assassinating Trump. And then suddenly we're supposed to rise above it until next time?"

Gingrich's remark form exactly the sort of reaction we should not have. Have people indulged in hateful rhetoric and hateful satire against Trump? Sure. People have always done that sort of thing against Presidents. That is a long way, however, from actually shooting anyone.

Instead of using this as yet another political football, I'd like to see us unite in our shock and sorrow at the shooting, and perhaps even go so far as to build from that brief union a dialogue about the very real problems we all face.

I'd like that, but I don't expect to get it.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Violence is never okay. It is never the solution to a problem. I feared that this terrible incident would be used as a political jab by those looking to hate the other side, and it came true. Yes, did this shooter dislike Trump intensely? Yes. Did he ask if the GOP or DEMs were on the field before he shot? Yes. But saying that this was a ploy by the "left" (meaning DEMs) to decimate the GOP is wrong. This is a man with an agenda who wanted to inflict damage. This was not caused by Hillary, Obama, the Democratic party. It was caused by the anger (and unbalance by some) that is the flavor of the day. Trump did not help squelch this anger on either side with his rally rhetoric about offering to pay the lawyers' fee for anyone who beat up an opposing voice. When the man at the top condones violence, it sets the tone. Was this his fault? No, but he doesn't help. What is wrong is that our nation has not been this angry with each other since the War Between the States. Something has to be done to bring us together or this is just the beginning. We are in for some rough times.


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