Rhetorical Question

“There is in the world now really no moral social order at all.” ~ Confucius The Doctrine of the Mean 5

These words from 2500 years ago ring especially true today, one day after a gunman went on a rampage that claimed six lives in Tucson, Arizona. The rhetoric in this country has flowed over the edges of the chalice. Extremists on both sides of the political aisle have seized the reigns of our country and are driving us towards another (un)civil war.

“You lie!”
– Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) during President Obama’s address to a joint session of Congress.

“I would kill George Bush”
– Kirsten Dunst, if she was Spiderman for a day

”The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel.”’
—Sarah Palin, in a message posted on Facebook about Obama’s health care reform plan, Aug. 7, 2009

“[Go] F*ck yourself”
– Dick Cheney shows off his debating skills against Sen. Patrick Leahy

”He has no place in any station of government and we need to realize that he is an enemy of humanity.”
—Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ), on President Obama’s decision to fund international family planning organizations that support legal abortion, Sept. 26, 2009

How has it come to this? How have we devolved to the point where our once genteel form of politics has become a daily brawl to see who can het in the best and most inflammatory sound bite? I firmly believe that this heightened state of rhetoric is directly responsible for the shootings in Arizona. It’s been a long walkup to the current state of affairs. Americans on the fringe have felt disenfranchised for years. Soundbites that might seem witty and edgy to our elected officials and celebrities turn into rallying cries to the down-trodden.

Enough with the biting rhetoric. Yes, you have freedom of speech. Yes, you are free to say what you want. But mind your words and say what you really mean and not what makes the most shocking sound bite. That is what gets people killed.

Brother T

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