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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. writes: "Gabrielle Giffords lies in a hospital room fighting for her life, and a precious nine-year-old girl is dead along with five others. Let's pray for them and for our country and hope this tragedy prompts another round of examination of conscience."

Well-wishers light candles at a memorial in front of University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona, where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords remains in a critical condition, 01/11/01. (photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
Well-wishers light candles at a memorial in front of University Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona, where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords remains in a critical condition, 01/11/01. (photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)



Examination of Conscience

By Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Reader Supported News

12 January 11



Petition: Congressional Action on Political Violence Advocacy


n November 22, 1963, Mummy picked me up early from Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. Driving home to Hickory Hill in northern Virginia, I noticed that all the District flags were at half staff. Mummy told us that a bad man had shot Uncle Jack and that he was in heaven. Daddy's friend and former football teammate, Dean Markham, a Justice Department Rackets Division Attorney picked up my little brother David at Our Lady of Victory. "Why did they kill Uncle Jack?" David asked him. Dean, an ex-marine, combat veteran, known as the toughest linesmen on the "GI-Bill Squad," - the toughest football team in Harvard University's history - wasn't tough enough to field that question. He wept silently all the way to our driveway. When I got home, Daddy was walking in the yard with Brumus, our giant black Newfoundland and Rusty, the Irish Setter. We ran and hugged him. We were all crying. He told us, "He had the most wonderful life, and he never had a sad day."

Neither Beck, Hannity nor Savage nor the hate merchants at Fox News and talk radio can claim to have invented their genre. Toxic right-wing vitriol so dominated the public airwaves from the McCarthy era until 1963 that President Kennedy, that year, launched a citizen's campaign to enforce the Fairness Doctrine, which required accuracy and balance in the broadcast media. Students, civic and religious groups filed more than 500 complaints against right-wing extremists and hate-mongering commentators before the FCC.

The Dallas, Texas, airwaves were particularly radioactive; preachers and political leaders and local businessmen spewed extremist vitriol on the city's radio and TV stations, inflaming the passions of the city's legions of unhinged fanatics. There was something about the city - a rage or craziness, that, whether sensible or not, seemed to have set the stage for Jack's murder. The Voice of America, half an hour after the assassination, described Dallas as "the center of extreme right wing." The Texas town was such a seething cauldron of right-wing depravity that historian William Manchester portrayed it as recalling the final days of the Weimar Republic. "Mad things happened," reported Manchester. "Huge billboards screamed 'Impeach Earl Warren.'" Jewish stores were smeared with crude swastikas. Fanatical young matrons swayed in public to the chant "Stevenson's going to die - his heart will stop stop stop and he will burn burn burn!" The mercantile elite that ruled the city carefully cultivated the seeds of hate. Radical-right broadsides were distributed in public schools; the Kennedy name was booed in classrooms; junior executives who refused to attend radical seminars were blackballed and fired. Manchester continued:

Dallas had become the mecca for medicine show evangelists of the National Independence Convention, the Christian Crusades, the Minutemen, the John Birch Society and Patrick Henry Societies and the headquarters of right wing oil man H.L. Hunt and his dubious activities ... The city's mayor, Earl Carroll, a right wing co-founder of the John Birch Society, was known as 'the socialist mayor of Dallas' because he maintained his affiliation with the Democratic Party.

Dallas's oil and gas barons who routinely denounced JFK as a "comsymp" had unbottled the genie of populist rage and harnessed it to the cause of radical ideology, anti-government fervor and corporate dominion.

Uncle Jack's speech in Dallas was to have been an explosive broadside against the right wing. He found Dallas' streets packed five deep with Kennedy Democrats, but among them were the familiar ornaments of presidential hatred; high-flying confederate flags and hundreds of posters adorning the walls and streets of Dallas showing Jack's picture inscribed with "Wanted for Treason." One man held a posterboard saying, "you a traitor [sic]." Other placards accused him of being a communist. When public school P.A. systems announced Jack's assassination, Dallas school children as young as the fourth grade applauded. A Birmingham radio caller declared that "any white man who did what he did for niggers should be shot." As my siblings and I visited the White House to console my cousins John and Caroline, a picket paraded out front with a sign, "God punished JFK."

