What can I say? I’ve said that Republican candidates are using fear and hate to stir up votes…and it’s true. On Friday (8/10), Rep. Joe Walsh from Illinois used this tactic in a speech:
“One thing I’m sure of is that there are people in this country – there is a radical strain of Islam in this country – it’s not just over there – trying to kill Americans every week. It is a real threat, and it is a threat that is much more at home now than it was after 9/11…It’s here. It’s in Elk Grove. It’s in Addison. It’s in Elgin. It’s here…it’s not a matter of if another 9/11 happens…it’s a matter of when.”
If that isn’t enough proof of fear mongering then follow that up with the story of David Conrad. Conrad was arrested today for allegedly shooting a high-powered air rifle at a mosque in a northern-Chicago suburb (about 17 miles from the aforementioned Elk Grove).
So is it a coincidence that a representative used fear mongering in a speech by saying that radical Muslims were “here,” and a mosque only 17 miles from a location he mentioned is attacked on the same day? Or maybe the fear, hate, and anger that Republicans have been spewing has begun to result in people being hurt and killed. When politicians, media personalities, and bloggers (like me) are constantly warning against the hate and fear that is being used by these people to gain a few votes, it is because we know where that road leads. It leads to incidents like this. I don’t care if it was an air rifle this time. Last week six people were killed and three others injured at a Sikh Temple shooting. It’s not a big leap from one to the other.
I hear a lot from conservatives about “personal responsibility.” In fact, if I hear it too many more times in a debate I’m going to throw up on my keyboard. I think it speaks volumes about people who preach personal responsibility while their leaders are recklessly throwing around hate and fear for a few votes. Words have power. I’d love to see conservative leaders actually practice what they preach and take some personal responsibility for their words. But I’m sure that no link between the two incidents will be established. It will be deemed an “isolated incident.” And people like Walsh will continue to puke this garbage at every available opportunity. Never mind the people getting hurt; it’s those few extra votes that are important.
As you may have learned Mr. Walsh, words have the power to hurt or heal. What have your words done today?