Jewish World Review Jan. 12, 2011 / 7 Shevat, 5771
The Exploitive Rhetoric of Tragedy
By Jonah Goldberg
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In the wake of the horrendous shooting rampage in Tucson, why isn't anyone talking about banning "Mein Kampf"? Or "The Communist Manifesto"? Or for that matter, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "The Phantom Tollbooth"?
After all, unlike
And to listen to partisan ghouls such as
Note: It's apparent from evidence found by the authorities and from interviews with the alleged killer's friends and acquaintances that Loughner has fixated on Arizona Rep.
Indeed, according to a fascinating interview in Mother Jones with one of Loughner's close friends, this twisted soul was apparently an ardent believer in "lucid dreaming" in which he could control an alternate "'Matrix'-style" reality.
Something similar seems to be taking hold in more respectable quarters.
But rather than beat up on those who've migrated from the reality-based community, it might be worthwhile to take them at their word.
If these people seriously believe that the tea parties and Palin's "lock and load" rhetoric are to blame, then what shall we do about it?
It's hard to find a serious answer to this question. For most of these ideological ambulance chasers, it seems enough to lay the blame at Republican or right-wing feet in an effort to anathematize ideas they don't like.
But that's shortsighted. Misplaced panics like this have a momentum and logic all their own. Already, Rep.
That opens the bidding. The question is, where will it end?
If the alleged shooter had been inspired by a movie or TV show -- as any number of murderers have been over the years -- would those blaming the tea parties join with social conservatives in blaming
When the subject of censorship or the "chilling" of free expression comes up in other contexts, the very idea that books, movies or TV can be blamed for the actions of the criminal or the deranged is met with unbridled scorn. I actually disagree with that. If books can inspire us positively, surely they can inspire us negatively, too. But we understand that we don't blame books for the rare demons who feed on them.
No doubt this will cause eye-rolling among those who simply want to keep the focus on demonizing conservatives and never bother to think ahead about the consequences of their misplaced hysteria. One noble exception is Slate's
Meanwhile, many proud liberals, not to mention dedicated journalists, see no problem with fueling a mass panic over our "political discourse." The fact that liberal rhetoric and images are often just as "extreme" is irrelevant. Also irrelevant is any violence that might be linked to such rhetoric. And the fact that the shooting suspect's motivations may lay in a reality of his own design? That's irrelevant too.
These critics' aim is simply to exploit this horror as an opportunity to yell "shut up" at their political opponents.
include "/home/jwreview/public_html/t-ssi/jwr_squaread_300x250.php"; ?>
© 2006 TMS