Rhetoric DOES Affect Public Attitudes, And Incites Unstable People: Time For Responsible And Civil Dialogue Before We Have Greater Tragedy Emerge!

The tragic events of yesterday, leading to the shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords; and the slaughter of three senior citizens; a nine year girl born on September 11, 2001; a congressional aide of Giffords; and a federal judge, is a warning sign to everyone that the tone and content of rhetoric DOES have a real effect on all of us, and tends to incite unstable people to violent action!

Therefore, it is essential for everyone to tone down their language and promote responsible and civil dialogue, and it is time to DEMAND that Sarah Palin behave in a civil way when she utters her never ending statements on Facebook and Twitter; that candidates such as Sharron Angle who talk about “Second Amendment remedies” be, like she was, repudiated by the voters as reckless and irresponsible; that a local talk show host (Joyce Kaufman in South Florida) who talks about the use of “bullets, not ballots” be denied the right to use the airwaves to promote her hate and paranoid behavior; that national talk show hosts, including Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, who care not a whit about building up hatred and resentment as long as they enrich themselves, be denied the right to spew their poison over the airwaves; and that politicians of all persuasions be called to account if they spread hysteria, fear, and division through their rhetoric!

Does anyone have the right to “shout fire in a crowded theater” and claim it is freedom of speech? The Supreme Court, in Schenck V. US in 1919, said NO, and that should apply to people in public office, media people, and all of us, who need to understand that responsible and civil dialogue is essential, or one day, we will have a tragedy of greater magnitude emerge, on the level of the assassination of John F. Kennedy, or a renewed concept of civil war, where everyone suffers because of irresponsible, reckless rhetoric!

3 comments on “Rhetoric DOES Affect Public Attitudes, And Incites Unstable People: Time For Responsible And Civil Dialogue Before We Have Greater Tragedy Emerge!

  1. Patrick Ellingham January 9, 2011 3:55 pm

    They have already distanced themselves from the shooter but do not admit their role in this. They will continue to fan the flames of hate because they know reason and logic are not on their side.

  2. BeachLuvR January 10, 2011 2:36 pm

    The daily effects of Right-Wing Politicians inciting the public/their constituents to violence has finally manifested itself. I am saddened but not surprised.

  3. Persepolis January 21, 2011 5:32 pm

    This whole blog and many comments are filled with hatred, accusations, rhetoric. As a professor!, do you not have a duty to provide facts? I have perused several of your writings here and all I see is left-wing opinionated fluff all placing blame on anyone that is not left wing. Well, I am neither right nor left, still trying to make my mind up about that. But all I see here, as in many other places, is those on the left preaching hate and laying blame at anyone on the right.

    You are calling on everyone to tone it down and in the next sentence you are preaching hate. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

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