With barely time to process the terrible tragedy in Arizona, we witness yet another tragedy in our inclination to take advantage of the situation politically in the impetuous citations of a causal link between the “climate of hate” or the “Rage of the Right” to the senseless act of violence in Tucson this weekend. Now, usually I’m all in favor of utilizing alliteration in our rhetoric to drive home an emphatic message, but aren’t we committing the very sin we’ve purported to be so dangerous?
In an op-ed for the NYT, Steven F. Hayward, a scholar for the American Enterprise Institute–admittedly a conservative, yet non-partisan think tank–agrees and says he sees this inclination for finger-pointing as “potentially more divisive than the spirited rhetoric that is their target.” It seems contemptible, even impossible, to blame Sarah Palin, Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, or any other “impassioned” Right-Winger for the heinous acts propelled by Jared Loughner’s seriously depraved mental imbalance.
Let’s not confuse correlation with causation in this situation, but rather elevate the discussion beyond divisive political attacks. Why is it that we have become so caught up with this climate of hate, rather than Congresswoman Giffords’s road to recovery? Yes, 6 lives were lost. Yes, it was an unspeakable tragedy. But, seven people, including Congresswoman Giffords, remain hospitalized and potentially able to survive. Shouldn’t the hope to triumph in the face of tremendous adversity be our focus?
More of my “unsolicited opinions” (Margo Tercek ’13), complete with a Sarah Palin video, after the jump.