These louts took advantage of the silence in the Theater of Respect and soliloquized about how the shooting resulted from and exemplified the terrible things about their political opponents. This either offended or annoyed the other players in the Theater of Respect, depending on whether they were genuinely decent people who mourn suffering or whether they simply felt constrained to behave as if they were.
That was yesterday. Today, it seems that everyone's ready to jump into the big generalizations game. But let's stop and think about this first. From everything we've seen so far, the gunman, Jared Lee Loughner, is deranged. Like many insane people, he connected up ideas that don't really connect:
A series of short videos posted on the Internet, apparently by Mr. Loughner, consist of changing blocs of text that are largely rambling and incoherent. Many take the form of stating a premise and then a logical conclusion that would follow from it.Ironically, writers purporting to be horrified by what happened yesterday will take the shooting as their premise and work — with what they think looks like sound reasoning — toward their conclusions.
They speak of being a “conscience dreamer”; becoming a treasurer of a new currency; controlling “English grammar structure”; mentioned brainwashing and suggested that he believed he had powers of mind control.
“In conclusion, my ambition — is for informing literate dreamers about a new currency; in a few days, you know I’m conscience dreaming!”
Now, my question is: Should we resist? The event is vivid. We've got to keep talking and writing. Everyone else is doing it now....
First, you might want to resist because it's the right thing to do not only out of respect for the dead and wounded but also because Jared Loughner is probably just a crazy guy whose acts say nothing about anybody else.
But let's assume you're not that pure. You're a political animal, and you're not too fastidious about using the raw material that comes your way. I'd say you ought to think very hard about whether you want to use this shooting in your political rhetoric. You might want to adhere to the respect for the victims/crazy gunman position because it serves your political interests.
But whose interests are served by chewing up the wounded flesh in the meat grinder of political rhetoric and whose interests are served by pretending to be above all that? Liberals have an interest in creating a big distraction that might undercut the prevailing conservative momentum. To conservatives, I would say: Don't help them.