John M. Kunst, Jr.: Deaf Congress at the root of our anger
Breckenridge and Cincinnati
Steven Craig’s column is hypocritical and uses the same vitriol to blame the right for all the misfortunes that befall our great nation. In his opening paragraph, Craig notes the shootings in Arizona were “inspired by political outrage and dissent.” In the next sentence, he concedes that the shooter was “a lone, deranged gunman affiliated with no particular political party or organization.” Nevertheless, Craig concludes that the shooter’s actions “also represent the horrifying manifestations of mounting political vitriol that threatens the very core of our democracy.”
Oh, come on liberals! The tragedy in Arizona had nothing to do with political speech. It is time to stop mourning the November elections and realize that a majority of your fellow citizens have long since tired of tax-and-spend policies that do nothing other than grow the government into a nanny state instead of inspiring all of us to be accountable for our actions and our personal and financial welfare.
Political rhetoric became shrill after several events convinced a majority of our citizenry that Congress, Republicans and Democrats, had lost their way and were spending and borrowing money like a drunken sailor. These reckless spending habits we compounded by a liberal leadership that ignored warnings in 2003 and 2004 that our housing market would soon collapse if we continued to pursue misguided social policies fashioned around a liberal dream that every American should own his own home even if he couldn’t afford it. At the same time, Congress turned a blind eye toward Wall Street where these bad mortgages were bundled into securities and sold as “assets” to unsuspecting investors and other nations.
The predictable result was the collapse of our “tinkered” economy in September 2008 and the loss of more than 30 percent of individual Americans’ net worth – the value in their homes and 401Ks. Then, along comes candidate Obama and his illusive promise of “Change” and a return to financial responsibility and transparency. However, what followed was more spending for questionable programs, bailouts and stimulus and a looming promise of even more spending under health care.
The year after our economy collapsed and job losses reached double digits, town hall meetings greeted members of Congress with a hail storm of anger and resentment. The message was clear: “Quit borrowing and spending because the burden always falls back on the taxpayers.”
These voters did not need Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh to boil their blood. A deaf Congress was reason enough to be angry. But, did Congress listen? No. Congress returned to Washington where liberals back-roomed a 2,300-page health care bill rushed to a vote three days after its release. In my 69 years, I have never heard raw arrogance like Speaker Pelosi’s admonishment that “you have to vote for it before you can find out what’s in it.” Do liberals expect reasonable people to be submissive and civil in the face of such outright deception?
The speech that Steven Craig attacks galvanized a majority of American to bring about the greatest change in a Congressional majority in my lifetime. Perhaps the liberal losses is the rub that explains the attack, not some perception of violence. And be careful when attacking this compelling speech. What gives liberals license to describe the opposition as perpetrators of “violent rhetoric,” “outrageous political hate speech,” “inflammatory condoning of violence,” “reckless and negligent hate speech”? Your accusations are no less offensive than the speech you condemn.
I too wish we could soften our tone on both sides. It makes for more meaningful debate. Hopefully, the tragedy in Arizona will bring about a civility not seen in our political discourse since 9/11. In the meantime, we should all pay heed to the President’s memorial plea: “What we cannot do is allow this tragedy to cause us to turn on each other.”
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