Pauls Valley, OK, Pauls Valley Democrat

Columns

January 14, 2011

Angry rhetoric was background for Arizona shooting

(Continued)

Even overlooking the hypocrisy, it would have been nice if a conservative acknowledged that maybe, just maybe, hate speech from right-wing commentators has gone off the charts.

Of course, there is a problem with this. Hateful, bigoted speech is protected by the First Amendment, which it should be. But a boatload of conservative speech overshadows almost none for liberal ideas.

Both sides may blossom on the Internet, but who can read all of that? Cable and radio are almost without liberal voices. Comedy Central's Jon Stewart said rancid right-wing rhetoric wasn’t the catalyst that sent Loughner into the history books. But talk is his business, even though his brand of liberalism is spineless.

Giffords is in critical condition, fighting for her life, and six people are dead apparently because of a young man who once asked a teacher how the community college he attended could exist under the U.S. Constitution.

Whatever conservatives might say about Loughner, his speech was political and sounded much like the anti-government rubbish that characterizes members of the Tea Party.

Like any other political shooting, this one will be forgotten soon enough. Things will get back to normal until the next time, and the conservative vomit that demonizes political opponents will continue unchallenged.

And it’s not even 2012.

Stephen Dick is associate editor of The Herald Bulletin in Anderson, Ind. He can be reached at steve.dick@heraldbulletin.com.

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