Jack had received myriad warnings against visiting the right-wing Texas city. Indeed, there had been a sense of foreboding even within our family as he and Aunt Jackie prepared for the trip. Jack made an unscheduled trip to Cape Cod to say goodbye to my ailing grandfather. The night before the trip, Mummy found Jack distant and brooding at a dinner for the Supreme Court Justices. He was very fond of Mummy, but for the first time ever, he looked right through her.

Jack's death forced a national bout of self-examination. In 1964, Americans repudiated the forces of right-wing hatred and violence with an historic landslide in the presidential election between LBJ and Goldwater. For a while, the advocates of right-wing extremism receded from the public forum. Now they have returned with a vengeance - to the broadcast media and to prominent positions in the political landscape.

Gabrielle Giffords lies in a hospital room fighting for her life, and a precious nine-year-old girl is dead along with five others. Let's pray for them and for our country and hope this tragedy prompts another round of examination of conscience.

 

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+83 # Heartbeatt 2011-01-12 09:34
Having spent 20 years researching the reasons for fascism in 1930s Germany, I see so many parallels to America. Yet, it seems to all of us incredible/impo ssible that such parallels could be made. But we still say about Germany: how could a civilised country with such great thinkers and poets become so evil? The USA is full of good and talented human beings of many origins and races. Why is it that these tragic deaths have only now brought about a huge clamor of voices that should have been raised to the skies a long time ago!? Does the Fairness Doctrine not exist any more?
 
 
+5 # Midwestgeezer 2011-01-12 10:56
Google Silver Shirts, William Dudley Pelley, to find parallels with the latent fascism abroad in the land today.
 
 
+19 # Deep Blue 2011-01-12 11:12
Ronald Reagan abolished the Fairness Doctrine in 1987.
 
 
+26 # David Twiggs 2011-01-12 12:48
I'm sorry, Heartbeatt, the Fairness Doctrine was eliminated under President Ronald Reagan. It was it's elimination that enabled the big talk radio to flourish because broadcasters could no longer be forced to provide equal time to less popular ideas. The Fairness Doctrine was created because it was thought at the time, that no one human being or corporation could own the air. That all changed under President Ronald Reagan.
 
 
+25 # Gringaryan 2011-01-12 14:37
"the Fairness Doctrine was eliminated under President Ronald Reagan. It was it's elimination that enabled the big talk radio to florish. The Fairness Doctrine was created because it was thought at the time, that no one human being or corporation could own the air. That all changed under President Ronald Reagan."
And it was under Reagan that the country lost the some of safety nets that provided services to the mentally ill.. it was a horrible and dangerous and inhumane step back for those who do not have full capacity.
 
 
+13 # Progressive_Patriot 2011-01-12 18:36
The United States has been on a steep downhill slide ever since Reagan. his tax cuts for the rich were the beginning of the huge national debt we've been building ever since. His "trickle-down stupidity" has contributed to the ignorance of the extreme right wing.
 
 
-7 # T Meyer 2011-01-14 18:42
I wish that we could have a civil discussion without calling each other names. i.e. Ronald Reagan's "trickle-down stupidity" has contributed to the ignorance of the extreme right. Obama spends more in his first two years than all of the other presidents COMBINED and we are ignorant and stupid. Quit making up "FACTS" as you go along.
 
 
+17 # Sharon George 2011-01-12 15:41
It is my understanding that Ronald Reagan repealed the Fairness Doctrine. Within the last few years the courts have decided it is LEGAL to LIE to the public and call it NEWS! Yes! That's how far off kilter we've come.

Reagan started so many atrocious policies that are now bearing rotten fruit.
 
 
+5 # Progressive_Patriot 2011-01-12 18:38
Including "The government is the enemy". It wasn't true then, but has now become reality.
 
