Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Political Rhetoric and Violence

There has been a lot of discussion over the recent attempted assassination committed by Jared Loughner. Although some of the debate, as always, contains finger pointing, it has been nice to see a discussion over free speech and when it goes too far.
Even though it is early and the evidence as to what really happened is sketchy, there have been plenty of discussion as to what role politics or mental illness have played a part in Loughner's motivation. Pundits of all kinds have offered explanations. The most sensible one is by Parke Burgess, who argues that violence within rhetoric is a problem no matter what the outcome.  Brugess is right to remind us that a world where political debate is increasingly sidelined for rage performances is dangerous and sad.  Discussions, positive and constructive ones, never happen, and we make no lasting changes to our world.

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