I recall, when I was a child, it was a very hard lesson to learn. I was a bit slower than most to learn it. Yet, after repeated false starts, I somehow learned the best way to handle making a mistake was to first admit to it; to next correct my mistake if that was possible; to do something to prevent its reoccurence; and then to move on.
I would guess from my own experience that is a hard lesson for little children to learn, but that it is also very much a necessary lesson.
After the murders last Saturday, two or three of my more conservative friends have very privately told me that both the Right and the Left need to tone down their rhetoric in this country, but especially the Right. They have made no excuses for Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, and so forth. Nor even, in one instance, for their own overblown rhetoric.
What strikes me, though, is the general refusal of our political leadership to take any reasonable responsibility for dealing with the violent rhetoric. Maybe it’s happening and I’m just missing it. But it seems to me that many of our leaders — both official leaders like Boehner and unofficial, but influential, leaders like Beck — are MIA on this issue. Beck seems to have actually gone on the attack — making no mention of his own role in creating a climate of violence — but instead falling just short of openly blaming liberals for the climate.
So, I don’t think much has been learned from the shooting of so many people. I hope I’m just missing it, and the people who lead our nation — both officially and unofficially — have actually come to their senses.