The guy who opened fire on the Congressmen at baseball practice, and the guy who made the armed investigation of the pizza parlor said to be the base of the Clintons' sex slave ring, are nuts.
But on the other hand they are only taking seriously the rhetoric we hear all around us every day. If Republicans are really Nazis, if Democrats are really out to destroy America, then we should take up arms against them. If half the things that Breitbart published about Obama were true, then we should all have been trying to assassinate him. If Ted Cruz is right that America is "sliding off the cliff," opening fire on the opposition seems like the least we should do. If corporations really want to enslave us, blowing up their headquarters and killing their CEOs should only be the first two steps.
If we took seriously the rhetoric that pours forth every day from both the right and the left, then we ought to be having a civil war.
And yet so far only a few lunatics have drawn these conclusions. I am not sure what to make of this.
I suppose that at some level sane people understand the extreme rhetoric is bullshit. The savage words express frustration and give vent to anger but don't really mean what they naively seem to. So long as most people understand this, we will be ok.
But I don't like it. I don't like the fulmination, the cultivation of anger and hate, the denunciations that lump ordinary Republicans and Democrats together with Nazis and Bolsheviks. I don't like it that the route to wealth and fame is through saying things that, taken literally, should lead to mass slaughter in the streets. I worry that at some point not just a few crazies but a few hundred will turn to guns and bombs, or even a few thousand. What then?
All the broadcasters spouting anger and hate, all the prophets of doom, all the spreaders of dark conspiracies, and all the rest of that damnable crew should stop.
If we continue to believe their our neighbors are our worst enemies, we will end up killing each other.