The argument from the left that harsh political rhetoric led to the violence in Arizona has been so roundly rebuked that I expect the MSM to drop it and move on to their next campaign. Charles Krauthammer wrote a good piece disposing of this dishonest nonsense.
Michael Medved, with whom I often disagree, made an interesting observation on his show, that these smears are aimed at recapturing women voters to the Democrat side. They have not been appealing to strictly logical thinkers among either sex, but hoping to establish a vague emotional connection linking murderous violence to the right. Those who are swayed by feelings without subjecting them to reason will be fooled — but then, those people will always fall victim to demagoguery.
Here are a few last thoughts on the issue.
1. It looks like the left is still very much afraid of Sarah Palin, the Tea Party Movement and talk radio. These forces hurt them in the 2010 election, and must be destroyed by any means necessary. No lie is beneath the left in this war.
(By the way, so far in this post I have used the words campaign, aimed and war. It’s impossible to write about politics without using violent imagery and war metaphors.)
2. Although the left’s smears come from cynical, Alinsky-like tactics meant to delegitimize their opponents, I think leftists believe what they say. When they lie they think they have a moral right to lie.
As the party of modern philosophy, the left has no confidence in the power of reason to know reality. Radical subjectivism teaches them that there is no truth, only competing narratives. Words are nothing but weapons to be used either by the greedy capitalists in pursuit of profit or by the disinterested philosopher-kings of the left who just want to help their fellow man. When you hold these premises, lies come easily and with smug self-righteousness.
Most Americans, 57 percent, believe the tragic shooting in Arizona isn’t connected to politics. That’s the result of a new CBS News poll which found only 32 percent of respondents aid the harsh political tone had something to do with the shooting.
In the new media world of talk radio and the internet, the left is having a hard time selling their “narrative.” Who knows, someday they might give up character assassination, smears, lies and demagoguery because those tactics have grown so stale they earn nothing but yawns and laughter. At that point they will have two options: an honest debate of ideas or violent revolution. They’re not that desperate yet.