I have been watching the breaking news about the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords and several other people in Tucson today, and I am moved to tears. I am sad for the young woman (40 is young to me) and her family, and I am sad for the constant chipping away at freedom that has been going on in the US for several years now. It seems to me that the beginning of the new intolerance dovetails with the beginning of the first G.W. Bush administration.
I now live in a state with a conservative narcissist/hedonist for governor. I live in a country where the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman and others incite violence against anyone who disagrees with their warped view of the world.
I know that there have always been crazy, rigid, unbalanced people in the world. The problem is that it's becoming mainstream to be one of those unhinged people. If the Republican Party really wants to be a respectable, conservative alternative in government, they have to disavow this wrathful, hateful element. There must be some sensible Republicans out there who would like to return their party to sanity. Let the crazies leave. If you can only keep your party alive by courting the unbalanced and fomenting hatred, well, there's something wrong.
We don't yet know what inspired this shooting, but it seems likely that Representative Giffords was targeted. The shooter might not have been a tea-partier, and might never have heard Sharron Angle's comments about using "2nd amendment remedies" to take over government. It doesn't matter. The culture of violence inspired by the tea party extremists and the right wing shock jocks has to end.