Guns don’t kill people, metaphors do. It’s true. Words have consequences. I tested it: Used a sports analogy just yesterday and a pick-up game of hoops broke out.
This is liberal-think. Silly, isn’t it?
Yes, words can have consequences. Except for when they don’t. As we soon learned – and as officially “not stupid” people already knew – the horrific shootings in Tucson on January 8 had exactly nothing to do with “tone,” “political discourse” or “incendiary rhetoric,” and had everything to do with mental illness, individual responsibility and raw evil.
Not only did Jared Lee Loughner turn out not to be a Sarah Palin-loving, Tea Party-attending, “right-wing” talk radio hound; he ended-up a Bush-hating, “lefty pot-head,” 9/11 “truther” whose favorite books included the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf.
So does this mean that liberals are “accomplices to mass murder” due to their well-documented history of “dangerous political rhetoric”? Well, yes, if you apply liberal-think. No, if you apply reality.
Still, this hasn’t stopped the dinosaur media, left-wing politicos and bloggity-blah-blahs in PJs from using this tragedy to whip together a frothy mix of feigned indignation, slimy politicking and “progressive” puerility.
In a not-so-thinly veiled effort to lay blame at the feet of all things – and all people – conservative, they’ve baked-up a steamy meme of “violent rhetoric” pie. It’s been ugly.
That said, we’re now to the point where the left’s disgraceful political exploitation of this national tragedy has sunk to such low-rent absurdity that it’s worthy of little more than ridicule.
Conservative pundits and mental health experts have broadly and effectively diagnosed, deconstructed and discredited this obtuse “blame-everyone-but-the-bad-guy” pablum to the point where reasonable America – left, right and center – has shared a collective eye-roll. It’s backfired magnificently.
Yet there are people, entire “news networks” in fact, who evidently believe that using metaphorical war imagery in the game of politics – something done since Eve first lobbied Adam to put the seat up – is likely to cause some nutcase to go postal (although I suppose that could be why Cain went-off on Abel).
Take CNN, for instance: In a recent broadcast CNN anchor John King issued an immediate apology after a guest used, on air – and appropriately so – the word “crosshairs” in a political discussion about the Chicago mayoral race.
Matt Barber is founder and editor-in chief of BarbWire.com. He is an author, columnist, cultural analyst and an attorney concentrating in constitutional law. Having retired as an undefeated heavyweight professional boxer, Matt has taken his fight from the ring to the culture war. (Follow Matt on Twitter: @jmattbarber).