As most informed people know, there was a tragic and senseless school shooting incident in Newtown, Connecticut last month that left defenseless children and adults killed by an obviously deranged young man. It is inconceivable to most people how a young man can go so astray that he murders random people for no obvious reason.
As a result, certain elements of the political class in Washington have taken advantage of this tragedy to advance their own personal agendas relative to gun control, with the idea that controlling or eliminating gun possession by all of us would have somehow prevented the Newtown tragedy.
Rather than trying to understand the root causes of such abhorrent behavior, these politicians simplistically look at the “what” of the situation (guns were used to kill) rather than the “why” of the situation (what causes such behavior.) By not understanding the root causes, the chance of resolving the problem is next to nothing.
Maybe there are other causes of such behavior, not simply gun possession. Rather than more draconian gun control rules and laws, we should do a little “hate control” before we recklessly and senselessly go off on a gun control tangent, a tangent that will likely increase crime and gun play, not reduce it and shred the Second Amendment in the process.
Let’s be honest; there is a lot of hate and venom circulating in our country today. Much of it is fomented by the political class as they try to incite their supporters and degrade their opponents in the most dehumanizing ways possible.
The more we dehumanize others, the easier it is to see them as less worthy of their opinion and their life. Maybe if we started respecting each other a little more and taking some of the hate and venom out of our politics, thought processes, and speech, incidents like the shootings in Newtown, in south Chicago, in the ghettos of Detroit, etc. might become a little less frequent if we respected each other a little more.
This increase in respect and humanizing of other human beings should start with our so-called leaders, However, these so-called leaders are a big cause of the problem, not the solution. They have had a busy and disgraceful past couple of years degrading and abusing the opinions, lives, and very existence of the citizens they are supposed to be serving:
- Democrat Speaker Of The House Nancy Pelosi called citizen opponents to ObamaCare unpatriotic for simply having a difference of opinion with many politicians in Washington.
- Democrat Charles Rangel slandered millions of Americans who opposed ObamaCare by calling them racists for simply having an honest difference of opinion with many politicians in Washington.
- Democrat Shelia Jordan Lee slandered Americans who opposed ObamaCare by associating them with the Ku Klux Klan.
- Union boss and Democratic supporter Jimmy Hoffa, Jr. stated that his union was at war with the Republicans and Tea Party citizens and that these people “need to be taken out.”
- Democratic Congressmen Mike Doyle and Henry Waxman and Vice President Joe Biden slandered American citizens opposed to unfettered and destructive government spending and debt by calling them terrorists (those people who bomb and kill innocent civilians).
- When ordinary Americans objected to the building of a Islamic mosque near the World Trade Center property because of the sad memories of 9-11, Democrat Nancy Pelosi said THEY should be investigated for simply having a passionate opinion on the mosque.
- Democratic Congresswoman Maxine Walters said all Tea Party American citizens can go to hell simply for having a difference of opinion with her.
When you viciously and unfoundedly associate ordinary citizens with racism, call them terrorists, question their patriotism, wish they would go to hell, and then threaten to take them out/exterminate them, you have dehumanized them in the eyes of your political supporters, making it easy to imagine them actually going away permanently.
Maybe this type of hate, venom, and dehumanizing goes through the head of a young man when he decides to go off and actually follows the advice that those people “need to be taken out.” When your so-called leaders call for this type of behavior and language, it can’t be wrong, can it?
But our political class and their direct supporters also direct their hate and venomous words towards other politicians:
- The campaign manager of Democrat Jerry Brown’s gubernatorial campaign called his Republican opponent, Meg Whitman, a whore.
- White House czar Van Jones publicly called all Republicans a**h****s.
- Democrat Alan Grayson called all Republicans knuckle-dragging Neanderthals.
- TV host Montel Williams publicly hoped that Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachman would commit suicide by decapitating herself.
- Ed Schultz, an on-air commentator for the Democratic-leaning MSNBC news channel, called Laura Ingraham of Fox News a slut.
- HBO TV host Bill Maher, a major donor to Obama’s 2012 Presidential Super PAC, said on air that Republican Sarah Palin “would f*** Rick Perry if he was black.”
- Bill Maher also called Palin a disgusting and derogatory name that I will not repeat here.
- Playboy magazine’s online website offered a detailed analysis on why and how each of ten Republican women in politics should be hate raped.
- Democratic Congressman Steve Cohen likened Republican critics of Obamacare to the Nazis and their propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.
- A rap artist gave a Minnesota concert that was billed as the “F*** Michelle Bachman” concert (spelling out the entire f-word).
- A Democratic operative insulted Ann Romney (and millions of other American women) by slandering and demeaning her as a stay-at-home mother.
