• Broward New Times
"If ballots don't work, bullets will," said Joyce Kaufman, meaning that strictly democratic processes may not be sufficient to enact the kind of governance she favors. Allen West advocated that patriots "take it to Lexington and Concord" -- "it" meaning his particular brand of conservative patriotic fervor. In recent days, as the chattering classes have struggled to make sense of the bloodbath in Tucson, such lines have been remembered, re-aired, and eyed with suspicion. Could these rhetorical flourishes have led to violence?
No. There is no indication that Loughner was ever even exposed to the far-right punditry. And even if he had been, it takes more than a rhetorical flourish to inspire someone to pick up a gun. Which is why the hyperbolic sound bite, which has drawn so much scorn in the wake of the Tucson massacre, is less a cause for concern than the ethos that spawns it. The right wing has no monopoly on hyperbole, but it has very nearly cornered the market on the weaponizing
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