It’s sad and frustrating that one of my first columns of the year has to be about this subject, but I have a feeling it won’t be the last I write about this subject..
The Politicization of a Crime
By Michael Kleen
If the grave wounding of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the murder of U.S. District Judge John Roll and five others was not political when the shots were fired, it soon became so. No sooner had news hit the airwaves that a Democratic congresswoman was the target of an assassination attempt, pundits and politicians on the left rushed to condemn their ideological opponents on the right with the usual rhetoric against “anger” and “hatred.” In the minds of these commentators, the shooting demonstrated that vitriolic political rhetoric, coupled with the availability of firearms, foments violence. It is not the event itself, however, but the politicization of this event that is the revealing factor. The effort to use this crime to score political points is an offense to common decency and underscores the decay of political life in the United States.
“Opponents are demonized, dissent is attacked, and debate is shut down, all in the name of using the law and the power of government to impose ideological and social agendas on the public by any means necessary.”