The weekend violence in Tucson has ignited a national discussion on the far right’s violent rhetoric against elected officials and candidates who do not subscribe to their ideology. "Second Amendment solutions" rather than First Amendment ones should never be seen as legitimate ways to express opposition to a democratically elected government.
But instead of taking this event as a reminder of how important responsible debate is to our nation, some groups are claiming they’ve given up on it completely. According to Roll Call:
[A]fter the group was "attacked" for the shootings, Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation wrote this weekend that the era of agreeing to disagree was over.
"[T]he aftermath of today’s shooting is the official obituary for political civility in this country," he wrote. "The left has simply gone to far. There can be no civil discourse with people as crazy as those on the left are."
Responding to the national discussion on overheated political rhetoric by declaring an end to civil discourse is not constructive, to say the least.
If Phillips has given up on civil discourse, what exactly is he suggesting take its place?