If words don't mean anything, why do people rail against the "socialists teaching our kids", "liberal brainwashing" and other ideas like these? You cannot claim these things and then claim "irresponsible, violent rhetoric" from the mainstream left when in fact, it is very rare. If you believe that words have no meaning and no attached moral responsibility, then you cannot hold those of opposing views to that same standard to prove the superiority of your argument. You cannot dismiss something like an opinion poll group because you do not agree with the result but then turn around and use that same source to later justify your position on something else. Either something is right or it is wrong in varying degrees and you go from there. Like Bush said "you are either for us or you are against us".
For example, if you agree it is wrong to make innuendos or outright state that suggest a person or party be removed from a campaign or political office by violent means, then you cannot dismiss it as free speech or pretend it didn't happen when someone from your political leanings violates that. Our moral code as human beings is supposed to be followed regardless of whether or not someone else is watching or paying attention. The same goes for if you agree with the other person or not. The problem with us as human beings is that while we may go on and on about being capable of being logical and rational creatures, the fact is that emotions and allegiances will always get in the way of true impartialism. We will be pre-disposed to overlook the faults and errors of those we tend to agree with and over-investigate those we disagree with because that is in our nature.
My friend shared these as his proof of violent speech from the left and I am letting you decide.
While I'm not sure of the original context or source of this picture, we can safely assume it's most likely a city-raised liberal, probably a PETA freak. No self-respecting conservative or country person would make the mistake of posing with a left-handed bolt action rifle (most likely a .270 or 7mm, neither of which are ideal for shooting moose, elk or caribou by the way) with a righthanded aim.
The following are videos showing "violent rhetoric" by liberals and they are in some degree violent, demeaning, etc. My argument is that while wrong, they are not from popular or influential people. They are not on syndicated radio or cable news programs.
The only one I'll give any credence to is the one from Madonna since most people, myself included, have probably not even heard of the other two people. In a fair fight, Palin wins. Madonna is getting old and quite honestly, the few people that still listen to her are probably so self-absorbed, they wouldn't even have the time to travel to Alaska to act upon the idea of an ass kicking.
So do I think Palin's crosshair map caused a severely mentally disturbed person to go out on a shooting rampage? No, I don't and not for one minute would I ever make that argument. What I do believe is that he was going to eventually attack someone, it was just a matter of time. However, I think this incident does bring to light a couple of disturbing issues and that is the state of our society in which mental illness is either overly medicated or ignored. The second is our political climate which is extremely charged and we have already seen people acting violently as a result. It does cause otherwise somewhat normal people to act in ways that they would not normally and could possibly cause disturbed people to finally resort to actions they may have only talked about before