At one of our favorite Catholic blogs, Patrick Archbold serves up plenty of food for thought in the wake of the Tuscon shootings:
As bad as TV was, the interwebs was worse. I have never seen such a river of opportunistic vitriol. People on Twitter were disgusting. I followed the #Giffords hashtag for 30 minutes in hopes of getting the latest. What I saw instead was a rapid river of hate flowing faster than I could read it.If the disturbed individual had any politics at all, his politics are not like yours, mine or even 95 percent of the American population. His politics are clouded by insanity, which makes whatever politics he has something else entirely. As near as we can tell, he is some sort of deranged anarchist, and anarchy is of neither the political left nor the political right. Conservatives tend to see government as an institution which is necessary, but all too susceptible to being corrupted into a tool which can be used to suppress liberty. Progressives see government as the answer to most of society's problems, as long as it is done "their way." Anarchy, literally translated from its Greek roots, means the absence of government, which brings to mind another word we have taken from the Greeks, chaos. And with chaos, we enter into the realm of the deranged, for to sane people, insanity means a chaotic way of thinking. As more and more information about the shooter comes to light, all of the signs we are seeing indicate that he is anything but a sane individual. Insanity not only trumps, but actually warps, politics into something which is compatible with such an individual's chaotic, distorted view of the world.
But that was the interwebs, I consoled myself. But soon after the same hate made its way into TV and print commentary as well. Olberman, Krugman, et al. News agencies mention Sarah Palin in stories on Giffords a half dozen times for no reason. Unfathomable.
Now some conservatives are falling into a trap by using scant information to try and paint the deranged loser gunman as a lefty. Don't do it. Don't be like them. He may be a lefty at the end of the day, but let the facts come out. At the end of the day, even if he is a Marxist, that really had nothing to do with it. I know some see it as a defense against the loony charges that he must be a tea-partier, but don't do it. Don't be like them.
Integrity. It comes down to that. In the rush to be first to news, in the rush to have titillating commentary, in the rush to score political points, and in the resulting rush to defend, so many threw their integrity right out the window.
We saw the worst aspects of human nature this weekend, and not just in Tuscon.
Patrick's warning not to be like the leftists who have tried to paint the shooter as some mythical creature of the right is, in our opinion, good advice. As Sarah Palin supporters, we need to combat the reprehensible tactics being employed by the left, but we must not fall into their trap by allowing ourselves to become their mirror images. It is sufficient to contradict their lies with the truth. Clear thinking people of good character will see through their wall of lies and distortions when presented with the facts. But in our quest to get the facts out there, we should not do any distorting of our own. There's no clear evidence that the killer has any real association with leftist groups or subscribes to leftist ideology. One of his former high school classmates has said that he was a leftist, but that was an opinion formed in the mind of a teenager, which is hardly compelling hearsay evidence. On the Pima County voter registration rolls, he is list as neither Republican nor Democrat, but rather independent.
Simply calling the murderer a leftist does not help Gov. Palin. It only reduces our arguments to the same level as those being made against her, which will not convince anyone who is trying to sort it all out. Defend Gov. Palin, and do so vigorously. Combat lies with facts. Let the leftists convict themselves in the court of public opinion. Don't be like them.