WASHINGTON, D.C. (WUSA) - Today Tony Perkins of the ultra conservative Family Research Council says nasty rhetoric from the other side is at least partly to blame for inciting that lone gunman. who descended on his organization's headquarters.
Well, he might be half right. Could 'reckless rhetoric' from the Family Research Council's ideological foes have something to do with inciting this latest attack? Yeah, maybe.
But if you're really looking to blame something, how about the dehumanizing tone of the whole debate. Heck, of any debate we have these days. Often it seems we view the people who disagree with us as not fellow citizens but as caricatures: leftist crazies or right wing nuts, or somebody else who isn't quite like you and me. You know, in every war., soldiers tend to dehumanize the guys on the other side. Frankly it makes it easier to kill 'em.
But what happens when we dehumanize the guy on the Internet who just happens to be on the other side of the argument? Could that make it easier to do something to him? For the unhinged mind to conclude that he deserves it?
It's worth thinking about. What I keep thinking about was the hanging of Saddam Hussein because in watching that video, I was frankly surprised. I felt no satisfaction in watching an evil dictator die, only a deep sadness as I looked into his face and saw simply a scared old man.
My sister, God bless her, cleared it up for me. She said. "What you felt was your common humanity." Wow. Common Humanity. Now that is some scary reckless rhetoric.