Thursday, January 13, 2011

Some Men You Just Can't Reach

It's forty seconds of your life. Click play on the video and watch it two, three, heck four times. What do you get from viewing? Paul Newman whipped into a ditch? Yeah, what else? "What we have heeeuh is a failyuh ta cummmuynukate. Some men you jus kaint reech." This past weekend a lost soul, full of evil, walked into a political event near a grocery store, pulled a gun, and shot a lot of people in Arizona. Six innocents are dead, including a beautiful nine year old girl. I refuse to post her picture because it will make me, my wife and several of you cry and have nightmares. As a parent, I have done a lot of thinking about what might happen to one of my own daughters if someone horrible crossed their path.

The result of the tragedy, because the main target of the gunman was Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, a progressive Democrat who was "gunsighted" by conservative Republican Sarah Palin on her website and others for defeat in the next election has been to point fingers at uncivil political discourse. I never post about politics and trust me when I tell each of you, this is the least political post you will read on the internet, pinky swear; real discussion of issues will not drive reasonable people full of goodness to kill. Please stop thinking that Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, or Bill O'Reilly can send right wing zombies on murder sprees. No more than Keith Olberman or Jon Stewart can.

In the early 1800s, Aaron Burr shot Alexander Hamilton in a duel. For almost two hundred years people branded Burr a treasonist for disagreeing with Thomas Jefferson and Hamilton on the issues of the day and supposedly trying to overthrow the government. It all turns out that Hamilton was spreading libelous information about Burr's personal life and Burr felt he had to defend his family. Burr's politics are more in line with conservative Democrats or middle of the road libertarians of today. He believed in equal rights for women, a middle class that had access to government, and having newspapers and media have open access to information about Congress. The point is, don't believe everything you hear all the time.

There is no explanation for why a madman or as our former President George W. Bush called it, an evildoer, went on a violent outburst in Tuscon, Arizona. He wasn't driven by The Drowning Pool's Bodies song any more than the killers of Columbine High School 12 years ago were by Marilyn Manson music.

We can do better than pointing fingers at each other and resorting to personal attacks when we disagree. I used to be rant and rave about politics, then I realized I was failing in my own life and worked on myself. How could I argue anything with anyone if I couldn't get along with my own family or friends. I struggle as a husband and father enough that I can not, in good conscience, with a straight face, tell someone else why they're wrong voting on an issue or a candidate. Someof you will read this and call me soft because I'm not blasting one side or the other. Others of you will read this and question my political views and wonder why I haven't made grandiose statements of right or wrong. Wrong blog, wrong post, boys and girls. We can do better than that anyway. We can relate to each other without doing any of that. There may be some men, and women, you just can't reach, but most of them you can touch postively. Let's work from there.


  1. Loved this post. And - surprise - I think we're saying mostly the same kind of thing: Start with ourselves and how we act. Everything follows from there.

  2. True.
    I think it's all about how we choose to conduct ourselves. I listen to those who are willing to listen to me -- it's a give and take.

  3. Amen, brother.

    I think that we have a bigger responsibility to use our words more carefully. But yeah....this guy is crazy. And crazy finds a way to be crazy. It's more of a comment on how crappy we treat people with mental illness, really.