Politics in America have always been a ferocious affair, but incendiary language, and the idea of an endless struggle against government, have shifted from heat-of-the-moment thoughts into a solidified mindset. This way of thinking is predominantly present in the Republican party and their various factions.
There are many noteworthy things said by those that affiliate with the Right, but there are certain statements that are cause for alarm.
The Struggle is Real…to Some:
The erosion of liberties, rights, and privacy are real issues that need to be addressed in America, but, to those on the Right, they aren’t so much a matter of politics as they are declarations of war. There is a sense of paranoia and a creeping feeling that imagines the government hiding in dark alleys and behind every corner. As evident by the matters of criminal Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, there are those in America that feel everyday is a battle for survival from big brother.
Those in the struggle say that a complacent mind can easily be controlled, but that’s just an excuse for their wild behavior and rhetoric. Americans do need to preserve their rights, but living in a state of fear and paranoia will not accomplish such things. An academic study of legislation and real-world incidents should be observed in order to address government overreach, not a rigid view that government is evil no matter what.
With such a mindset, it is no small wonder that aggressive, often violent, rhetoric is used by people who see themselves in constant struggle against a powerful enemy. There was “Kill the Bill” in regards to an immigration proposal, and the NRA’s “Stand and Fight” moniker. Those are just official, publizied slogans, but there are countless more instances in everyday speech which brings violent imagery to mind.
A Baltimore Sun article hilights some cases from the 2010 elections that shed light on offensive actions and words by Republicans.
- On Oct. 9, 2009, House candidate Robert Lowry of Florida held an event at a Broward County gun range during which he fired at a series of symbolic political targets, including a silhouette with his opponent Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s initials on it.
- On Jan. 10, 2010, Nevada Senate candidate Sharron Angle spoke of the need for “Second Amendment remedies” to congressional policies, and specifically called for “taking out” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
- On May 10, 2010, House candidate Brad Goehring from California’s 11th District wrote on his Facebook page: “If I could issue hunting permits, I would officially declare today opening day for liberals. The season would extend through November 2 and have no limits on how many taken as we desperately need to ‘thin’ the herd.”
While it is tempting to call Republicans the gun party, many democrats support the misinterpreted 2nd amendment as well, but one thing can be said with certainty: no one loves showing off their guns quite like the Right.
These weapons are included in almost any political action taken by the Republicans. Whether it be Mitch McConnell awkwardly holding a rifle on stage, or when Alabama Congressional hopeful Will Brooke, shot a copy of the Affordable Care Act with his personal arsonal. Then there is the infamous Ted Nugent, who eloquently critized President Obama by stating:
I think that Barack Hussein Obama should be put in jail. It is clear that Barack Hussein Obama is a communist. Mao Tse Tung lives and his name is Barack Hussein Obama. This country should be ashamed. I wanna throw up,” he said, adding “Obama, he’s a piece of shit. I told him to suck on my machine gun.
Guns are apart of their identity, but guns are weapons and, no matter if you think they start conflicts or end them, they are tools of violence.
Another gun related bit of Republican vitriol was Sarah Palin’s infamous map as seen above.
This map shows, in the most delicate of ways, candidates that were vulnerable to losing to Republican candidates. Instead of using a sentence like the one just written, Palin says “We’ve diagnosed the problem…help us find the solution”. That statement alone isn’t inflammatory, but when gun crosshairs are placed over weak democrats, the solution to her problem must be to use weapons to remove them. Hopefully Sarah, being the rogue that she is, put this out without any peer consideration, since cooler heads would not allow such a suggestive message to be made public, but don’t count on it.