Sunday, April 3, 2011

Violent threats wrong, no matter who makes them

Violent rhetoric of area woman not justified

I've discussed at great lengths the problems I've had over the past couple of weeks with Republican lawmakers in this state, with Scott Walker, the "Brothers Fitz," and the budget repair bill in general. I feel that I've made valid points against said bill, and have also made strong arguments on why the statewide Republican leaders are failing Wisconsin on several fronts.

It's easy to point out the foibles of your political opponents. It's also not wrong to do so either, especially if they're behaving in a way that reflects poorly on the rest of the district they work for, or are hurting those whom they're meant to represent, as it is the case among several Republican leaders lately within the Badger State. But when someone on "my side" -- that is, when someone politically aligned with myself -- makes a judgment error or acts in a way that I'd ordinarily find reprehensible, it'd be wrong of me to ignore it.

A 26-year old woman from Cross Plains made it clear through violent words and threats to leaders that she didn't approve of the plans Republican lawmakers had for this state. She threatened several lawmakers' lives, among them Gov. Scott Walker.

"Please put your things in order because you will be killed and your families will also be killed due to your actions in the last 8 weeks," Katherine Windels wrote in one email. She also wrote, "I hope you have a good time in hell," adding that one of the ways this could be accomplished was through "putting a nice little bullet in [state legislators' heads]."

These aren't statements that should be taken lightly. There's no excuse for her words, no excuse for the threats she made against state lawmakers. Disagree all you want with someone, even threaten them in politically permissive ways (such as recall elections or other means) -- but violent rhetoric, even if never intended to be carried out, should never be an option.

This little episode doesn't excuse the actions of lawmakers who conduct business with little-to-no regard for the people they represent, who willfully ignore the laws set in place in order to carry out there agenda. The disgusting display of Republican rule as of the past three months in our state shouldn't be dismissed on account of the death threats that this person made.

Nor should the entire movement with which she aligned herself with be compared in any way to her misdeeds. The terrifying actions of one or two members of a political ideology don't reflect in any way the entire group's message or character. Just because Windels made violent threats doesn't mean that all pro-union supporters are violent people (on the contrary, the protesters received high marks from the Madison Police Department for being orderly and understanding).

However, we cannot overlook her actions either; we must be prepared to call a spade a spade when we need to, to acknowledge wrongs when they occur, no matter what angle they come from.

Katherine Windels performed a horrible action, conducted herself in a way that was unbecoming of any protester, be they left or right. If we learn anything from this event, no matter what political beliefs we hold, let's learn to carry out our business in a way that doesn't involve violence.

No comments:

Post a Comment