George Packer: No Equivalency; David Frum: Talk May Not Have Caused This, But This Should Cause Talk
George Packer in the New Yorker makes a clear-cut case about the difference between the rhetoric of the left and the right, regardless of whether such rhetoric has anything to do with the actions of Jared Lee Loughner. (h/t Taegan Goddard)
In fact, there is no balance — none whatsoever. Only one side has made the rhetoric of armed revolt against an oppressive tyranny the guiding spirit of its grassroots movement and its midterm campaign. Only one side routinely invokes the Second Amendment as a form of swagger and intimidation, not-so-coyly conflating rights with threats. Only one side’s activists bring guns to democratic political gatherings. Only one side has a popular national TV host who uses his platform to indoctrinate viewers in the conviction that the President is an alien, totalitarian menace to the country. Only one side fills the AM waves with rage and incendiary falsehoods. Only one side has an iconic leader, with a devoted grassroots following, who can’t stop using violent imagery and dividing her countrymen into us and them, real and fake. Any sentient American knows which side that is; to argue otherwise is disingenuous.
And Packer gives kudos to David Frum for his reaction to the tragedy.
As David Frum wrote yesterday: “This talk did not cause this crime. But this crime should summon us to some reflection on this talk. Better: This crime should summon us to a quiet collective resolution to cease this kind of talk and to cease to indulge those who engage in it.” That was the point of my post, and it’s remarkable that Frum seems to be the only conservative who’s had the courage to say anything like it (other than one Republican senator, who, not so courageously, requested anonymity).Click here for reuse options!
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