Our Noble, Peaceful Politics

This line of thinking is starting to get on my goddamn nerves:

The great miracle of American politics is that although it can tend toward the cutthroat and thuggish, it is almost devoid of genuine violence outside of a few scuffles and busted lips now and again. With the exception of Saturday’s slaughter, I’d wager that in the last 30 years there have been more acts of physical violence in the stands at Philadelphia Eagles home games than in American politics.

You know, that’s fine, the last 30 years. How about a few years before that? It’s not like there aren’t still people alive who can’t rememberthis:

James Meredith, the first black man to brave the colour bar at the University of Mississippi, has been shot and wounded after entering Mississippi on a civil rights march.

Police have arrested a 41-year-old white man named Aubrey James Norvell from Memphis on suspicion of carrying out the shooting.

I’m really about done with us congratulating ourselves on how awesome we are now, as if all of that was 3,000 years ago. As if it was Elizabethan England. As if it was ancient history. And also, really? Really? “With the exception of this latest round of dead people, it’s not that bad?” That’s what you’re going with? What the blue-arsedChrist.

Here’s the thing: There is lots and lots of political violence in this country. We kill people with our politics every single day. When we consign them to poverty, when we keep them from places of learning worthy of their aspirations, when we declare their needs invalid, when we find a way, any way, in our desperate avoidance of giving a shit, to ignore the sick and downtrodden, that is violence.

Just because nobody’s firing a gun doesn’t make it any less deadly. Or any more moral.


10 thoughts on “Our Noble, Peaceful Politics

  1. “With the exception of this latest round of dead people, it’s not that bad?”
    Also, Bush kept us safe. And such. Too.

  2. Um…Oklahoma City? Dr. Tiller? Harvey Milk? James Brady? I’m small and covered with fur and all, but I bet a smart person could make an arm-long list of domestic atrocities leading right up to the foreclosure and health care crises, which kill people every day. Thirty years?

  3. That comfy well-paid columnist can say that because nobody’s winging a bullet at his ass.
    And what is he talking about? “More violence at a Philadelphia Eagles game?” What does he think Oklahoma City was? Or the killing of Dr. George Tiller? Or the Capitol policemen? The nut who winged bullets at the White House when Clinton wa in office? The whacko who attempted the crash his plane inot the White HOuse? The madman who crashed his plane into that IRS office, killing an innocent person–which action some Republo-fool politician said he could “sympathize” with?
    Or does it only “count” if some supposed lefty is responsible?

  4. Harvey Milk and George Moscone were both assassinated for political purposes about 32 years ago, and both were liberals killed by a nutjob conservative. Rarely does a liberal attempt violence against a conservative, but the opposite if almost an American tradition.

  5. WORD. Dang but I want to give you a hug.
    I’m going so nuts with all of this soul-searching about our “uncivil discourse,” which near as I can tell is cut-and-pasted from thelast time we had a national soul-searching about our “uncivil discourse.” Let’s see, was that back in December when a nutter shot up the Panama City school board? Was it in October when Jon Stewart had his “Rally To Restore Sanity”? Was it back in May when an armed Georgia militia nutter (a member of “Oath Keepers”) went to Tennessee to take over the Madisonville courthouse?
    Or in March when Sarah Palin’s cross-hairs ad and “Don’t Retreat: Reload!” Tweet first appeared? Or earlier that month when John Patrick Leddell shot up the Pentagon? Or when another anti-government mentallin inbalanced nutter flew his plane into Austin’s IRS building?
    I mean Jesus Christ on a saltine, how many more of these wake-up calls do we need? HELLO?!

  6. The sanitation of history.
    Also has the negative effect of turning deep debates of the past into a pablum reading of dates.

  7. I guess it depends on what he means by genuine violence.
    Weapons grade anthrax in the mail = not genuine violence.
    Pipe bombs in the mail = not genuine.
    Dead law enforcement officers in Pittsburgh = not genuine.
    People gunned down in Unitarian church = not the real thing.
    He wants his violence genuine, like the kind they show in the movies.

  8. Athenae,
    I’m old. I remember the last successful purely political assassinations in this country. One of them was Bobby Kennedy, and the other one was his brother, John.
    Which douchebag pundit is this? I think I’ll pay him a visit, and give him a piece of my mind.

Comments are closed.