Monday, January 10, 2011

The Best and Worst of America

I assume that by this time, everyone knows what happened in Tuscon, AZ, on Saturday morning. A young man, Jared Lee Loughner, opened fire on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the crowd that had come to listen to her speak. Gabrielle took a bullet to the head and is in critical condition but is expected to recover. 16 other people were hurt and 6 killed, including a federal judge and a 9 year old girl.
The best response to a tragedy of this magnitude would be to arrest the man who did it and rally around the families of the victims, both living and deceased, offering them prayers and solace. And I'm sure there were shining examples of the best of America at a time like this, but those were overwhelmed and drown out by the worst of America - the blaming.
There are two things I'd like to make perfectly clear to all the liberals out there who are trying to blame Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, Glenn Beck, and the whole conservative movement in America for the deaths that took place. First, THERE ARE RAVING, DANGEROUS EXTREMISTS ON BOTH SIDES. To place all the blame on the right for the "Climate of Hate" (as Paul Krugman put it) in the country is to say that one party is perfect and the other is to blame for everything bad that happens in this country. If this country is flawed, if this country has problems, both parties have responsibility. The examples that the liberal media dug up to "prove" that it's the right's fault are negated by the fact that the same things can be found on the liberal side. Something about removing the plank...
Second, THIS WAS NOT A POLITICAL ASSASSINATION, despite what the leftist media started saying the moment the tragedy hit the airwaves. Unlike the media, who are far too willing to state the "facts" before the facts are even known, I reserved judgment until I knew more about what had happened. If it had been a raving, dangerous, right-wing extremist, I would have said the assassination was done by a raving, dangerous, right-wing extremist. If it had been done by a raving, dangerous, left-wing extremist, I would've said it had been done by a raving, dangerous, left-wing extremist. But the evidence (that's come out so far) points to this guy being neither. He wasn't motivated by a passionate adherence to political ideology.... he was mentally unstable and snapped.
For example, these are the books he read - Hitler's Mein Kampf, Rand's We the Living, Plato's Republic, and Marx's Communist Manifesto. The raving on his YouTube videos and MySpace page also show some liberal and some conservative ideology. But more than that, it shows a man who is clearly mentally unstable, schizophrenic even, and who wouldn't be able to articulate or adhere to a political ideology in his present state of mind. (And no, this doesn't mean he'll get an insanity plea - statements taken from his MySpace page show that he knew that what he was about to do was wrong).
At the end of the day, there will always be tragedies. But the tragedies are only made worst when the best of America is overshadowed by the worst of America.


  1. I'm not so certain that the best of America is overshadowed by the worst of America, even in Arizona in recent days (or, depending on one's point of view, the recent Republican victories, or the passage of comprehensive health care legislation).
    There is so much that is right and much that is moral and much that is humility and modesty...that we don't see, don't know, or in our pessimistic outlooks don't comprehend.
    Yes, there is tragedy. There is evil. There is wickedness. And it's right here, right now. But the darkness cannot overcome the light; instead, even the smallest light always overcomes the darkness.

  2. Yes, I agree with you. I meant that the best is overshadowed by the worst in what the the media has been portraying. Usually in tragedies like this, the media will have stories of courage and sacrifice; of candlelight prayer vigils; of strangers stepping forward to donate food or money as there is need; of a nation coming together to offer comfort. However, on all the news networks, there's either articles about who's to blame for it or articles discussing articles about who's to blame for it. I've never seen something like this before - it is SO negative.
    And the saddest thing is that there ARE good, positive, uplifting stories in this tragedy. The 9 year old girl's parents are Christians who have chosen to forgive the murderer. One of the men in the crowd, after being grazed by a bullet, risked his life when he went after the gunman to stop him from killing anyone else. Someone else saved Gabby's life by stopping the bleeding from her head with his own hand. THESE are the stories we want to hear; these are the stories that bring people together; these are the stories that show that, despite our differences, we're a nation of people who responds with courage and compassion when tragedy strikes. And as long as we do, hate and evil will not win.