Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Tucson Shooter Jared Loughner
During a town hall meeting in Abu Dhabi (also see post below):
In Abu Dhabi today, at a town hall meeting at Abu Dhabi’s Zayed University for a taped show on MBC television called “Sweet Talk,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton labeled the Tucson shooter an “extremist.”
“Look, we have extremists in my country,” she said. “A wonderful, incredibly brave young woman congressmember, Congresswoman Giffords was just shot in our country. We have the same kinds of problems. So rather than standing off from each other, we should work to try to prevent the extremists anywhere from being able to commit violence.”
The label “extremist” in that context suggests a political motivation. President Obama and officials in the law enforcement community have been more circumspect in their public remarks, suggesting it is too early to ascribe motive.
It perhaps is too soon to ascribe motives. Only Loughner can provide that, but Secretary Clinton’s overall point is well-taken. Irrespective of this kid’s ideology and the ideology of the victims, there is no reason NOT to tone down the political rhetoric. The rhetoric has quite frankly become overly-provocative and tinged with violent symbolism and imagery. It’s politics, not war, and it’s high time people remember that. I don’t care whether someone is on the right, left, middle or totally apolitical. There is no place for thinly-veiled violent rhetoric in a democracy and I’m as big a free speech advocate as you are likely to find.