Vail Daily Editor Don Rogers: Tucson’s false premise |

Vail Daily Editor Don Rogers: Tucson’s false premise

Don Rogers
Vail, CO, Colorado

The partisan rancor in this country needs to tone down into the range of “civility.”

Unhinged people occasionally try to harm famous and powerful people.

I put these points in separate sentences because one does not in fact relate to the other. At all.

Nut cases occasionally try to kill doctors who perform abortions. Using the “logic” of some politicians and pundits connecting dots in the shooting in Tucson last weekend, this would mean that therefore there should be no more abortions.

There are good reasons not to do abortions. The threat of violent lunatics is not among them.

It’s surprising that the standard scapegoats – TV, film and video games – have not been indicted (yet) in this round of finding The Reason those rare unstable people prone to violence go off.

“Hollywood” may have just as much as the state of political discourse to do with Jared Loughner, 22, shooting U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in his 15-second rampage that left six dead and 14 injured.

Which is to say it likely didn’t have much of anything to do with it, either.

Why do I say this? Well, the pundits and politicos have talked smack like this for generations. To be sure, the rancor waxes and wanes, and over the past 15 years or so it seems to be on a high cycle.

And the murder rate has gone … down. Assassination attempts are exceedingly rare. There is no logical correlation between Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin sounding like frothing nut cases and actual nut cases breaking out arms. Same deal with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and all of MoveOn’s nonsense, speaking of froth.

Too bad. I wish just getting the folks who take their politics too hysterically to knock it off would mean the end of deranged individuals attacking others. Alas, it’s not so simple.

We as a country need the partisans to calm down because of the effect on big decisions, not from an irrational fear about something manifestly unrelated.

But obviously, we’re going to have our national snit that lowers the gravity of what happened in Tucson. The Democrats and their pundits are yelling about how the Republicans and their pundits caused this. And the Republicans and their pundits are yelling back that it’s all the usual media plot against poor them.

So, basically, they have learned nothing from the very lesson they are hollering at one another to learn.

How about this: The thought leaders show some? And start leading by example. We don’t need a shooting to understand that much.

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