Sunday, 9 January 2011

#Assassination of Gabrielle Giffords : lessons to be learned


The American congresswoman pictured above is dead.
This is a sad day for her family and for democracy in the USA.
My thoughts and sympathies go out to all concerned.

Australia is fortunate.
No politician has been assassinated, ever.

Gabrielle Giffords is the first woman in America to be assassinated.
As my Twitter friend @hyperlocavore says, we've come a long way.

A question has been raised about whether 
the Sara Palin ad below will be buried.

Please note: Gabrielle Giffords name is there.
The Tea Party were unashamedly out to get her -
and to stop the USA getting equitable health care
similar to that of every other developed nation in the world.
Giffords particularly worked on getting better mental health care.
For all that is known at this stage, mental health or lack of it
could be the root cause of Giffords' death.

I think all politicians, political operatives, and media people everywhere
need to take note.
Excessive and violent political language
can result in excessive and violent political deeds.
When there is civil unrest and disruption arising from 
widespread inequity and injustice,
violence can raise its ugly and damaging head.

We could say - Only in America - but hatred of the heart
is not limited by geographical boundaries nor by cultural idiosyncracies.
Hatred can spring from very deep wells anywhere.

In Australia, we have people in politics and the media
who thrive on division, sectionalism, self-aggrandisement.
We have people in politics and the media
who care nothing for others, understand nothing of how others live.

We have division over water, over Coal Seam Gas mining,
over the privatisation of utilities,
and of being ripped off by such policies.
We know our government, our political parties are not listening.
Our national government hangs on a delicate thread.
The electorate has tried its best to send a message.
Politicians say they are listening - but are they?

Let's build a strong base - a just civil society.
Otherwise, there is this - the crazy, violent American way.

Postscript 7.10am
Reports coming in that Giffords is alive.

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