Senator McCarthy Would Be Proud
While Sarah Palin declaring that Julian Assange is un-American (he's Australian) is old news, she continues to make the front pages with her always forceful, and often toxic pronouncements.
The WikiLeaks founder is in good company, as even Barack Obama has made her un-American list. Although making the seemingly pointless distinction that Barack Obama himself isn't un-American, she believes his policies are. Presidents have been accused of many things, but rarely of not really being American. Obviously only those who share her views and values are real Americans, and those in this select group apparently have a God-given right to condemn anyone with a different vision in the most vitriolic terms.
The term McCarthyism is used in reference to reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations, as well as public attacks on the character or patriotism of political opponents. Senator McCarthy would feel quite comfortable in today's political climate. Dealing with issues takes second place to character assassination, suggestions of un-Americanism, and thinly veiled threats.
Sarah Palin's “hunt them down, and shoot them dead” style served her well on the Alaska frontier, but is less appropriate to national politics. Her frequent gun imagery (reload, cross-hairs etc.) is kind of scary in the polarized and highly charged atmosphere of 2011 America.
Speculation is already rife that the recent events in Arizona could somehow damage her career. Some feel that her targeting the congresswoman for removal in 2010 led to the attempted assassination. There has been far too much irresponsible speculation concerning this tragedy. No known facts indicate that Sarah Palin, or anyone else influenced the shooter. It's most likely that this is the work of a deranged individual acting out his own hate-filled fantasies.
While this sort of unfounded finger-pointing is unjust and unhelpful, it does show how seriously we are starting to look at the effect of the recent toxic rhetoric. Certainly Ms. Palin isn't helping heal wounds in an increasingly polarized nation. She isn't alone in using this level of rhetoric, but as the leader in this type of verbiage, she could take the lead in turning down the heat.Continued on the next page