Why Sarah Palin™ Is Like A Boil On The Ass Of America
Perhaps more dangerous than some euphemistic violent imagery, is coupling it with fear. Few things have proven more consistent in history than the triumph of irrational fear over logic.
Identify a vague and ubiquitous entity. Tell Americans they want to take away our rights, and you'll pique curiosity. Don't explain anything, don't back it up with facts, just give it a spooky nebulous quality. Threats of tyranny and loss of freedom with ideas of violence and revolution create both a problem and a solution – albeit a violent one. After the Tunisian government fell, Neil Cavuto of Fox News alluded to a similar overthrow of the American government, because food prices were going up. Way to plant the seed, Neil.
While we cannot say that Palin's™ map alone was the definite cause of any violence, it would be foolish to ignore the fact that shortly after is publication, four of the targeted representatives had their homes vandalized, Representative Giffords included.
Palin's™ map was a mere fragment of a larger problem; a splinter off the Trojan Horse that is American conservative punditry; machine that positions itself as the voice of the people while infecting its victims with the idea that this democratically elected administration intends to take away their God-given rights, (those bestowed by their God and no one else's). It has become so efficient that it spawned the Tea Party, a movement that is significantly rooted in unsubstantiated fear and lies, but nevertheless is gaining clout due to this very machine.
Sarah Palin™ has played her part, but when set against the backdrop of her peers, she is only one in a sleuth of fear-mongers. Almost nightly, you can see Glenn Beck's obsession with tyranny, as he scrawls incessantly on his chalkboard of oppression; which somehow always manages to have a swastika on it and links George Soros to the devil. He has joked about killing Michael Moore, and warned that "you will have to shoot them in the head" referring to all the commies that politicians are befriending. Sharon Angle spoke of "second amendment remedies" and candidate Richard Behney declared, "If we don't see new faces [elected into office], I'm cleaning my guns and getting ready..." The list goes on.
The study, Mobilizing Aggression in Mass Politics, conducted at the University of Michigan, found that while many people are adverse to violent metaphors in politics, there are the trait aggressive – people more likely to engage in aggressive behavior regardless of the situation – who do respond to violent imagery. As one of the few studies of its kind, it cannot be taken as the final word, but it is an important insight to the possible effects a constant smattering of vicious language can have on people.
After the shooting, much of this par-for-the-course violent hyperbole was criticized. Palin's™ response to critics was just as expected: a disjointed mess of empty, accusatory statements tied together with phrases like "what the people want" and "greatness of our country." In a single breath, she contradicted herself indicating that her words could not incite violence, but the critique of her words could.
It was an insight to her vapid irrational thought process. She lacks empathy and does not understand. She makes statements about oppression and taking the country back, but I have to ask, "From what?" This is an elected administration. Who are we taking the country back from? The people? Yes, employ violent means to get your ideological way.
She made one good point, which I think we can all get behind: violence should not stifle debate. But when U.S. Rep. Alan West told his supporters he wanted to make his political foe "afraid to come out of his house," you have to question if that sends the same message as "let's debate our differences."
Fear can be a powerful weapon. Like a child with a gun, Palin™ wields it with reckless abandon, and may never understand the potential consequences of her words or actions. A call to violence is one problem, but by itself will often succumb to reason. If however, those invoking violent rhetoric connect it to fear via stories of tyranny, and declare that they want to take your freedom, and remind you of noble revolutions, there will inevitably be an alarming number of people who will – as the poster goes – become "enraged with fear until they feel justified in their violence."
Sarah Palin™ Enrages With Fear
By James Meyers