A Call for Critical Thought, Not Violence

Argument is an intellectual exchange of ideas.  It doesn’t mean coming to blows and it’s a shame today’s political climate has resulted in violent threats.   If you are passionate about health care reform or any political issue, write letters, make phone calls, conduct research and then vote. Don’t make threats, insult or act violently.

The recent passage of health care reform has caused many to resort to violence.  Both the Republicans and Democrats are receiving threats. Rep. Eric Cantor (R-VA) said someone fired a shot at a building that broke a window at his campaign office.  “Security threats against Members of Congress is not a partisan issue and they should never be treated that way.”

A March 25 Washington Post article states that there were, “at least 10 House Democrats reporting death threats or incidents of harassment or vandalism at their district offices over the past week.”

Many trace these threats to an Alabama blogger who tried to insight violence on March 19.  He posted on his website Sipsey Street Irregulars “So, if you wish to send a message that Pelosi and her party cannot fail to hear, break their windows.  Break them NOW.”  The Washington Post reported, “These were the words of Mike Vanderboegh, a 57-year-old former militiaman from Alabama, who took to his blog urging people who opposed the historic health-care reform legislation — he calls it “Nancy Pelosi’s Intolerable Act” — to throw bricks through the windows of Democratic offices nationwide.” Vanderboegh refuses to apologize because he really believes that throwing bricks is an effective way to get a message across. 

The FBI and Capitol Police are aggressively investigating the threats that have come in the form of hate-filled voice mail messages and emails, broken windows and even shots fired.  Hazmat crews in New York City responded to the Queens office of Rep. Weiner (D-NY) on March 25 when an envelope arrived containing a suspicious white powder as well as a threatening letter. 

House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) called the incidents unacceptable.  In Fox News Channel interview, he said, “I know many Americans are angry over this health-care bill, and that Washington Democrats just aren’t listening, but, as I’ve said, violence and threats are unacceptable. That’s not the American way. We need to take that anger and channel it into positive change. Call your congressman, go out and register people to vote, go volunteer on a political campaign, make your voice heard — but let’s do it the right way.”

No one who makes threats, hurls racial slurs or resorts to name calling is a critical thinker.

Read more at http://www.theamericano.com


6 thoughts on “A Call for Critical Thought, Not Violence

  1. We don’t always get what we want out of our govenment, that is why we have elections every 2, 4, and 6 years. If you don’t like what is going on, then participate. If the people are truely outraged, then the results of the elections will reflect that. Resorting to terrorist-like tactics for any side, does not help any movement except those that want to destroy democracy.

  2. This is not new after passage of HCR, it has been happening for a long time. John Boehner referred to a member of congress as “a dead man” if he voted for HCR. Sarah Palin refuses to apologize or change her rhetoric when she talks about “reloading” and puts crosshairs on democrats she thinks should be “targeted.” The dangerous rhetoric that is coming from the right these days is helping (not completely causing) but helping to create an environment where people feel they must act. The man who flew the plane into the IRS office in Austin was fueled by anti-tax and anti-IRS hatred. The people who are acting out over HCR are fueled by people saying that the democrats are “worse than Hitler” (Eric Cantor), “anti-American,” “Socialist,” and much worse. I won’t even get into what the anti-abortion people are saying, even though this law is neutral when it comes to federal funding of abortion.

    Words have power, especially when they come from people with large megaphones fueled by self-interest. I do not believe that people are condemning this violence enough (especially when the NRCC calls it “understandable”). You quoted two people who took their time before coming out with statements, both of whom are very guilty of hurling extreme rhetoric before the fact and helping to create this culture of hatred and extreme partisanship that we now have in D.C. It will take more than a couple of apologies to reverse this.

  3. How very quickly the violence against the Tea Party protesters in this past year has been forgotten. How quickly the 2008 GOP campaign headquarters having bullets fired through their doors and windows have all been forgotten. How soon we forget the union thugs and ACORN thugs who invaded other campaign headquarters of Republicans and committed violence against citizens and campaign workers. How fast we are able to forget the New Black Panther Party members on the streets of Philadelphia using weapons and threats to prevent white voters from getting to the polls.

    But a few Democrats invent false charges of being threatened or abused and liberal commenters are quick to find a way to blame the most prominent Republicans they can think of for being responsible for the things that didn’t happen. Every protest of any sort is being filmed by someone these days. There is no film evidence in the slightest showing the Black Democratic Caucus members being abused in any way. The film evidence shows protests and anger, but no threats or epithets.

    But please, critical thinkers, don’t let facts get in the way of your partisanship masquerading as logical debate.

  4. All throughout world history violence has been wielded as a social “solution.” In fact, violence is as anti-social as it gets and it never solved anything. Generally speaking, all it guarranteed was another violent outbreak from the losing side in an attempt to get even. Violence is puerile.

    The first group or person to make a huffy breath and walk away, cast the first dispersion or throw the first punch is the party that ran out of words first. Violence is a demonstration of ignorance and is weak. Humankind has proved that repeatedly. Intelligent, civilized society engages in dialogue; the fare exchange of information and ideas. In a representative republic these ideas are discussed on the national stage.

    The anger Americans currently feel is due to the fact they were not listened to by most of their representatives and senators. The opposition to “mandatory health insurance” was bi-partisan. Its passage, entirely Democrat. 60 to 74 percent of the public did not want a bill this comprehensive to pass before they knew what was in it. This group included both sides of the isle. The public wanted to study and discuss it and were never given the opportunity. When this clear majority tried to contact their congress person they were not listened to. In a reprentative republic it is a politicians job to listen, then act accordingly.
    The passage of “health care” was a poor example of that.

    Had we the opportunity to review the bill we surely would have discovered the exclusion of
    “pre-existing conditions for children.” Transparency would have eliminated all the huffy breathing currently taking place.

    Janet, I know what you are going through with your son. My eighteen year old daughter had the same experiences and grew out of it about the time of middle school.

  5. I have heard the word “tyranny” come out of the mouth of a lot of folks lately (Michelle Bachman being the latest). What does one do to tyrants?

    This is a not-so-veiled call to arms. People need to be careful with their words..

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