Violence Is the Essence of Government
When Will They Figure It Out?
by Butler Shaffer
The response of political figures and members of the mainstream media to the killing and wounding of a number of people in Tucson, was not surprising. Had the victims been “ordinary” people alone, the event would have been quickly noted as but another symptom of a conflict-ridden society. There would have been no daily hospital press conferences to update their conditions. But this shooting resulted in the killing of a federal judge, and the grave wounding of a member of congress: now we’re talking “serious” offenses!
Shortly after the shootings occurred, local and national politicians issued press releases that focused on government officials being the targets of such violence. To the politically-minded, the “ordinaries” (or “mundanes”) who were killed or wounded were what they have come to regard as “collateral damage.”
In coming days, the politically-correct chatter will consist of an endless string of non sequiturs: private gun ownership, Tea Party politics, angry rhetoric, the Internet, people who “hate” the government, television violence, et al. Even Sarah Palin has come in for criticism! Like the magician who uses brightly-colored cloths and quick movements in his act, such explanations are designed to distract our attention. As the Wizard of Oz angrily reacted to Toto’s knocking over the screen that revealed his systematic bamboozlement, “pay no attention to that man behind the screen.”