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Gabrielle Giffords in the Crosshairs

 

One of the important things about the Ayn Randish-type philosophy is surely that you must take responsibility for the results of what you say, or communicate generally.

One of the things we know about a large mass of Americans is that they tend to take things literally – the bible for instance. So if you are a person of influence and you put rifle crosshairs on a person you should take responsibility that – even though you may have meant it metaphorically in the spirit of rough-and-tumble political rhetoric – someone might take that literally as an invitation or even an exhortation to shoot the person. Sarah Palin didn’t. She has taken down the web-page with the crosshairs and replaced it with an almost innocuous page with “sincere condolences” and promised prayerfulness. She knows of course that it would be inappropriate to leave that page up there with the crosshairs. What she probably fails to understand is that it was inappropriate and dangerous to have it up there in the first place.

Unfortunately for her, her clean-up crew missed the image on Palin’s facebook page. You know that guy in Pulp Fiction who does the cleanup? This one’s fired!

We’re not saying that the shooter even knew about the page or that he was motivated by it if he did. We are saying that it – and the teabaggers’ rhetoric generally – was reckless and irresponsible.

Sarah Palin Before:

Sarah Palin - before

Sarah Palin After:

Sarah Palin after

On this new page Palin talks about the “tragic” shooting as if it comes as a surprise. It isn’t “tragic”. It’s predictable, unfortunate and embarrassing (for Palin). The thing about Tragedy is that it’s typically an unhappy event over which we have no control. The gods are toying with us. This, we think, is Palin’s way of avoiding responsibility. But if Palin were a decent and honest peson she would have said, “I don’t think my words and actions have contributed to this awful outcome but in case they did, or might, I am changing the way I express myself in the future. I will use less violent language in case a stupid person takes me literally and does something crazy.”

She and all the other teabaggers already knew that their shrill calls for action against Democrats who voted for “Obamacare” had led to violence against Gabrielle Gifford. They simply can’t claim blamelessness and innocence. We suppose they could properly claim ignorance.

And here’s Representative Gifford in 2010:

[flv:http://valuesaustralia.com/blog/giffords.flv 540 305]

 

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