I sat down to write a post about the Tucson shooting last weekend and the toxic rhetoric that may or may not have contributed to it, but then I found that Fred Clark of the Slacktivist made the very point I was hoping to make, so go read him instead:
Violent language and violent rhetoric can be a problem, but I do not think it is the main problem afflicting our diseased political discourse.
The main problem, rather, is disingenuous rhetoric that coolly and calmly demands a violent response from anyone who believes it or takes it seriously. This talk may have nothing to do with guns or crosshairs or “reloading,” but it is the logic of life and death. That logic doesn’t just raise the possibility that some unhinged person on the fringes might take it wrong. It suggests and requires violent action as an unavoidable moral obligation.