Remember your childhood? Some of you are asking… why? Come on. Work with me here. Remember standing before the Judge in the tense courtroom of your own personal benevolent dictator desperately trying to come up with a legitimate excuse to why you neglected to obey the clear and multiplied declarations of Law decreed from the self-same lips of that self-same benevolent dictator? After all the work you put into perfecting a story that would divert blame onto the inexplicable cretins who lived next door, the defense is barely out of your mouth when your parents fold their arms. This bears all the finality of a Judge’s gavel and you realize…you’re toast….burnt toast. Some of you are still asking why?
Here’s why. Good parents will not tolerate the notion that some other influence can validate a child’s violation of established edicts within the set walls of their family kingdom. It’s not an option. Each child is responsible for its own behavior. Each child must answer to their mother and father on their own merit for the ways in which they implement the training and direction they have received in that family structure. Every time leadership allows for the interjection of an external force as an excuse for disobedience, the less effective the teaching discipline becomes.
There have been times this columnist, whether in printed or verbal debate, has, perhaps, been over the top and been reined in by those I make myself accountable to. Conversely, there are those who have said some pretty hateful things about my family and I. None of these words or behaviors validates violence. Let me explain myself.
In the heat of the debate, my opponent may call me a fascist. I would never conceive that the heated words of a misinformed debater are the catalyst for a violent act against my person. It is incumbent upon me to prove the title wrong. With evidence presented, it is imperative that my opponent concedes his folly and it is most important that a civilized society observe to form its own judgment.
By the time this column goes to print, it may be nearly two weeks removed from the horror of this past weekend. Many have decried the shallow hypocrisy of those who quickly jumped at a perceived opportunity to curtail free speech, score political points against hated opponents and attempt to save pet political projects. I too am appalled at vicious, callous exploitation of an incomparable tragedy, but there is a fundamental flaw in our approach to this debate.
Violence was elevated to a level and platform it did not deserve in this massacre. Violence is not a valid expression in the theatre of civilized debate. To try and prove, in some remote fashion, that a violent act is the result of heated or elevated rhetoric is, in itself, a validation of violence. This Nation was birthed through the labor pains of heated debate. It is vital to the continued healthy growth of this Nation to maintain the tension of spirited discourse in the struggle thereof.
Most civilized Americans have watched with disbelief as insanity raised its ugly head and then with further disgust as leaders degraded the situation into political mud wrestling. Once again, we ask….why?