The Dangers Of Political Extremism: Assassination Of Political Leaders

Today is a day to dwell on the dangers of political extremism, the kind of rhetoric that we have been witnessing more than ever since the Great Recession occurred in 2008 and after. The election of the first African American President in 2008 has added to the cauldron.

The chasm between the political parties is wider than ever, and the hot rhetoric displayed on much of talk radio and Fox News Channel is more intense than ever, and will, unfortunately, get worse as the heat of the Presidential campaign intensifies.

Political extremism of the past led to political assassination in American history, as witness:

Abraham Lincoln, murdered at the end of the Civil War, April 14, 1865, by a Confederate sympathizer, John Wilkes Booth.

William McKinley, murdered by an anarchist, Leon Czolgosz, on September 14, 1901.

John F. Kennedy, murdered by Lee Harvey Oswald, a supporter of Fidel Castro and Cuba, 48 years ago on this date, and being commemorated today.

Martin Luther King, Jr,, murdered by a racist, James Earl Ray, on April 4, 1968.

Robert Kennedy, murdered by an Arab sympathizer, Sirhan Sirhan, on June 5, 1968.

These five assassinations, along with the assassination by mentally ill people of James Garfield and Huey Long; and the attempted assassinations of Theodore Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan are constant warnings of the dangers of violence once passions are aroused to a dangerous level.

When one considers that an individual was recently arrested for having shot at the White House, and perceived as a danger to President Barack Obama, it makes one feel a chill go through his spine, this on top of a similar incident under Bill Clinton.

Our nation’s leaders are under constant threat, and we need to tone down our rhetoric in memory of the death of John F. Kennedy nearly a half century ago, as we do not want to go through the horror and pain of such an event ever again!