It's irrelevant where you stand politically. If I could predict what happened in Arizona yesterday...and a lot of us did, some time ago...anyone could.
People busy pointing fingers, or ducking them, miss the point. Of course the dude was a loon, and of course there have always been loons. Sarah Palin did not pull the trigger. What's different in this day and age is we live in an environment where extreme rhetoric is everywhere. It used to be condemned. Now it's encouraged, it's accepted, it's what we hear everywhere around us. We can't have sane conversations anymore about differences of belief or policy. Our responsibility lies where we elevate the crazy talk over the sane. We're all culpable for going along with it....our media, first and foremost.
We have become a nation of people nursing our own grievances, talking past one another, ignoring any information we don't like, and avoiding introspection at all costs. And our media has been right there, milking it all the way to the bank, ready to cater to the worst in all of us, giving us all plenty of ammunition for our own pet belief systems. And we're all dumb enough to buy into it.
Whose fault is this event? The shooter's of course (or, if you like, whoever didn't get the guy some help or the mental heath system or whatever axe you wish to grind). But has the country become a place that gives the most radical, unreasonable and unbalanced people a bigger platform than everybody else? And will that result in more unstable people being encouraged to get their loony rocks off?
You betcha. And as we deplore the decline in our discourse, we'll all be busy blaming that on someone else...whoever isn't "us." And be mortally offended when that finger gets cast in our own direction.
This is gonna work out great, America. Keep right on being 6.