Someone said what I’ve been trying to say in a way that more people will understand:
“Political speaking is basically advertising. Everything a politician does or says in the spotlight is advertising for a particular behavior or movement (more votes, more donations, etc) . So whether they didn’t directly tell the Tuscon shooter to go shoot the Representative or they did is a moot point. This entire incident smacks that the killer had been thinking about political motivations (notes in his house, attacking a political function, etc), so any political advertising most likely had an impact on his thinking.”
“It’s like McDonald’s – they know they advertise unhealthy food, and they even acknowledge it publically that their food is not entirely healthy. Yet they keep doing it, and people eat their food because they are swayed at some level by the advertising. Even if some people are rather neutral to McDonald’s as a whole, the advertising puts the thoughts of french fries, shakes, fruity yogurts and hamburgers in people’s heads. People easily influenced get so hungry they go eat at McDonald’s.”
“Same with Limbaugh-style political speaking. The goal is to get people upset at his targets (most are Democrats) so they act in a way that helps his cause. Most of the time, it’s to get people to come back and listen again, since he continuously verbalizes their anger that keeps building with each show. This pays his salary. However, most political pundits and talk show people ignore the fact that people easily influenced and violent are also listening to their political advertising. Eventually, someone will act on it. Crazy or not, the Tuscon shooter was influenced in his choice of target and location. With people like Sarah Palin politically advertising that Gifford’s district was a target under crosshairs, it was statistically probable that someone was going to gun for the Representative.”
“The only difference between business advertising and political advertising is that businesses usually (but not always) take responsibility for their ads (and the effects of such ads). Politicians and pundits never do, because that is how a majority of politicians live their lives – never taking responsibility for negative results or influences. Unless this trend changes, more political figures are going to get shot or hurt. You’d think they’d learn from this lesson, but I have to remind myself that they are politicians and pundits.”
I agree. Whole-heartedly. And when I get done reading the 80+ something comments sitting in my awaiting approval bin, I may post a few. Including the more … moronic ones supporting Limbaugh and Palin.