 
+12 # DaveW. 2011-01-13 12:59
Sharon, And that's been the "beauty" (I'm saying this sarcastically) of Fox "News." They throw in a "couple" of actual news items i.e. a flood, a fire, some human interest stories such as you might find in, say, Readers Digest. But the overwhelming bulk of their material is simply a propaganda conduit acting on behalf of the Republican Party and any other Conservatives who share their warped view of how things should be in "their" America. You state, "Reagan started so many atrocious policies that are now bearing fruit." Reagan was the "puppet", trained as an actor,who convinced many Americans of the soundness of trickle down economics and the de-regulation of Government. The same Government that stood as the only barrier to our entire country becoming a wholly owned subsidiary of big business. Now, the plan has nearly come full circle. Government/Busi ness is virtually a single entity. The "Birchers" beginning in the fifties along with spokesmen and Social Darwinist practicioners such as Irving Kristol and William F. Buckley Jr. found, in Reagan, the perfect "pitchman' for their unique brand of "American Fascism." Until, and if, the majority of the American people realize they've been had for chumps, I predict things will get a lot worse if indeed they ever do get better. Citizens V. United has made sure the "rollers" have the upper hand and Obama has done very little to challenge.
 
 
+74 # fredboy 2011-01-12 09:49
Republican students in my high school English class cheered when the principal announced the death of President Kennedy. I was appalled, walked out of school, and have since that time remained appalled by the vicious spirit streaming through and from the GOP.

Palin today showed he utter ignorance of and indifference to the impact of her own vicious rhetoric. Anyone continuing to support her and the Tea Party/KKK stream of hatred despises the real America.
 
 
+3 # dorian brown 2011-01-15 16:59
Fredboy, You are to be cheered for being appalled at the mean-spiritness you saw in HS as a young HS student yourself. What you have said about palin's utter ignorance and indifference to her own viscous rhetoric is SO TRUE! Keep writing.
You are a true mentor of the ethics and analysis needed in the real America today
 
 
-61 # shineonsolar 2011-01-12 10:24
I hate to see Robert Kennedy pontificating when he has become a Venture Capitalist for Renewable Energy projects, most specifically Ivanpah which is harming desert tortoises in the East Mojave. I have very little respect for anything he says now, he is a sell-out to his family.
 
 
+27 # mary1066 2011-01-12 13:13
Quoting shineonsolar:
I hate to see Robert Kennedy pontificating when he has become a Venture Capitalist for Renewable Energy projects, most specifically Ivanpah which is harming desert tortoises in the East Mojave. I have very little respect for anything he says now, he is a sell-out to his family.


Here's a little description of what Kennedy's vile and wicked solar energy startup Ivanpah proposes to create:

# A 370 megawatt nominal (392 megawatt gross) solar complex using mirrors to focus the power of the sun on solar receivers atop power towers.
# The electricity generated by all three plants is enough to serve more than 140,000 homes in California during the peak hours of the day.
# The complex will reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by more than 400,000 tons per year.

So, shineonsolar, I'm curious: what's powering your own internet connection? Astral energy? Is that better than solar power--should we all be scrambling to jump on a successful project that can power computers and hospitals and electric trolleys with it? Please tell us the name of it, if so. If not, what do you propose? Shale oil from stripped mountaintops, oil from Saudi Arabian wells, or coal from Appalachian mines where turtles don't go, but human beings are poisoned and blown up and mangled every day?

Who DO you have respect for?
 
 
+13 # A. Edward Cullin 2011-01-12 13:59
mary1066 I cannot speak to the second paragraph of your comment, I most certainly agree with the sentiments in the third. I live in a corner of Ontario, Canada where there is much criticism of wind turbines, but the NIMBYs offer no alternatives. Meanwhile, back to the topic of this article. Can we not tone down the rhetoric and debate the policies as opposed to attacking the politicians.
 
 
+13 # granny 2011-01-13 07:39
Can't solar and wind and other energy alternatives benefit everyone? But, more to the point, can't we try to listen to one another rather than attack? Mr. Kennedy was writing about civil discourse. Read what he wrote. Think about it. Save the energy debate for another discussion.
 
 
+3 # dorian brown 2011-01-15 17:02
Granny, You are a woman with wisdom!
 
 
+1 # dorian brown 2011-01-15 17:01
YOU ARE SO WRONG! Have you learned nothing from the AZ tragedy?
 
