Sometimes, the English language is too small to convey appropriate thoughts. Such is the case with the Arizona shootings.
Many writers and speakers have said many things. I have been intellectually and emotionally challenged in attempting to understand all points of view that have been offered thus far on the causes of the weekend shooting in a grocery store parking lot in Tucson. That parking lot was suppose to have been the site for one of the most pristine and direct examples of our democratic form of government – a member of Congress addressing her constituents on the issues of the day. That common event ended in tragedy and underscores the fact that mere humans can never know the events of their future. I suspect that Mr. and Mrs. Lincoln fully expected that they were simply going to watch a play and that John and Jackie Kennedy were looking forward to seeing old friends while they were visiting Dallas.
One thing that I am pretty sure of at this point is that Jared Loughner was a deeply troubled individual who was, and is insane. However, I don’t think his form of madness should exclude him from his right to a fair trial, a full legal defense, and then a just and expedited capital execution at the end of the process.
The other thing that I am also sure of is that the tone and vitriol representing the present state of our political debate has to ratchet down. That process should begin in Congress itself.
I have been a political junkie all of my adult life and I watch the behavior of our members of Congress rather closely. It is simply undeniable that members of both our political parties have presented speeches from the wells of the House and Senate that cannot be defended. Both parties have used hyperbolic and symbolic speech in an attempt to either advance their own positions or to denigrate the views of their adversaries. This has to stop. I will concede that there is little that can be done to affect the behavior of members of the media, special interest groups or internet bloggers. However, our elected officials should be pressured to alter their speech to focus upon reasoned intellectual arguments pro and con of their views. The days of any politician presenting him or herself in a manner more akin to a rabid raccoon rather than an individual with intellect and self-control must come to an end.
So my final thoughts and prayer is that our elected officials will now set the correct example of reasoned and controlled debate. Our country cannot continue down this path of extreme polarization that will only become more and more violent. Left or Right, if you cannot make your point without resorting to personal attacks and patently ridiculous and incendiary language, JUST SHUT UP!