"Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you”


Monday, April 6, 2009

When Does the Right Cross the Line?

A month ago, I wrote a post "Wingnut Get Your Gun" about a frightening email I had received under the Human Events banner. I feared the right wing was fomenting panic among its base in the wake of the Democratic ascendancy in Washington. This past week, The New York Times took notice of this rising apocalyptic rhetoric. With mass shootings peppering our national newscasts on a seemingly daily basis, one wonders if our nation has become unhinged. Is anyone - beyond the shooter - responsible for these irrational acts?

The violence seems to go beyond the all-too-common tragedies of relationship breakdowns and economic dislocation. On Friday, when I heard the Binghamton shootings occured in a facility devoted to assimilating immigrants, I feared our worst xenophobic impulses had turned deadly. In North Carolina a gunman terrorizes a nursing home. In Oakland and Pittsburgh, police officers are gunned down with impunity.

It is the assassinations of the Pittsburgh officers that is most troubling, especially for those of us watching the dangerous rise of right wing panic about guns. Under the guise of defending the Second Amendment, the ultra-conservative base has taken to arming itself at an unprecedented pace.

The extreme right has spawned many native-grown terrorists. Is the next Eric Rudolph or Timothy McVeigh listening to the ravings of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Michelle Bachman, plotting the next outrage? Will the hate-mongers on the right accept their role in cultivating these terrorists?

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