The Politicization of a Crime

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.

Read the entire column at STR

“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.”

About Michael Kleen

Michael Kleen is an author, raconteur, and freelance columnist. He has a M.A. in History and M.S. in Education. He lives in Rockford, Illinois, where he was the 2013 Republican candidate for mayor.

Posted on January 12, 2011, in Columns and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. While I agree with your general point, I think your effort to be even-handed waters down the truth somewhat with regard to the Tuscon massacre. You seem eager to blame both the Left and the Right. While I have little doubt that the putative “Right” would try to score partisan points off of a similar tragedy, by and large they are not doing so here. It’s by and large the Left that are the shameless, intellectually dishonest ones in this case. They so desperately want Loughner to be a certain type of killer who fits a certain sort of profile that they willfully ignore all the evidence that proves that he is indeed nothing but a “nihilistic” and mentally deranged nut, with no interest in partisan politics.

  2. It’s true it’s not the right wing who are guilty this time, but I think both sides share the blame for the increasing political polarization. That’s what I was trying to get across there.

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