By Letter to the Editor
Saturday, Jan. 8 was a dark day in the American political realm. A lone, unstable gunman turned his gun sight onto innocent crowds gathering for a publicity event.
Among those shot, including six slain individuals, was Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona; she currently remains alive despite a single gunshot wound to the head.
It is an abhorrent tragedy in our nation, especially at a time when political discourse has begun to reach a breaking point. How do we in America attempt to reconcile and fathom these atrocities? Enter the esteemed Paul Krugman.
In his recent op-ed piece, which appeared on the New York Times’ opinion page shortly after the shooting on Saturday, Krugman was quick to point out that the likely motive was political. “We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was,” he says. Krugman then goes on to pontificate that the 22-year-old gunman was an agent of the Tea Party movement, a strident opponent of Giffords’ democratic platform. Giffords won a close reelection bid this past November on the heels of her opponent, Tea Party backed Republican Jesse Kelley.
Giffords’ father was approached for comment by the media asking who her enemies may be to pinpoint the suspect(s) and uncover a likely motive. ‘Yeah,’ he told The New York Post, ‘the whole Tea Party.’
So, we as Americans are now expected to believe that every act of violence with political connotations is predicated on the “culture of bigotry” cooked up by right-wingers? Krugman continues to rant that the current healthcare quagmire has become most explosively volatile, which it has, but so far only verbally. He writes, “[Healthcare] has been scary for quite a while, in a way that already reminded many of us of the climate that preceded the Oklahoma City bombing.”
Mr. Krugman is now comparing Timothy McVeigh with the Tucson suspect, Jared Lee Loughner; both can be seen as young men with similar right-wing extremist views, aiding Krugman in an attempt to portray the Tea Party movement in the same light as Al-Qaida. He goes on to say, “I fear we’re going to see [more violence] in the months and years ahead.
But violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate. And it’s long past time for the GOP’s leaders to take a stand against the hate-mongers.” Violence against anyone, a public servant or not, is completely unacceptable in our free society. But when we begin to point fingers and start playing the blame game, we lose our democratic principals. It is only common sense that we gather the facts prior to reacting with our base emotions.
Since Saturday, more facts have surfaced about the suspect, as well as possible motives for the violent rampage. Details originating from Jared Lee Loughner’s online profiles have begun to illustrate his demented mindset like the carefully placed dots on a Seurat painting.
Among his favorite books is the liberal bible, Karl Marx’s The Communist Manifesto. Loughner also ardors flag burning videos and proclaims to be an aesthesis. Subsequent media interviews with friends who knew the shooter bluntly labeled Loughner as a “left wing liberal.” I am personally unaware if the Tea Party has a liberal component.
Through extensive investigations in the coming weeks and months in the wake of this tragedy/atrocity (I don’t want to offend anyone with the wording), the truth will come out and it will set you free, Mr. Krugman. Might I suggest that you now look to the members of your own party to quell the “culture of bigotry” that you suggest pervades our country through the auspices of the GOP and the Tea Party organization?
Better yet, how about you devote your time to tinkering with your Keynesian economic theorems that don’t seem to be working out so well these days.
Jeffrey King, Class of 2011