 
+39 # Jennifer Van Bergen 2011-01-12 10:42
Thank you to Mr. Kennedy for this. Nobody else could recall this from your unique perspective.
 
 
+6 # Progressive_Patriot 2011-01-12 18:43
I agree, there is nobody in America that has more right to speak out against the violence and hatred that is once again raising its ugly serpentine head.
 
 
+44 # Christian Mrosko 2011-01-12 10:43
History does indeed repeat itself, hopefully it does so with an increase in awareness and compassion.

Bring back an upgrade to the fairness doctrine.
 
 
+26 # MagneticNorth 2011-01-12 10:48
Quoting Heartbeatt:
The USA is full of good and talented human beings of many origins and races. Why is it that these tragic deaths have only now brought about a huge clamor of voices that should have been raised to the skies a long time ago!?


I am continually re-amazed as to the lengths to which the Right Wing Noise Machine and its apologists will go to drown out any vestige of moderation. The right is a formidable force that believes the end justifies the means. Asking it to tone down the hate rhetoric is akin to waving a hanky in the face of charging Tryanosaurus Rex.
 
 
+3 # Gringaryan 2011-01-15 18:05
and PLEASE!! what's with the "both sides are guilty crap.. that is soooooo not true!
 
 
+17 # atdreams 2011-01-12 10:49
How odd this all seems to me, our schools teach us nothing at all about this type of hate. I was in ninth grade and at school in the San Fernando Valley, California. When they announced the death of President Kennedy all the girls started crying, the boys just seemed shocked. I was shocked too, but kind of removed from it all. California is so different than Texas the Tea Party is like something from somewhere else.
 
 
+6 # Pat Thompson 2011-01-12 18:49
Quoting atdreams:
How odd this all seems to me, our schools teach us nothing at all about this type of hate. I was in ninth grade and at school in the San Fernando Valley, California. When they announced the death of President Kennedy all the girls started crying, the boys just seemed shocked. I was shocked too, but kind of removed from it all. California is so different than Texas the Tea Party is like something from somewhere else.

I was 16 years old, and living in New Jersey when President Kennedy, who I loved, was killed. When the announcement came over the loudspeaker in the high school corridor, there were cheers. I still feel that President Kennedy saved the world from nuclear destruction during the Cuban Missile Crisis, and if he had lived, would have stopped the carnage in Viet Nam. What a different karma our country would have.
 
 
+5 # Progressive_Patriot 2011-01-12 18:50
I remember sitting in my 9th grade algebra class (I spent most of my school years in the Maryland suburbs of Washington DC), when suddenly the radio started broadcasting through the PA system. It wasn't very loud and no announcement was made before it came on. Our teacher tried to just ignore it and keep the class going. After a few minutes, we started to hear what was being said, and he just quietly went to his desk and sat down. It was the last period of the day, and we sat there listening until the period ended.
 
 
+29 # photojack53 2011-01-12 10:56
I had three direct, personal connections to JFK & I was only 10 years old when he was ruthlessly killed. My 3rd grade teacher was named Kennedy, spoke with a Boston accent & was a distant cousin. My father got my two brothers & me excused from school to see Kennedy's motorcade in San Diego in 1962 because he had written a birthday poem & received a signed thank you letter from JFK. I remember a feeling of utter disbelief that someone could commit such a heinous act. At 10, I was unaware of the parallels to Weimar Germany that Heartbeatt referred to. I didn't experience the viciousness that fredboy witnessed. Kennedy's assassination was viewed with 100% revulsion in my environment, as should the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords, a talented, sincere and brilliant politician if there ever was one. To me, Sarah Palin is GUILTY of fomenting the violence in Tucson by placing Giffords in her cross hairs! Palin is vindictive & vacuous still, & those were the first words that came to mind when I first heard of her. The real America that fredboy spoke of should rise up & demand the Fairness Doctrine be resurrected to ensure that the airwaves return to the honor & clarity they once had. The corporate take-over of the media is magnifying the evil right-wing control of all we hear in the daily news. This vital article "Examination of Conscience" must be read widely! photojack53
 
 
+21 # Lorene 2011-01-12 11:15
Robert Kennedy, Jr. writes a very moving, important account of his family's tragedy, as related to the horrific event in Tucson.
 
