In listening to rhetoric about the Arizona shootings, I've picked up something that disturbs me. No, I'm not trying to make an equivalency between the actions of Left and Right. I'm merely commenting that there's something that makes me glad I'm not very political. It is this: on every Right-wing talk show there is insistence that talk had nothing to do with it. And on every Left-wing talk show, there is insistence that the Righties are lying sacks of shit.
And in the midst of all this, a simple question seems to have been forgotten: what will make this a safer world for nine-year-old girls? Remember after 9/11, when for a short period of time the whole world sympathized with us, and the Left stated (correctly, in my opinion) that America squandered an opportunity to take the high road, target the killers with surgical precision and use that cultural capital to build a safer world?
Well, something like that is happening right now. Every sane human being I've heard (and that is 99% of either Right or Left) has been appalled by the death of Christina Green. From a martial arts perspective, there is an opportunity to "Aikido" this: to look at the shared future and values held by everyone worth giving a damn about in this or any country. "Tone down the rhetoric on both sides" accomplishes EXACTLY what we want. Who cares if your damn feelings are hurt, because you think that implies that "your" side is equally to blame? What is it you're trying to accomplish: making the world safer, increasing the civility in political discourse and stopping the demonization...or being "right"? People die in bar fights every damn day because they had to be "right."
Here's the fact: whether they are responsible or not, NO TALK SHOW HOST IS GOING TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY for this without opening himself to legal action or civil liability. Never. Doesn't matter whether that person was Liberal or Conservative. It is simply absurd to expect someone to say "we caused this" without multi-million dollar law suits. So when you point and scream: "take the blame" you know very well you aren't accomplishing anything other than feeling "right" and counting coup. On the other hand, if you say: "both sides need to calm the rhetoric", you give everyone, regardless of guilt or innocence, protective coloration and the safety to drop their guard. Exhale and return to neutral corners. Consider what has happened here, and remember that we are all Americans, and most of us are mothers and fathers who love nine year old girls.
If the girl is important, be kind. Be gentle and remember that no fighter drops his hands while the other guy is still swinging. If you insist on swinging, then you are more interested in your ego than in the safety of children.
Of course, as Dennis Miller said back when he was funny, that's just my opinion, I could be wrong.