Palin extremism does have consequences. She will not learn from the tragic shootings in Arizona. She will genuinely be in denial and not have a clue - she and all like her. And there are those like her locally who use violent language. Friends of mine and I have been the subject of this violent language. And then some idiots take the language seriously and decide to do something about it. And people get traumatized, hurt, and killed.
The blame - the responsibility - is on Sarah Palin and those who use violent rhetoric. They do not pull the trigger but they inspire the idiots who do pull the triggers. To use crosshairs and name names on a map is either the work of a complete fool or the work of a very evil person. Sarah is no fool.
I went through a year - back in the 90s - with federal protection. I was in Bellingham, and it was because of my legitimate political actions. Other locals have told me of violence against them. The Herald is in denial that it happens in this county. There are, and have been, local elected officials who are aware of this and choose to ignore it. It is sadly common in many counties across our America.
What can we do that will decrease or eliminate political violence? We can do the truly American thing: tolerate and embrace our differences, our different values, and our different opinions. We can accept that we are all Americans. We can accept that even non-citizens have rights, are protected by our Constitution and laws, and deserve the benefits of our country. Sarah has made almost a fetish of saying rural folks are "true Americans," while city dwellers are some sort of lost goofballs, and liberals are the enemies of America. She, Limbaugh, Beck, O'Reilly and several others have poisoned our country. We will always have such hate mongers - but we should ignore them so they do not rise to such prominence.
Crosshairs. On U.S. Representative Gabrielle Gifford's district in Arizona. Posted by Sarah Palin last March. And now Gabrielle has been shot - just as the crosshairs indicated she should be. Shot in the head. And at least six others are dead. And a dozen wounded. Sarah does not have enough common sense to be elected dog catcher.
Some will not have a clue and will say Sarah should not be blamed. Those people are out of touch with reality. Some are tone deaf, some feel there should never be blame for anything, and some feel violent rhetoric is harmless. Over the next few months we will hear everything imaginable about how Sarah is not to blame, how the use of violent images is common in politics. They will be missing the point. Palin, Limbaugh, Beck and O'Reilly have taken the hate to extremes I have not seen since the McCarthy era. We can wish they would now dial it back. It won't happen. We will see this again. Welcome to the new decade.
Oh - and it is reported that Palin scrubbed the map from her website last night. Too late.