Dear Mr. President … I heard your remarks — along with those of the first lady — at the White House condemning the attacks on “former high government officials.”
You left out any mention of the bomb that was sent to CNN’s New York offices. Yes, all the intended targets have been critics of yours or have been the object of your own scorn. CNN is one of them. Maybe you can say something later today or tomorrow … or the next day.
Here’s my current request, Mr. President: I hear you’re headed for a campaign rally in Wisconsin later. You’ll be standing behind that podium in front of a raucous crowd of supporters. Will you, sir, be mindful of what has transpired today and tone down the rhetoric?
You need to be acutely aware of what has happened to the public mood out here. A lot of Americans are angry with you … many other Americans are angry with your critics. Count me as one who’s angry with the tone you have been setting, as well as your presidency in general.
Many millions of us, Mr. President, will be listening intently to what you say and listening as well to how you say it.
You’re the president, the only one we have. All eyes are on you, which I suspect is precisely what you like most about being in the office you occupy. Therefore, it is imperative that you speak to your supporters using language that is far less inflammatory than what you’ve been using during your entire presidency.
I truly believe, sir, we are reaping one of the dire consequences of what you and your bloc of base voters have sown.
Tone it down, Mr. President.
I believe it is fair to ask: Has the fiery rhetoric condemning Planned Parenthood resulted in the shooting deaths of three individuals at the hands of someone who has told police “no more baby parts”?
Three people died this week when a man opened fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs.
Police arrested Robert Lewis Dear after a siege that lasted several hours. The motive was unclear immediately after Dear’s arrest. Then today he reportedly told police about the “baby parts” and how he wanted to prevent future harvesting of those organs from aborted fetuses.
Many of us have seen those videos taken at another Planned Parenthood clinic. It shows staffers discussing the harvesting of body parts. What has become known generally since then is that videos were edited heavily to portray gross indifference among the staffers.
And that — sad to say — triggered some of the rhetorical firestorm emanating from Congress and along the presidential campaign trail.
Many of the accusations leveled against Planned Parenthood were false. Federal law prohibits the selling of body parts “for profit.” Yet that’s what the accusers said Planned Parenthood was doing. There’s been no proof of profiteering, merely accusations.
Yet the rhetoric became stoked by politicians looking for sound bites, producing tremendous anger among many Americans. Sadly, much of that anger was based on false pretenses.
Now we have this. Someone has taken three lives and injured several other individuals.
I am acutely aware that the shooter will have defenders who say he is “righteous” in seeking to justice over the practice of abortion.
I have no intention of entering the abortion debate. I do intend to suggest that politicians seeking to express their own righteous indignation over medical procedures that in fact are legal need to consider the consequences of fomenting anger.