I’m behind on my normal rounds and almost missed this post by Dan McShane: A Cautionary Chapter in Washington State Public Power. If you read no other post on the Giffords shooting, read this one. Dan does an amazing job illustrating the consequences of violent rhetoric:
The lies told about John Goldmark in that campaign combined with toxic rhetoric regarding issues in the 1980s and led to the murder of his son Charles, Charles’ wife and children more than 20 years later. Neither John Goldmark or his son Charles had ever been communists, but the lies that had been spread in the Okanogan Valley funded by a corporation opposed to public power for monetary reasons had confused a member of an anticommunist group years after the fact to commit a senseless murder. The rabid rhetoric of that group further inflamed the killer.
There are consequences, and there are precedents, something all too many would like us to conveniently forget.
And the most chilling lesson is that our insane political discourse may continue to inspire violence decades down the road.