The Day Hope Was Shot, in America and Europe
"When in the end such dramatic events serve only to provide ammunition for political battles rather than bringing about political dialogue and an understanding that itís not about being right but finding the right way - together, then we must really assume that any hope of healing the American political system is shot."
By Patrick Etschmayer
Translated By Stephanie Martin
January 10, 2011
- News - Original Article (German)
For many who knew her,
Christina Greene was a little vessel of hope. The girl, a little over 9 years
old, was already interested in politics, was a good, dedicated student and a volunteer
charity worker. An exceptional child, in other words. Her birthday, September
11, 2001, made her even more precious.†
She was one of those children
who were born on the day the World Trade Center fell, and appeared in a book
of Hope, along with 49 other children born around the world on that
day, as faces that would give us hope for the future. She seemed to want to
fulfill those hopes until one of the bullets from Jared Lee Loughners pistol
hit her in the chest, killing her along with five other people. She died
because, as a child, she wanted to experience democracy at a small political
Itís possible that Gabrielle
Giffords, the Democratic Congresswoman who was the target of the attack, may
survive despite being shot in the head, even if one might wonder to what extent
the politician will regain her capacities.†
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In the meantime, speculation
circulates about the attacker. The 22-year-old Loughner was an outsider and
loner, who already attracted attention during his school years because of his
unusual views and who was described in a variety of ways: descriptions range
from left-wing extremist and liberal (which also means ďleftistĒ in the US) to
anarchist. He was kicked out of college for frequent disruptive behavior.
Favorite books he himself
listed online cover a spectrum that is just as contradictory as the words used
to describe him: starting with the Communist Manifesto
to Mein Kampf, all
the way to Plato's Republic
and back to Animal Farm
by Orwell, and The Wizard of Oz
to Peter Pan.
It would be presumptuous to
create a psychological profile from such details, but together with the ideas
postulated by Loughner on his
YouTube page, the image of a confused individual, convinced of his own
crystal-clear insights, emerges. And the less other people shared his views,
the clearer it seemed to Loughner that he was justified in his hatred of the
government and politicians.
SEE ALSO ON THIS:
Rheinische Post, Germany:
America's 'Intellectual Instigators' of Hatred
Mutual Respect: What U.S.
Owes Itself, World
America in Anger's Clutches
Salzburger Nachrichten, Austria:
Massacre in Tucson: 'A Sad Day for U.S.
Arizona Shootings: Left, Right at Odds Over Effects of Toxic Politics
America's Hate-Filled Rhetoric 'Unworthy of a Democratic Nation'
Will Obama Stand Up to
of National Tragedy?
Giffords Highlights 'Man-Up'
Culture in U.S. Politics
Nowhere, however, is there
any mention of ties to the Tea Party and Sarah Palin, an assumption that was
made all too quickly. Yes, Palin did have a distasteful image with
congressional districts in the cross hairs on her Facebook page, which in some
respects was just as paranoid as Loughnerís insane scribbling. Loughner, it
seems, felt that he belonged nowhere. But this doesn't mean that he acted in a
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Political assassins have
existed as long as politics, but itís most likely that the readiness of
potential perpetrators to commit violence is influenced by the daily rhetoric
of political discourse. Paranoid thoughts are one thing. But when radio
programs and so-called news channels disseminate similar thoughts and
indirectly incite violence almost daily, then one or the other unstable person
might feel confirmed in their thinking. Who needs psychotic voices in your head
when they can be delivered right to your home by the mass media?
No, Loughner needed no
inspiration for his ideas, but in a hate-filled political atmosphere, the step
from verbal violence, which is uttered everywhere, to a concrete act, is
considerably shorter. This should give pause to us all, but unfortunately that
happens much too infrequently, and blame is distributed according to the
political interests of commentators.
When in the end such dramatic
events serve only to provide ammunition for political battles rather than bringing
about political dialogue and an understanding that itís not about being right
but finding the right way - together, then we must really assume that any hope of
healing the American political system has been shot. And anyone who observes how low
the level of discourse in Europe - and Switzerland - sinks more and more
frequently (and then remains there), can now also give up on the political
culture here, at home, and send all those little vessels of hope on their way,
with the message that even if they give their lives for democracy, those who poison
the politics on the right and left wouldn't care one whit.†††††
CLICK HERE FOR GERMAN
[Posted by WORLDMEETS.US January 11,