Sunday, June 18, 2017

Last week's violent shooting

Last week was not a good one.

Violence erupted and US House Majority Whipe Steve Scalise was among those shot.


US President Donald Trump summed it up this way:

This week, our nation was shocked and horrified when a gunman opened fire on a Member of Congress.  Five people were wounded in the assault, including a member of House Leadership – my good friend, Steve Scalise.

Steve is beloved across Washington, he embodies everything public service is about – he’s dedicated to his constituents, devoted to his values, and deeply committed to his country.  I visited Steve, his wife, and his family in the hospital as he continues to fight for his recovery.  435 Members of Congress, and 300 million Americans, are pulling for him, praying for him, and pledging to him our full and total support.

We continue to hold all of those wounded and fighting for recovery in our hearts and prayers, including Matt Mika, who was also badly wounded.

In that terrible crime, we also witnessed the incredible heroism of Capitol Police.  Special Agent Crystal Griner – who I also had the honor of meeting during my visit to the Hospital – raced into gunfire, along with Special Agent David Bailey.  They saved the lives of our Members of Congress and prevented that dark day from becoming a tragedy beyond imagination.  They, like so many other courageous police officers, represent the very best of us. We salute them, and we also salute members of Alexandria Police, Fire and Rescue.

Though we have our differences, what unites us is so much stronger: our love of country, our devotion to its people.  Now more than ever, these values must guide us – and bring us closer together.  Let us always remember that our job is to serve and represent the whole American People – and that we are all children of the same God.

Before opening fire, the shooter made sure to determine that potential victims would be Republican.

A climate has been fostered in this country.

  1. Dems aren't responsible for the shooting, but they're responsible for fostering a paranoid political climate


It's a climate that has gotten worse and worse ever since the election.

Some Democrats -- this includes elected officials like US House Rep. Maxine Waters -- have made irresponsible statements that would have been called out just two years ago by the media.

But the media has been part of this landscape as well.

They have promoted conspiracy theories as fact non-stop.

Their visceral hatred of Donald Trump has infected our culture.

Michael Tracey (MEDIUM) notes:

Proclaiming that the president engaged in treason — as many members of Congress and media figures have — is going to have an influence on the broader public, and included in that broader public are people who might be deranged and/or have violent inclinations.
If you deny that the kind of overblown rhetoric that Democrats have specialized in over the past months — warning about traitorous subterfuge and foreign infiltration — can have any trickle-down effect on regular people, you’re deluding yourself. And yes, this same principle applies across the board. Republicans and conservatives who wail delusionally about Sharia Law and the usurpation of American institutions by scheming Muslims also have this effect. Given that Islam-obsessives promote a political ideology that reeks of paranoia and conspiratorial fancy, it should be no surprise that disturbed individuals occasionally latch on to these beliefs and commit acts of violence. When this occurs, the act can be reasonably attributed to the right-wing provocateurs who have spewed such propaganda for such an extended period of time. Does that mean you can assign direct culpability to any given provocateur for any given violent act? No. To do that would be to make an unfounded claim of causation, and establishing causation is inherently tenuous in these situations. But it’s ridiculous to suggest that political beliefs can’t motivate unstable people to act in certain ways, including in ways that bring about violence.

Media figures like Rachel Maddow, to cite only one, did not pull a trigger nor did they put a gun in the hand of shooter.  But they did promote a climate of hatred and that is on them.

They sewed a climate

Eric London (WSWS) points out:

Many in the political establishment have expressed shock and disbelief over Wednesday’s events. They have no right to be surprised. Such events are now a common feature of American life, with 372 mass shootings reported in 2016 alone.
The United States is dominated by violence and inequality, and yet the vast majority of the population has no way to express its social anger through the institutions of government, the courts, the trade unions, the corporate press or the political parties.
The political battles in Washington are utterly remote from the real concerns of masses of people. At a time when the Democratic Party expends all its political energy on an hysterical anti-Russian campaign aimed at bringing about a shift in Trump’s foreign policy, what motivates popular anger in the working class is not lurid claims of a Russian conspiracy, but social inequality and war.
There are lessons to be drawn. Social anger is real and it is building. Millions of workers will be looking toward the development of social struggle—not individual terrorism—to address the many problems of personal and social life. The task of the International Committee of the Fourth International is to unify all of the disparate social struggles of workers and youth in a mass political struggle for the socialist reorganization of the world economy.

A lesson in last week for all.

For the media, they need to stop presenting their revenge fantasies on Donald Trump as fact.

For the politicians, they need to lower the rhetoric.

For the political parties?

They need to grasp how many people are being disenfranchised by a system that does not listen to them, does not represent them and ignores them.

A conversation should be taking place with self-examination.

This could also include the topic of what message is two endless wars (Iraq and Afghanistan) sending -- not just overseas but domestically?

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