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Shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and Death of Others: Violence Has No Place in a Democracy

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"Stack decided then that he couldn't trust big business and would strike out on his own, only to discover that he couldn't trust a government that cared nothing about people like him, but only about the rich and privileged. And he couldn't trust a legal system, which--in his words, in which "there are two 'interpretations' for every law, one for the very rich and one for the rest of us," a government that leaves us with "the joke we call the American medical system, including the drug and insurance companies [that] are murdering tens of thousands of people a year," with care rationed by wealth, not need, all in a social order in which "a handful of thugs and plunderers can commit unthinkable atrocities...and when it's time for their gravy train to crash under the weight of their gluttony and overwhelming stupidity, the force of the full federal government has no difficulty coming to their aid within days if not hours."

Chomsky suggested that Stack was likely another individual pushed to insanity by what could be called "institutional crimes of state capitalism." He went on to consider Stack's suicide bombing of an IRS Building in a global context.

The painful reality is that the political class bears responsibility. The GOP, which uses racist, homophobic, and bigoted rhetoric in speeches to constituents, bears responsibility. They plant the seeds of violence when they, for example, condone "crazy right wing myths" like Obama aims to create a master race through population control, he's created his own version of Hitler Youth, and Obama wants to take our guns away are all able to rise to the top. The Democrats also need to hold themselves responsible, too: their spinelessness and inability to muster the courage to face hate and hysteria and speak out leads to scenarios where racism, bigotry, and vitriolic hate produce violence.

Recall that on the campaign trail in 2008, President Obama had many chances to address the death threats, hate speech, and racist attacks that were being fired at him. He did not, and in fact, chose during the third presidential debate to downplay McCain-Palin's whipping up of hate and racism on the campaign trail.

In the same debate, he also repeated a criticism of Democratic Representative John Lewis who, as Obama described, "made a statement that he was troubled with what he was hearing at some of the rallies that [Palin] was holding, in which all the Republican reports indicated were shouting, when my name came up, things like "terrorist" and "kill him," and that you're running mate didn't mention, didn't stop, didn't say "Hold on a second, that's kind of out of line."

The Democrats, collectively, have let the GOP and its Tea Party shock troops dismiss reports by agencies like the Department of Homeland Security which have warned " law enforcement officials of a spike in homegrown "rightwing extremism" fueled in part by "antigovernment' sentiments."

That is not to say that there is a need for more authoritarianism or totalitarianism by government agencies that administer security in this country. That is not to say that there should be more suppression of dissent or a suppression of free speech. But, when agencies do their homework and discern that there is a threat, as they are tasked with doing, it should be unacceptable to Americans that a political class dismisses the value and integrity of such reports, that fundamental action is not taken.

Antigovernment individuals are out there. What does it mean to be "antigovernment"? What does it mean to have "antigovernment" sentiments? Why do people act? That answer is the most uncomfortable answer in all this. That answer provides illumination for why a 9-year-old girl is now dead. That answer must be pondered for it is the only way that we can prevent acts of domestic terror from happening in this country.

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Kevin Gosztola is a writer and curator of Firedoglake's blog The Dissenter, a blog covering civil liberties in the age of technology. He is an editor for OpEdNews.com and a former intern and videographer for The Nation Magazine.And, he's the (more...)
 