 
+20 # Jane Elliott 2011-01-12 11:35
Palin's response to the criticism and blame which has been aimed at her is too little and too late. Instead of apologizing for what she might have motivated, she denied that her words had any part of the problem, all the while exhibiting that she believes in the power of words and their impact. Her words are what have made her a multi-millionai re, not her beauty or her brains or her talent. She need to use them more responsibly.
 
 
+7 # wisdom 2011-01-12 12:11
Quoting Jane Elliott:
Palin's response to the criticism and blame which has been aimed at her is too little and too late. Instead of apologizing for what she might have motivated, she denied that her words had any part of the problem, all the while exhibiting that she believes in the power of words and their impact. Her words are what have made her a multi-millionaire, not her beauty or her brains or her talent. She need to use them more responsibly.

this woman strives on irresponsible provocation and controversies. She should be number one public enemy!!
 
 
+9 # lin96 2011-01-12 17:49
Quoting Jane Elliott:
Palin's response to the criticism and blame which has been aimed at her is too little and too late. Instead of apologizing for what she might have motivated, she denied that her words had any part of the problem, all the while exhibiting that she believes in the power of words and their impact. Her words are what have made her a multi-millionaire, not her beauty or her brains or her talent. She need to use them more responsibly.


I have a difficult time believing anything she says. This is a woman with a television show that does nothing but kill animals and advocate shooting. To compare herself with what happened to the jews is unbelievable, ignorant and narcissistic. No one believes for one minute that those bullseyes meant targeting those areas for speeches??? She's done. Who could believe or ever trust this woman?
 
 
+28 # Jacqueline Johnson 2011-01-12 11:58
The Fairness Doctrine was ended during Reagan's Administration. It needs to be resurrected! Accuracy and balance are important but so is the concentration of ownership of stations--which the Fairness Doctrine also tried to limit.
 
 
+4 # giraffe 2011-01-12 13:01
When Rush talks or Palin posts on a Web Site (etc) they are trying to CONVEY a message. When their words and messages convey the attributes and beliefs of the one they support the mantra is very different than the negative and violent message against the opposing party. Gun laws may not stop the terroristic acts of AZ but punishing the abuse of Free Speech that COULD incite terror might.

The disconnect between inciting words posted by Palin and her blame on the unstable 22 year old should be attacked. Hitler proved this fact.

The Republicans led by Boehner to rid Obama in 2012 instead of "fixing" our broken economy and help bring our jobs home is as bad because we don't expect Congress to get rid of a President unless by impeaching him.

If I spoke about my opposition in my lawsuit as Palin or Boner does, I would be put in jail.
 
 
+8 # edgar lopez 2011-01-12 13:40
Those who want to pray, do it.
But what is going to save this country is a moralized US Congress that has become a corrupted ( there are exceptions) bunch of Legislators who have become Mercenaries of the Public Trust and puppets of the Mega Corporations, their lobyysts and the Wall Street crooks. Both Parties are to blame for what is happening to this country. See no difference. We need Political decontamination .
 
 
-11 # jdbranno 2011-01-12 15:45
President Kennedy was not murdered by a right-wing extremist, nor by the "rage" or "craziness" of Dallas, but by Lee Harvey Oswald, a deranged communist who renounced his U.S. citizenship and defected to Soviet Russia.
 
 
+9 # Pat Thompson 2011-01-12 18:52
Quoting jdbranno:
President Kennedy was not murdered by a right-wing extremist, nor by the "rage" or "craziness" of Dallas, but by Lee Harvey Oswald, a deranged communist who renounced his U.S. citizenship and defected to Soviet Russia.

If you can believe that; I have never been able to. President Kennedy had stated his intention to end the Vietnam War, and that was not going to be tolerated by the military industrial complex that thrives on war.
 
 
+6 # acomfort 2011-01-12 21:50
Quoting Pat Thompson:

If you can believe that; I have never been able to. President Kennedy had stated his intention to end the Vietnam War, and that was not going to be tolerated by the military industrial complex that thrives on war.