- Martin Bashier of MSNBC News showed a video of Mitt Romney’s campaign bus that was interspersed with video clips of buses blowing up in balls of fire, explicitly wishing that the Romney bus also blow up and that those inside die a fiery death.
When you label others as “sluts” and “whores” and suggest they should be raped or be killed, either by themselves or a fiery bus explosion, you set another stage for dehumanization. If you political opponents are just “sluts” and “whores”, no big deal if they go away, right?
This type of disgusting, hateful behavior is an influence in our society and not an influence for good. It infects the undertone of how we view others. It reduces the amount of respect we have for others, making it easier to abuse others, possibly violently.
It usually does not cause someone to go off and actually start killing others, but it certainly cannot help. It also cuts short the ability to listen to each other and appreciate the diversity of opinion each brings to a potential solution of a problem.
If I have allowed the political class and their ardent supporters to frame you as a racist or a slut or a terrorist, I am unlikely to consider any good you can bring to my life or to a solution of a problem. If I think it is a good thing that you self-decapitate or die in a bus explosion, you will probably not get my attention when it comes to working towards a better society.
As a result of this hateful divisiveness the political class has driven into our society, we despise others who have opinions different from ours. Major issues, such as failing public schools, a lost war on drugs, skyrocketing national debt, high health care costs, illegal immigration, etc. never get resolved. The hate prevents us from listening to each other and calibrating our view of the world with others’ views of the world.
And possibly in the case of Newtown, we go beyond not listening, and we start shooting. Not because guns are legal, but because we have allowed the political class to desensitize us to each other as human beings.
But it is not only politicians who spew the hate and venom, hate and venom that others take to heart, hate and venom that their children take and internalize. Consider just some recent examples that have appeared in the news:
– Consider the hateful speech and intentions of Professor Richard Parncutt of the University of Graz regarding other human beings who are global warming deniers, those daring to have a different opinion than his: “In this article I am going to suggest that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for influential GW [global warming] deniers… They [global warming deniers] are already causing the deaths of hundreds of millions of future people. We could be speaking of billions, but I am making a conservative estimate… With high probability it will cause hundreds of millions of deaths. For this reason I propose that the death penalty is appropriate for influential GW deniers.”
Different opinion; therefore, you should die. If you have a different opinion than Professor Parncutt, he deigns that you do not deserve to live.
– Pulitzer nominated newspaper columnist Donald Kaul recently wrote an article for the Des Moines Register where he called for the killing of gun owners and “dragging legislators who disagree with gun control behind pickup trucks until they get the message.” Don’t agree with my opinion? Thus, we should have more killing and more torture for those who dare to have a difference of opinion. How does this stop the cycle of hate that starts with the political class?
– Erik Loomis, PhD, assistant professor of history at the University of Rhode Island, decided he needed to get into the hate and venom game also when he recently stated on Twitter that he wanted the death of National Rifle Association (NRA) CEO Wayne LaPierre, branding the gun rights group he heads as a terrorist organization””[I] want Wayne LaPierre’s head on a stick.” A little hateful, a little violent?
– Karen Lewis, head of the Chicago Teachers’ Union, recently had some violent rhetoric of her own to share: “Do not think for a minute that the wealthy are ever going to allow you to legislate their riches away from them. Please understand that. However, we are in a moment where the wealth disparity in this country is very reminiscent of the robber baron ages. The labor leaders of that time, though, were ready to kill. They were. They were just – off with their heads. They were seriously talking about that.”
And this person is associated with educating young minds and kids. Don’t like someone or are jealous of their wealth (that in all probability was garnered via hard work and sweat? Then just off with their heads.
You cannot have such hate and disrespect and venomous speech floating around and not have a negative impact on how we treat each other, how it dehumanizes others. You cannot say the Newtown shooting was directly caused because of this poisonous environment, but it certainly did not help. Was the shooter seated around his dinner table through the years when slurs and demeaning things were said about others, how others different from him were worthy of being “taken out“?
And it certainly does not allow us to sit down and go face-to-face with others to leverage everyone’s knowledge and skills to confront all of our problems from school shootings to high debt, high illiteracy levels, failing public education, a failing health care system, etc.
But if we solved all of our problems, on what issues would our politicians run on? And that, my friends, is the root cause of most of our problems from school shootings to the lack of a national energy problem; our shameless politicians need the hate and venom to frame and finance their continual reelection effort.
So tonight, when you are sitting around the table with your family, how about a little more hate control and a lot more respect for others in front of our kids? Again, it couldn’t hurt.
And when you come across such people in life, those who want others to die simply because they have a different opinion, walk away. These people are part of the problem; do not join them in spreading their venom and hatred. There is an old saying that goes as follows: “Never mud wrestle with a pig. You both get dirty, and the pig likes it.” Stay clean, reduce the hatred, and maybe save the Second Amendment in the process.
The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by WesternJournalism.com.