"Stick and stones can break your bones but words can never harm you," is among the biggest lies generated by mankind. And as the author of a new book called The Words That Shaped Me, I can't go silently into this rhetoric war nightmare without offering a few words of my own regarding the Arizona shooting.
Although it has been proven in this tragic case that the rhetoric of the Right did not pull the trigger and that they were indeed "blood libeled" by the Left, let's not pretend that words don't matter.
Was it not we Republicans and conservatives who went down in shameful defeat in 2008 recognizing that a senator with a short resume assumed the most powerful job in the world not by experience, but by offering sweet sounding words such as "hope" and "change?" Those winning words may have very well fundamentally changed the course of America and world affairs.
Therefore, with all due respect to my favorite conservative talk show hosts, if words don't matter then why are they talking for a living? Maybe they should become mimes instead. But they can't have it both ways. If they feel their words and arguments can foment people to vote and reignite lagging patriotism, they have to also recognize that their words can lead people down many paths, even dangerous ones. I'm not just talking about deranged individuals, but also those in despair who feel they have nothing more to lose--like the man who just lost his job and whose house was just foreclosed on--or like the "over-patriotic" individual who feels it's up to him or her to "save" America by ANY means.
Personally, I am a strong advocate of the right to bear arms. But to repeat the oft said phrase, with rights come responsibilities. Conservatives need to speak softly if they want to keep carrying that "big stick." Metaphors such as "cross-hairs" and "reloading" have no place in our national dialogue. We can't continue stirring people up with such a lethal vocabulary or eventually there will be a shot heard around the world. For as the multi-billion dollar advertising industry has shown us if you repeat something often enough, it can affect human behavior. And it all starts with “words” as I expound upon in my book.
Perhaps we have to look back to Hitler to see how powerful words really are. Hitler did not begin his war against the Jews by sending them to gas chambers; surely no society would accept that upfront. But he began it with hateful talk and hateful words and a vicious rhetoric (as found in his book Mein Kampf, the very same book the Arizona shooter was reading) which dehumanized Jews thus making it easier to murder them.
But my dear leftists don't get too excited that a conservative has called out her own. Because for the most part conservatives are merely standing up for the Constitution which the last time I checked was the law of the land. At the end of the day however, Palin may throw around one gun metaphor too many for my liking, but it is the Liberal Left, i.e., Hollywood, that has glamorized guns for America. Most American's contend that the greatest film ever made was The Godfather; it was so good we begged for more, hence the trilogy. Oh, and how about when The Sopranos was a national pastime? And who can forget such great movies as Bugsy, Goodfellas, Casino and Scarface? I'm quite certain that when watching we were all rooting for the bad guys; I certainly felt bad when my favorite mobster, Sonny Corleone, got whacked. Didn't you? And simply all that gun stuff was just so neat. I can’t think of a cooler movie scene than when Clint Eastwood pulls out a .44 Magnum revolver and says, "Go ahead, make my day."
Gee, isn't it the same liberal Hollywood who calls the Tea Parties gun-toting loons who can hardly make a movie today that doesn't have multiple shootings and semi-automatic weapons, violence, and bloodshed? I think I haven't seen a movie without an explosion since Doris Day. Don't these Leftists know that they are the trendsetters for the American dream, they create the role models that our children are watching, that we are all watching. I don't recall MSNBC's Keith Olbermann or the NYT's Paul Krugman lambasting the producers of today's action packed films and calling them "murderers" after the Arizona shooting. Though maybe, just maybe, they should question the next time a kid pulls a gun in school whether he wasn't inspired by Tony Soprano rather than Sarah Palin.
This week, as we celebrate Martin Luther King's birthday, maybe we can be reminded how he used passionate yet peaceful words to effectuate change. He appealed to our better natures and that's a "dream" we can all believe in.
Yes, the Right are wrong but the Left are to blame. They are all complicit in the destruction of this great country. My advice: Watch your words for they tend to take on a life of their own--unless of course that is what you were shooting for?