Language is used to inspire, motivate, educate, and communicate so language is important and must be used with precision. Words have meaning and the selection of words is important. For the last 30 to 40 years the “Conservative movement” has been using language to divide the country and convey an anti-government message. Last Saturday the impact of that language manipulation resulted in the death of six and the wounding of 14. This shooting in all likelihood has caused the seat of one Congressional district to become vacant or that district to be deprived of representation.
The use of words such as “Death Tax”, “Death Panels”, “Traditional Values”, etc. have been used to inflame and mislead the population as a whole. Most of us have some understanding of the common meanings of the words being used but all word when placed in context do not convey a common understanding. For example must of us understand the word traditional but tradition is time and culturally dependant to assume that all people share the same traditions is a false argument and leads to misunderstanding and discontent within the country and frustration with those who are suppose to be providing representation not only to a select few but those within there district and state as a whole. Values are personal by definition and to use that term with out definition as it has been used by the “Conservative Movement” for example “Conservative Values” and “Family Values” as if there is some common core of shared values without nuance and areas of gray is to use the term for the reader of listening audience to provide their own meaning and again used to divide.
When political leaders, motivators, commentators, and blogers use terms such as “Targeted”, “Traditional”, or any number of term should provide context as to how they are using that term or word. In the case of the word “Targeted” the meaning or context was supplied not by clear explanation but by actions and illustration. The placement of what appears to by the sites of a rifle scope over select congressional districts implies that the use of a rifle to remove that representative is an acceptable alternative. The brandishing of weapons at rallies by groups with names associated with the revolution indicates that revolution is once again an acceptable alternative to the political process without first exhausting all the political alternatives.
Read any article posted on AOL, Political, Yahoo, etc. where readers are allowed to submit comments and within minutes of it’s submission online the “Conservative” response machine is online with ridicule and one liners flaming the writer without ever entering into constructive debate as to the subject matter.
Like many when I found out about the shooting I had an initial gut reaction but choose not to comment on the events but instead to read the comment of others and evaluate the discussion. From the moment the event was reported the “Conservative/GOP” machine sprang into action with comments designed to discredit and marginalize those who would draw the obvious conclusion that this shooting was related to the current rhetoric being used by such “Conservative Leaders” as Sarah Palin. While there maybe no direct link between the events of Saturday and the “Tea Party”, the “Conservative Movement”, and the “GOP” to ignore the fact that the rhetoric and actions of these groups made this shooting acceptable and gave permission to the shooter to care out this horrific action.