“When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government, the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous,” Pima County, Arizona Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said during a press conference Saturday night regarding one of the most vile acts of domestic terrorism our country has seen in recent memory, the outcome of which left six dead and many more seriously wounded, amongst them Tucson-based U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords.
I could not agree with him more.
While many on both the Left and the Right have decried several of the opinions which I have put forth in my column here at Blogcritics over the past — almost to the date — six months, I believe virtually all would agree that this is exactly the sort of thing whose potential I have been noting ad nauseam, especially as of late. Ever since the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the climate in American politics has been deteriorating rapidly, to the point of otherwise capable citizens being hesitant to even consider the idea of public office. This picked up steam after the 2008 presidential election, due largely to the never-before-seen levels of incendiary rhetoric spewed from a bipartisan band of shock jocks and television entertainers, each hellbent on causing his or her ideological opponents to endure the highest amount of public derision and humiliation as possible. Today, all of this has cumulated in an atmosphere of ludicrous absolutes; that there can be no compromise amongst supposed statesmen, no positive feelings exchanged across the aisle, no putting logic ahead of emotion, and, above all else, no placing sensible pragmatism above theoretical principal.
Welcome to the New America, where the radical has become the mainstream.
The reasons for this societal breakdown are as plentiful as the stars shining in the sky on a clear evening, and cannot be dealt with through any executive order or act of Congress. No, our nation is presently facing dire systemic problems, wether they be economical, social, or related in some way to national security. These must be dealt with on an individual basis, and true, long lasting relief will only be achieved when enough currently enraged Americans find the courage within themselves to seek common ground with their most despised political adversaries.
Until then, as I said above, welcome to the New America. Something tells me that all of us who are at least vaguely sane will simply have to get used to it. Our Founding Fathers would not recognize the very land which they fought to establish in the event that they were to return here today.
The term ‘shame’ does not aptly describe what an aberration that is.