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PRWatch, a project of the Center for Media and Dem... by Kevin Gosztola on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 10:50:51 AM
You wrote "Violence Has No Place in a Democracy" ... by Julia Landis on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 11:28:24 AM
I think that ummm, if you read this more carefully... by Ned Lud on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 12:33:50 PM
I don't disagree with you and I think you will fin... by Kevin Gosztola on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 1:26:06 PM
Julia the anger and violence is being manipulated ... by Eric Nelson on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 9:47:07 PM
are not connected. Violence is a tool. Democracy i... by Mark Sashine on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 11:35:04 AM
How can you say violence and democracy are not con... by Julia Landis on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 12:11:54 PM
See that it gets recognition ... by Margaret Bassett on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 12:09:07 PM
I think Ryan is already dead. But we also know t... by Ned Lud on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 12:18:59 PM
Although I tend to agree with much of what Olberma... by John Reed on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 1:44:53 PM
So we come away with impassioned heartfelt pleas f... by ronee groff on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 3:05:33 PM
There have been very few articles which you have a... by Sherwin Steffin on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 3:44:49 PM
But, we heavily disagree on how to eradicate the d... by Kevin Gosztola on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 3:50:36 PM
in how you would approach the problem, if given a ... by Sherwin Steffin on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 4:06:39 PM
You are a very passionate young man. You have wha... by Laura Roberts on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 4:58:02 PM
Your comment is a bit disingenuous. I have never c... by Kevin Gosztola on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 5:12:08 PM
Before getting into my thoughts about revolution, ... by Sherwin Steffin on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 5:44:38 PM
People organize nonviolently and peacefully, but w... by Kevin Gosztola on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 6:13:09 PM
as what you say is true. My self there are lines ... by Laura Roberts on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 6:33:36 PM
... that was a half century ago, and much in Ameri... by Sherwin Steffin on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 8:45:05 PM
sorry, initially thought your comment was in respo... by Cheryl Biren on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 9:01:55 PM
I'll look up all your articles and we will see.... by Laura Roberts on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 5:58:06 PM
The word "revolution" is not a negative, not viole... by Cheryl Biren on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 8:36:17 PM
Cheryl, Agree 100% with your post, however it is a... by Eddy Schmid on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 2:00:57 AM
eddy, my comment is relevant to an ongoing issue b... by Cheryl Biren on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 5:51:34 AM
Laura, You and everyone else that refers to Kevin'... by Sherwin Steffin on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 5:52:19 PM
I have two sons his age. I was his age and I had ... by Laura Roberts on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 5:56:17 PM
I think you are probably awake too. ... by Kevin Gosztola on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 6:04:59 PM
And I definitely applaud you for saying it, too.&l... by Virginia Simson on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 10:22:20 PM
he's got a good start as he questions and is passi... by Laura Roberts on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 6:05:04 PM
I do not tell my sons. Kevin you go....but make s... by Laura Roberts on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 6:23:17 PM
I don't advertise it in my bio because I am not wr... by Kevin Gosztola on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 6:33:57 PM
I'm probably hard on you because I want you and yo... by Laura Roberts on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 6:48:46 PM
Unless we are all really in The Matrix. If that's ... by Kevin Gosztola on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 6:51:01 PM
I really believe that our mentally troubled freaks... by Philip Dennany on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 6:14:36 PM
and lacking facts... by Laura Roberts on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 7:02:42 PM
Then you tell me why the US invaded Iraq. Then te... by Philip Dennany on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 7:21:03 PM
The shooter was rejected due to a failed drug test... by Laura Roberts on Sunday, Jan 9, 2011 at 6:26:48 PM
Quote; Shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and Deat... by Eddy Schmid on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 1:46:05 AM
I ask, "Did you read the body of the article or ju... by Kevin Gosztola on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 6:12:10 AM
Sorry, I don't think it is the fault of Palin, Olb... by sbaker on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 8:00:29 AM
Unfortunately, what you have said fails to fit int... by Sherwin Steffin on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 8:19:06 AM
Exactly. He was a nut. It wouldn't matter even I... by Natalie Oberman on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 1:08:08 PM
...that I have been yearning to hear and see on ou... by Taylor on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 10:55:37 AM
As others have stated, truly the best you have wri... by Robert P. Philipps on Monday, Jan 10, 2011 at 2:29:50 PM
I don't think there is a single person reading or ... by Robert Tracey on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 12:41:12 PM
Pay attention to the financial elites. Okay.... by Kevin Gosztola on Tuesday, Jan 11, 2011 at 1:49:22 PM