Blame Game Stays the Same
"We shouldn't demonize the government or its public employees or its elected officials. We can disagree with them. We can harshly criticize them. But when we turn them into an object of demonization, you know, you ... increase the number of threats."
So said Bill Clinton, warning that Tea Partiers and radio talk-show hosts fuel things like the Oklahoma City bombing.
With discussion of anti-government protests again at a fever pitch, the timing of Monday’s 15th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing gave us the opportunity to once again see Bill Clinton rubbed raw by an event which occurred on his watch.
Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” the former president advised us, “We shouldn’t demonize the government or its public employees or its elected officials. We can disagree with them. We can harshly criticize them. But when we turn them into an object of demonization, you know, you … increase the number of threats.”
Yet the people at whom this diatribe was aimed are among the most caring our society has to offer. TEA parties and other similar protests aren’t hotbeds for racist, bigoted invective despite what the media would have you believe; for example, no one has stepped up with proof that racial epithets were actually shouted at the March 20 Washington, DC, health care protest but media reports accept the charge as absolute gospel. In truth, these liberty-loving protests come off with few problems and the venue is often cleaner afterward than it was beforehand (contrast that to BO’s inauguration.)
But by attempting to equate average TEA partiers with criminals like Timothy McVeigh, the former president is doing his own demonization and turning up the discord from the left. Clinton is right to a point: Overly harsh rhetoric won’t help to defuse a situation. But if there is another attack in the vein of that perpetrated against the occupants of the Murrah building on that fateful April day in 1995, it’s likely that once again the cause will be deeds, not words.