Saturday, January 08, 2011

Violent metaphors have no place in political debate

We're now slowly getting more information about the horrific events in Tucson, Arizona. The welcome news is that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is hanging in there after surgery & the hospital's trauma director says he's as optimistic as it's possible to be in the circumstances. However, it's completely heartbreaking that a 9 year old child has died. The poor wee one. I can only imagine what his or her parents are going through & I feel for them so much.

Much discussion is taking place on Twitter about an item on Sarah Palin's website which appeared during the recent mid term elections. It showed a map of the US with crosshairs over the constituencies of 20 Democrats who had voted for health care reform. I don't think for a minute that Sarah Palin actually meant anyone to actually go & shoot any of these people, but it was undeniably vulgar, tasteless and completely unacceptable.

I find this sort of violent rhetoric extremely disturbing. During the tuition fees protests, effigies of Nick Clegg were hanged. At the time that absolutely gave me the creeps. How horrible for his wife & young kids to see that for a start, not to mention the messages it might give out to others.

Whatever your political disagreements with people, they are still real people. No matter how far apart on ideas, most politicians are good people. Certainly you have to look very hard to find good in some, but, still, they're human beings & don't deserve to be portrayed in violent imagery.

Let's hope that this tragic & appalling event leads to politicians on both sides of the Atlantic taking a long hard look at some of the language they use & that in the future debates are confined to robust analysis of the issues.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


cynicalHighlander said...

Breaking: Targeted by Palin, AZ Congresswoman Shot

Adrian Cruden said...

Agree entirely - too many politicians employ violent rhetoric in campaigning: I recall well Cecil Parkinson proudly showing off the Conservatives's "warboard", some sort of campaign map, during the 1983 election before stumbling to correct himself by saying "oh, we don't use that name any more...". But Mr Clegg did also borrow George Bush's "decapitation strategy" from the Iraq war to describe Lib dem objectives for target seats in the last election, so no one is immune.

I do think there is a symbiotic link between the psychology of political campaigning and actual warfare - Clauswitz famously described war as the continuation of politics by other means. Our leaders would do well to reflect on this.

Anonymous said...

check out his Utube videos he seems mentally disturbed this is what happens when you have no gun control


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