Burlington Free Press Excerpt:Baloney! Trouble starts when someone begins drawing gun sight crosshairs on congressional districts and repeatedly use words like, "don't retreat - reload." That's trouble. But it really doesn't hit home until someone guns down the targeted district representative and kills six others and doesn't retreat, but is only stopped during reloading. That's real trouble. But the really big trouble in free speechery doesn't begin until defenders of the "crosshairs and reloading" start demonizing people simply because they connected the words and imagery to the actions. Excuse me for relating the two - but people died. Sarah Palin, Bachmann, Beck and their band of idiot-worshipping idiots need to deal with the consequences of their rhetoric.
You want real trouble in free speechery? Suggest that someone is Hitler-esque or a Nazi, as Democratic Rep. Steve Cohen recently did. Cohen was trying to make the case that, in his view, Republicans have created untruths about health care reform that have become credible through repetition.
At the same time I'm fully aware of the negative connotations behind Nazi imagery and invoking Adoph Hitler. It's taboo in America as it should be, but its use is not targeting someone for murder. I've heard so-called conservatives and their sponsors repeatedly lie about and demonize the American policies of their opposition with references to Marx or socialism, even linking up the goals of American democratic policies with the body counts under Stalin or Mao. It is rhetoric with an intention no less disturbing than invoking Nazism, yet I don't hear about anybody disqualifying the authors of those words. Elected public officials, talk show hosts and columnists use it all the time. People shrug. Yet, as much as I detest the language and references of American policies to communism and body counts, it's not murderous rhetoric. Much like invoking Nazism, it lacks originality. But so what.
We are led to believe that the biggest outrage about our current problem in free speechery is the fact that some folks are finally picking up the incendiary devices and throwing them back. It's not. The biggest outrage is that Parker and others are only now crying foul.