Fortunately very few people who will read this post will have had the opportunities to directly ‘see’ what I am describing. It is a blessing and it is a curse. The blessing is no one should need to see what goes on in third world countries in the name of angry constituents (KENYA BURNING : MGOGORO BAADA YA UCHAGUZI 2007/ 8- photos of post election violence ASIN: B004GYGKNM ) and the curse is that if you don’t see what goes on, you don’t understand it when it happens right under your nose, on your doorstep.
In the case of the assault with a gun on Gabrielle Giffords (D- Congresswoman) and multiple other community members, a person of clearly unstable mentality gave homage to the voices in his head. Whether or not Jared Loughner was unstable is only part of the issue as there are tons of people in the world only marginally reeled in by meds. What is unfortunate is that Jared’s media diet relied on people who felt it was appropriate (professional? mature?) to make a point by using phrases such as in the cross hairs or go shoot up some one with an M-16. This media diet is the exact same diet fed to the villagers in Eldoret (post election violence Kenya 2007), Rwanda, Sarajevo….anyplace there has been genocide when people collectively felt they deserved something more than what they obtained from their government.
Whether or not Sarah Palin and the cronies of her ilk are mature enough to realize that a particular type of media diet does effect/influence ones thinking is not of great import. What is of value is that we, as a nation rise up to higher levels of thinking and communication so our brand of democracy is not viewed as gutter scum by every other country in the world. We get to choose (each of us) what is MEANINGFUL discourse about issues. Each of us has the power to tell our leadership we are not interested in being talked down to as if we were shamefully stupid, rather, we expect our leaders to discuss ideas and use vocabulary from a thesaurus.
If no one is clear on what happens when the media diet uses too many negative words, phrases, assumptions, may I suggest cracking open a world history book. What we don’t understand and choose to replicate, we are for certain doomed to repeat. Certainly now would be a great time to begin teaching history again rather than having it be some second tier curriculum to literacy and maths.
Contact your senators, congresspeople, governor, vp, president – let them know you are intelligent and expect the people who run for public office in your country and who represent your interests need to act like adults OR make way for those who can.