The Shooting in Arizona: More Questions Than Answers
"… we're on Sarah Palin's targeted list but the thing is that the way she's had it depicted has the cross hairs of a gun site over our district. When people do that, they've got to realize that there [are] consequences to that action." Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, March 25, 2010Anger, they say, is merely the human response to not having as much control as you wish to have over a situation you care a great deal about. If you truly have total control, like say an emperor or dictator or multi-national CEO does, you need never get upset. You simply, calmly express your will, and it is done.
Therefore, I've always considered calmness (or the lack of visible anger) a good indication of which people in the public eye feel they are in control and which do not. John McCain is clearly not in control of the domain he wishes to be. Barack Obama on the other hand seems much more calm than I imagine anyone else in his shoes could be.
Generating anger in the public via political rhetoric, therefore, is as simple as encouraging people to feel they are not in control over something they wish to be. Especially over something they care a great deal about, like, say, the health of their loved ones:
Sarah Palin's now infamous "Cross hairs" map targeted Arizona Congresswoman Giffords specifically because of how Giffords voted on the Health Care Overhaul bill. Sarah Palin went to extraordinary rhetorical lengths to encourage her readers to feel the control they have over their own "life and death decisions" was being threatened by this legislation. In doing so, Palin encouraged the resulting anger that such a personal insecurity would generate.
As more Americans delve into the disturbing details of the nationalized health care plan that the current administration is rushing through Congress, our collective jaw is dropping, and we’re saying not just no, but hell no!
The Democrats promise that a government health care system will reduce the cost of health care, but as the economist Thomas Sowell has pointed out, government health care will not reduce the cost; it will simply refuse to pay the cost. And who will suffer the most when they ration care? The sick, the elderly, and the disabled, of course. 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” so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their “level of productivity in society,” whether they are worthy of health care. Such a system is downright evil.
Health care by definition involves life and death decisions. Human rights and human dignity must be at the center of any health care discussion.
---Sarah Palin's Facebook entry on the Health Care Overhaul designed to increase the number of Americans who have access to coverage.
But that's actually all we know at this point.
There is no evidence yet that Congresswoman Giffords' attacker was specifically angry over health care legislation, that he ever saw the Palin map or heard her rhetoric, or that he wasn't in fact a Democrat. All indications so far suggest he was simply deranged.
Still, it would be the best response to the shooting imaginable by the Palin camp to make a strong statement that indeed there are dangers to stirring up people's core insecurities. And for them to tone it down a few notches. Out of respect for the victims and their families.