Monday, June 1, 2009

Thoughts on Domestic Terrorism/Extreme Conservatism

A man is dead because he provided late-term abortions to women in Wichita, Kansas. Dr. George Tiller was killed in his church while performing his duties as an usher on May 31, murdered because of his belief that he was helping women who had no option in regards to their own health.

The abortion debate is one where, whatever opinion you have, you're pretty much going to hold it regardless of any argument you hear from anyone opposing you. I don't plan on writing anything here that has to do with why you should be pro-choice, why you should support so-called "late-term" abortions, or anything of the like.

What is of concern is the rising trend of conservative extremists taking up arms and taking the lives of law-abiding citizens -- and doing so because of political differences. Whether you're killing cops in Pittsburgh because you fear liberals are going to take your guns, or you shoot up a Unitarian church in Tennessee because of their tolerance of liberal beliefs, it's still just plain wrong.

Say what you will about those you disagree with -- at least you're still using words. Taking the lives of others because of fundamental disagreements is not only horrendous, it is cowardly. Because they couldn't form the policy they wanted through democratic means, because their beliefs weren't good enough for them to practice while others went about their own business, these extremists (terrorists, even) took the "law" (the "law" of their own ideological beliefs) into their own hands.

There was much criticism this year about a report that detailed a potential rise in violence possibly happening in response to Barack Obama's election, the Democratic takeover in Congress, and other liberal gains across the country. Conservatives derided the report as offensive, and demanded an immediate apology from Department of Homeland Security Director Janet Napolitano. But as these events transpire, it has become increasingly clear that such a scenario isn't all that improbable. We may be seeing an increase in violence from the extreme conservatives of our country in response to their frustration with liberalism.

Who is at fault here? Obviously the actions of these heinous crimes are the responsibility of those who have performed them. But partial responsibility, not of the murders but of the sentiment these criminals have, may lie with those who engage in dangerous rhetoric. Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O'Reilly, and the like have all derided liberals as evil, likening them to Stalin, Hitler, communists, fascists, big-government radicals, terrorists, and so forth.

Such is their right; I'm not arguing that we should hold these commentators responsible for the rhetoric they spew, no matter how disgusting it is. However, I do hold them responsible for creating the atmosphere of frustration, the very atmosphere that has driven these extreme conservative terrorists to commit these actions. I should not live in fear because I have liberal views; I should not be worried that someone is going to act in a violent manner against me for writing what I believe in.

Tonight, that fear is inside of me, just a little bit.

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