"Especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn."
From the NY Times:
...the emphasis the left is placing on violent rhetoric and imagery is probably misplaced. Sure, calls to violence, explicit or implicit, can have effect. But the more incendiary theme in current discourse is the consignment of Americans to the category of alien, of insidious other. Once Glenn Beck had sufficiently demonized people at the Tides Foundation, actually advocating the violence wasn’t necessary.
By the same token, Palin’s much-discussed cross-hairs map probably isn’t as dangerous as her claim that “socialists” are trying to create “death panels.” If you convince enough people that an enemy of the American way is setting up a system that could kill them, the violent hatred will take care of itself.
Regarding a new CBS poll:
Do you think it is ever justified for citizens to take violent action against the government, or is it never justified?
The 11% of Dems and self-identified Independents is still much higher than I'd like to see, but it's the GOP numbers that are especially disheartening. More than a fourth of rank-and-file Republicans are prepared to justify violence against their own government? That's not a tiny, obscure fringe; that's a sizable chunk of a major political party.
- Republican 28% yes, 64% no
- Democrat 11% yes, 81% no
- Independent 11% yes, 81% no