The shooting today of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others was the tragic result of the careless talk at Tea Party rallies in the last 18 months. When Tea Party activists call for Second Amendment solutions to issues and irresponsible politicians like Sarah Palin fan those flames with talk of "reloading" and "targeting", no one can or should be surprised by the end result. It's time for the Republican Party and its Tea Party fringe to become responsible with their words.
One can also point blame at media stooges Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity for stirring up this violent anti-establish activity. But, my sense is that not one of the three feels that they bare any responsibility. Gentlemen, I sense that Mussolini, Hitler and Stalin felt the same way.
I remember Chris Matthews cautioning months ago that the rhetoric was going to result in getting someone killed. Sadly, you were absolutely right Chris. Unfortunately, it seems no one on the right heeded your warning.
Is this the new America? Has this great country that always found a way to pull together for the common good now been pushed to the extreme fringes? Will we now settle our political disputes with guns, like some third world or middle eastern country? I pray not.
So, what's the solution? The first action should be for Democratic and Republican
leaders of Congress, along with President Obama and Vice President Biden, to get together in a show of National unity. They should release a joint statement - call it The Bipartisan Pledge To America - vowing to end all senseless accusations, violent rhetoric and mean-spirited personal attacks between the parties. The parties should then appeal to their respective supportive media outlets to tone down the divisive rhetoric.
The lesson learned from today needs to be that no one should be killed or violently injured because of political differences. As we saw earlier in the week, America is the place where power changes hands in a civil manner. That is also how policy debates should be handled. But, unless the extremists on both sides put a lid on their behavior, today will not only be the beginning of the violence, but possibly the end of the America we all love.
In closing, my mind is focused on the most challenging part of the Lord's Prayer: Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. May that forgiveness begin tonight and may God Bless and Forgive America!