Pima County, Arizona Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, a Democrat, denounced what he said is the nation's vitriolic political climate: "The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous." He said Arizona had become "the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."
Anyone familiar with political discourse in America knows it has been rough and tumble from the beginning. Long before modern media, newspapers condemned politicians they didn't like, questioning their character and moral fiber. To end vibrant, even incendiary political rhetoric, would require the eradication of politics, itself. Other countries have such a system. They're called dictatorships.
Evil exists and a few are possessed by it. C.S. Lewis said that evil isn't an absolute; it needs good. It's a parasite that rides on good.
G.K. Chesterton offered an explanation for evil we may not want to hear, because it places blame where we like it least: "Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable."
We tolerate, even promote, many things we once regarded as evil, wrong, or immoral. And then we seek "explanations" for an act that seems beyond comprehension. Remove societal restraints on some evils and one can expect the demons to be freed to conduct other evil acts.
The fault, as Shakespeare wrote, "lies not in our stars, but in ourselves." Once tolerated, evil grows like the parasite alluded to by Lewis. It inevitably and predictably leads to other evils, like the tragedy in Tucson.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Cal Thomas' column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.
Awkward: CIA Shuts Down Climate Research Program After Obama Frames Climate Change as National Security Threat | Leah Barkoukis