Another powerful group with an incentive was the Federal Reserve bankers. Executive Order 11110, was signed with the authority to basically strip the Federal Reserve Bank of its power to loan money to the United States Federal Government at interest. With the stroke of a pen, President Kennedy declared that the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank would soon be out of business.

When President John Fitzgerald Kennedy - the author of Profiles in Courage -signed this Order, it returned to the federal government, specifically the Treasury Department, the Constitutional power to create and issue currency - money - without going through the privately owned Federal Reserve Bank.

See:
http://www.john-f-kennedy.net/thefederalreserve.htm
 
 
+5 # genierae 2011-01-13 07:28
President Kennedy had also threatened to break the CIA into little pieces, and this has been seen by many as a reason he may have died. The Kennedy family have served this country for decades, above and beyond the call of duty, and they deserve our grateful thanks.
 
 
+9 # Susan 2011-01-12 15:45
I was 9 years old and in the 4th grade when President Kennedy was shot. When our school principal announced President Kennedy's death over the loud speaker, there was stunned silence. As young as we children were, we grasped the enormity of what had happened. Our teacher cried. My family didn't have a television then, and I watched some of the coverage on television at my best friend's house. I remember her mother crying and shrieking that "Hanging is too good for him." in reference to Lee Harvey Oswald. I was quite surprised by the ferocity of her anger, because prior to his death, my friend's mother loathed President Kennedy. I lived in a very conservative, predominantly Republican town in the midwest. That people would respond to the announcement of President Kennedy's death with cheers would have been unthinkable to me then (and now). Then, as now, the hate filled viciousness of the right wing represented a tiny minority, despite the disproportional influence they wield. What will it take to awaken the slumbering masses?
 
 
+5 # lin96 2011-01-12 17:55
There isn't one of us who doesn't still mourn the deaths of President Kennedy, and Robert Kennedy. My eyes still fill with tears remembering what we went through as a country over those five years. Jackie helped us all through it with as much grace and dignity as she could muster. I appreciate Robert Kennedy Jr.'s remarks as it must be very difficult to relive that horrible occasion so we can understand how it was for him. We pray for the healing of all the families in Tucson in this horrible time of grief. May God Bless them all.
 
 
+13 # dennis 2011-01-12 16:06
One of the very creepiest and most malign elements of the so-called Reagan Revolution and its uninterrupted sequelae was the very quiet revocation of the Fairness Doctrine. If we still had it, there could be no Fox "News". Let's bring it back; we could call it "the Giffords Rule"...
 
 
+7 # genierae 2011-01-13 07:38
If only the people had the power to do that, Dennis. Alas, we've been marginalized in our own country. I'm sure you've noticed that it no longer matters what the people want, the politicians obey their corporate masters. I have one good democratic Senator, Sherrod Brown, who puts our wishes first, but he is not in the majority these days.
 
 
+12 # Leon Fainstadt 2011-01-12 16:30
Great article by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. I met President Kennedy and worked closely with Sen. Robert F. Kennedy's Presidential campaign. Our group, The Sounds of Time, traveled in advance of his speeches in So. California and we would warm up the audiences at each venue. As it turned out I was the last person to have a conversation with RFK before the victory speech at the Ambassador Hotel.

Robert Kennedy deplored violence and his son, RFK Jr., is a great example of the apple not falling far from the Tree.

Unfortunately America is a nation that constantly turns to violence. Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and previous wars have shown us to fight for just about anything. Wars make the rich richer and causes poverty and ignorence to explode.

The reality of our experience in Arizona is a reminder that the illness of violence runs deep. Robert Kennedy was shot on my birthday, June 5th, and it remains one of the saddest days of my life. I pray for the victims and Gabriella Gifford but prayer alone will not resolve our serious problems with guns in America. If the Brady Bill and the assassination attempt on Pres. Reagan were not enough to defeat the NRA then what will? We will need more than prayers for blessings as a nation. We will need a complete makeover.

No Exits were safe in 1968 at the Ambassador Hotel.
 
 
+9 # Pat Blochowiak 2011-01-12 17:56
When will we start a serious boycott of Fox advertisers?
 
