The shooting in Alexandria, Virginia, was sad. So are extremists who will now use the tragedy for their own mealy, disgusting, political purposes. There’s some level headed thinking to be had as well.
A couple of recent tweets are on point. One comes from Republican political commentator Ana Navarro, who tweeted, “Shooting of Cong. by left-wing extremist as condemnable as slaughtering of heroes in OR by right-wing extremist. American on American hate.”
The other was tweeted out by University of Minnesota Professor of Law and former attorney for the Bush Administration, Richard Painter, who wrote, “A left wing nut with a gun is as dangerous as a right wing nut with a gun. But mental health coverage is harder for him to get than a gun?”
Those tweets shouldn’t make anybody angry. They should make us think.
One thought that keeps running through my mind is that when compromise is impossible conflict is inevitable. It would appear that we need to try and understand why compromise has become a thing of the past. Why legislators who used to put country first, now care only for stringent business and party-line interests as party leaders worry more about special interest groups than for the concerns of the majority?
Do you suppose that business and government interests being allowed to pump truckloads of cash into our political process might have something to do with it?
Beyond that, why, with the election of President Obama, did the Republican Party become “The Party of No?” Could racism and greed be factors and can we possibly get past our current divisions without first understanding who we are? Is there no middle ground between the “general welfare” mentioned in the preamble to our Constitution and free trade Neocon Capitalism which ignores the general welfare of the many while providing great wealth to the few?
Are we condemned forever to repeat these idiotic boom and bust economic cycles that tear us to pieces? Is there no resolution?
Who the hell are we, and how did we get to a point that a man from Illinois felt he had no viable alternative except to grab an assault rifle, drive to Virginia and open fire? Can we be honest enough with ourselves and with one another to get past this?