Posts Tagged ‘younge

10
Jan
11

‘an act of political violence in a polarised country’

Gary Younge (UK Guardian): Jared Loughner … was not working alone. True, the rampage apparently emerged from his confused, unstable and troubled mind. But it was also the byproduct of a polarised political culture underpinned by increasingly vitriolic, violent and vituperative rhetoric and symbolism.

….To dismiss these as the voices and actions of the marginal was to miss the point and misunderstand the trend. America is more polarised under Obama than it has been in four decades: the week he was elected gun sales leapt 50% year on year.

…. many of these extreme views and much of this antagonistic tone is explicitly sustained and implicitly condoned by the Republican hierarchy. When a congressman shouts “liar” at Obama during his state of the union speech he receives a huge spike in donations…..

…In few places was the national atmosphere played out more dramatically than in the border state of Arizona. In April Raul Grijalva, in Gabrielle Giffords’s adjacent constituency, faced bomb threats for opposing a new anti-immigration law. In October, his office was daubed with swastikas and white paint….

The connection between this rhetoric and Saturday’s events are not causal but contextual. The shooter was not likely to be acting under direct instructions but in an atmosphere that made such an attack more likely rather than less. Whatever his motives, this was a targetted act of domestic political violence…

…As Giffords struggles for her life and the country mourns its dead some insist it is too soon to draw broader political conclusions from this tragedy. But if those conclusions had been understood sooner, it is possible that such a tragedy might have been prevented.

Full article here




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