By J. Christensen
Has the vitriolic political rhetoric of the last decade laid the foundation for the tragedy in Tucson? There is no denying that the political right laces their rhetoric with hostile intent. Belligerence is a recognized trade mark of America’s right wing. During the election some Tea Party candidates stated that if they did not win they would not accept the outcome. Even Texas Governor Rick Perry toyed with the idea of Texas seceding from the union. And in this climate Sarah Palin adds a familiar symbol; the cross-hairs of a gun sight. A symbol reinforced by the ‘open carries’, the public display of weapons at Tea Party rallies.
I must agree that suggesting Sarah Palin was somehow responsible for the tragedy in Tucson is almost stupid. But her vitriolic contribution to the political discourse of the gun sight cross-hairs is potentially defining. Sarah Palin chose a symbol once familiar in Ocean Beach. It was the symbol of a right wing terrorist group known as the ‘Secret Army Organization’; the SAO. Its meaning was clear.
Thirty-nine years ago this week the SAO followed through on that threat and carried out a drive-by shooting of a house on lower Muir St.; the home of a politically active professor from SDSU. A woman was shot. The message was delivered.
The SAO’s agenda was the violent overthrow of the government. The SAO’s hard right anti-communist agenda and their willingness to use violence as a tool was clear. Is it by accident that Sarah Palin chose the symbol of this right wing terrorist organization?
She is now trying to distance herself from the negative response and the potential public relations fallout. But perhaps the real Sarah Palin is hiding in plain sight. Perhaps her agenda is just as clear? She, more than most, draws imagines using violence as a subtext to her politics. She has, also more than most, contributed to creating the current polarized climate and is recognized by major media was the most polarizing politician on the scene today.
A wise person once said you reap what you sow. Sarah Palin and the vitriolic right have spent a decade sowing seeds of fear and hate, demonstrating that it’s ok to be as mean as you want to be. There are consequences. Perhaps the 22 year old paranoid is one of them. Will the tragedy in Tucson be a wake up call or just another sad event in a continuing string of sad events?