 
+1 # Progressive_Patriot 2011-01-12 18:56
Note that Robert Kennedy Jr makes no mention of the loss of his own father to an assassin's bullet a few years later.
 
 
+3 # loonard 2011-01-13 01:57
Perhaps because he was telling a different story this time.
 
 
+10 # BiggerandBetterRed 2011-01-12 21:45
The most terrifying thing about the Tea Party is they are so far from reality there is no way to engage them to bring them back. How can giving everything to wall street and allowing banks free reign to screw us in every way imaginable way the logical solution to the financial collapse, caused by these very banks and this very deregulation?

How can the Tea Party, composed largely of working people honestly believe that giving huge tax cuts to rich people doesnt mean THEY will have to pay for the wars they want, much less the Medicare and SS for their grandma?

If the Tea Party was in charge and there was an oil spill, no cleanup required. That's evil government regulating sanctified global conglomerates.

Miners stuck underground? Tough luck guys, that's the market talking?

why do so many born again christians cheer things like the Pailin crosshairs on the face of our now shot congresswoman?

How can that be "what Jesus would do?"

It all is so illogical its impossible to know what extreme they will go to next
 
 
+5 # genierae 2011-01-13 07:49
BiggerandBetter Red: It seems to me, after careful study of the tea partiers, that they are motivated mostly by racism. Their revulsion for President Obama has unhinged them, ("I want my country back!") and they are capable of anything. They are still living in the neanderthal past, and don't want to face the fact that those who refuse to change will be left behind in the 20th century dust.
 
 
-6 # Peej 2011-01-13 00:17
The comments here are astounding. We have the Tucson shooter, Lee Harvey Oswald, and Sirhan Sirhan, none of whom is a right wing conservative. Yet somehow you can argue with a straight face that it's conservatives' fault that they did what they did and that you need to silence conservative media outlets. What a bunch of irrational little tyrants you all are.
 
 
-6 # Ole 2011-01-13 08:57
Exactly!!!
We have a plethora of outlets, print and broadcast, that will uncritically regurgitate anything from democrats, environmentalis ts, left-wing advocacy organizations, etc. without any demand for balance. Yet, one news station (Fox) and talk-radio need to be silenced because people should not be allowed to hear challenging follow-up question (in the case of Fox) or opposing viewpoints (in the case of talk-radio).
The demand for re-instituting the fairness doctrine is nothing but an admission by the left that they have lost the arguments on the merits. When you can't argue facts and logic, you're only left with demanding that the other side be quiet.
 
 
+1 # Gooshlem 2011-01-22 18:34
Quoting Ole:
Exactly!!!
The demand for re-instituting the fairness doctrine is nothing but an admission by the left that they have lost the arguments on the merits. When you can't argue facts and logic, you're only left with demanding that the other side be quiet.


The fairness doctrine does not shut anyone up. It just makes sure that money is not the only way the other side (mainly not funded by big corporations) gets a "fair" hearing. We need it back again!
 
 
-2 # othermother 2011-01-13 09:54
Don't conflate conservatives with those who publicly call for 'second amendment solutions' and express support for 'patriots' who will remove elected officials they dislike.
 
 
+5 # LeeBlack 2011-01-13 11:31
Hate speech is targeted toward a particular audience and in these times there is a wide audience.. If the words Palin and Beck use fell on deaf hears there would a loud silence. The money they make, the books they sell, the support they gain encourages them to escalate their hate speech.

When people feel abandoned and helpless they are looking for someone to blame and they fall prey to such hate speech. I think that is the parallel with the rise to Hitler.

I think there are twin forces at work. One is the dislike of a 'not like us' President and the other is a disappointment that the hopes that were raised so high when Obama was elected didn't come to immediate fruition. Conservatives, who have an honest ideological difference with Liberal progress have been able to tap into these forces and see this as their avenue back to power. The recent election convinced them they are correct in this view.

I'm tired of the Right trying to say 'the other side is as bad'. Is just isn't true. Even when we questioned Bush and his war in Iraq no one framed the argument with cross-hairs and pictures of targets.

Oh for a return of Payne and Common Sense.
 

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