January 14th, 2011
What a party that must have been! I’m speaking of the time that Lee Harvey
Oswald, John Wilkes Booth and James Earl Ray hopped into their Hot Tub Time
Machine and journeyed to 2011 to listen to Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh and get
brainwashed into entering the assassination game.
That scenario is not so far-fetched for those who are rushing to declare the
recent Tucson shooting rampage the fault of (take your pick) the Tea Party,
conservative talk radio, FOX News, or negative campaign ads. Suddenly “civility”
groupies are bemoaning “vitriolic rhetoric,” “hate,” “anger,” “bitterness,”
“rancor,” “extreme ideologies” and “verbal savagery.”
I agree that politicians, commentators and voters should be ashamed of
rumor-mongering, deliberate distortions of the truth, and knee-jerk auto-pilot
opposition to everything the other party proposes – but beyond that, we do a
disservice to our forefathers if we insist on playing the child-pacifying game
“Tiptoe, Tiptoe, Quiet As A Mouse” around so-called hot button issues.
Is political discourse in 2011 something unique in history? Returning Vietnam
War veterans were taunted as “baby killers.” An infamous 1964 campaign
commercial strongly implied that challenger Barry Goldwater would plunge us into
nuclear war. The Copperheads thought Abe Lincoln a despicable tyrant. One of
Thomas Jefferson’s supporters branded John Adams “a hideously hermaphroditic
Since 1776 this republic has….