Before this weekends shootings in Tucson, I was listening to liberal talk show host, Randi Rhodes, who was commenting about the lack of knowledge or respect newer conservative members of Congress had for the US Constitution. She and many callers said that with such obvious disregard and the increase in hate speech used by these new representatives, that this will obviously make people aware of the need for civility and a revitalization of liberal issues, hence Democratic hopes for 2012.
Before the shooting of Gabrielle Gifford and others in Tucson, my general sense was that Randy and friends were off the mark - that none of the people they want to influence were listening to reason in the first, nor last place. As a Buddhist Machiavellian, after watching Karl Rove and his well-funded cohorts rout the Dems in 2010, I foresaw the rhetoric from the right being something like: "Let's finish the job," meaning that the first step was to get a hold of Congress. But, to really get their agenda on track for the good of the American people, it was important to get rid of the rest of the Democratic power in both the House AND Senate AND White House. For this is what is holding back their noble vision for America.
And I thought it would work.
But, now I am wondering.
The media is beginning to take a serious look at hate speech, at the ridiculous hyperbole, at insults lobbed across the isle from both sides. Of course, Glen Beck and the like are working hard to make the case that this poor young assassin was just a nut; that there was no politics or political influence tainting his limited world view.
Truly, this is not the case. And I am wondering: Will this sacrifice of lives actually turn us in a kinder, more conciliatory direction? Or, in a time when it seems like public figures cannot admit to changes of heart or direction, will the polarized continue to walk down a more crazed and treacherous path and pull the rest of us along for the ride?