Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Narrative

One of my problems with the blogging thing is I've always looked at things from the perspective of the big picture -- macro. In doing so I often allow the minutiae to escape me. It's why I don't do short sharp posts, for the most part, like the blogs I love to read do. I'm always trying to fit everything into the bigger picture and for the last 19 months I have to admit the big picture has been scaring the crap out of me.

There are untold consequences to come for the kind of public discourse being allowed to happen in the public square -- hell, hate is not just being allowed, it's encouraged. Witness last week's attack on Shirley Sherrod by a scumbag named Andrew Breitbart. It was proven to not only be demonstrably false but a deliberate lie meant to turn what she said on it's ear and give her words the exact opposite meaning that were intended. Even being called out by their media colleagues doesn't do anything to stop the endless attacks. Maybe it's because guys like Breitbart have many, many, many enablers. And there's seemingly no depths they won't sink to.

The outcomes of such non-stop propagandizing and vitriol can only be guessed at. There's no way of determining what will result in five, ten, fifteen years from now as a result of a steady stream of hate being taught absorbed and taken to heart.

So I wander over to a link at MMFA and read that Glenn Beck's hate-mongering rhetoric nearly got him a demonstrable body count, and that only a bit of luck prevented Byron Williams, a right-wing, government-hating, gun-toting nut who had strapped on body armor, stocked a pickup truck with guns, ammo, and set off up the California coast to San Francisco in order to start killing employees at the Tides Foundation - an obscure organization continually targeted by Glenn Beck on his program. All this in the hopes of sparking a political revolution.

Thankfully, the planned domestic terrorist attack never came to pass because California Highway Patrol officers pulled Williams over for drunk driving on his way to his killing spree. Williams quickly opened fire, wounding two officers during a lengthy shootout. Luckily, Williams wasn't able to act out the ultimate goal of his dark anger -- fueled by the TV news he watched -- about how "Congress was railroading through all these left-wing agenda items," as his mother put it. Williams wasn't able to open fire inside the offices of the Tides Foundation, an organization "nobody knew" about until Glenn Beck started targeting it.

So, happenstance prevented Glenn Beck inspired murder and mayhem this time. It's not likely that we'll be so lucky next time. There is a way to head this off at the pass and that is for people to stand up and declare his speech intolerable and unacceptable in a civilized society. I often declare that we're living in the age of stupid - there's a lot of cowardice going around too.

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