While the recent violence in Tucson appears to be the work of one sick man, it needs to be viewed for what it represents and not dismissed as an aberration. It fits into the larger context of violence as a political tool.
Chest-thumping politicians and pundits market themselves using the iconography of force to make themselves look tough. Anyone calling for another way is put down as weak and foolish. Other ideas are not just wrong; they are labeled a threat to be dealt with.
We invested the largest part of our disposable income in the tools of violence. We spend more on weapons and war than the rest of the world combined. Is this the mark of a powerful and secure people or the frightened and insecure? When the topic is raised, the noise machine gets indignant and attempts to shout down the question.
The message we receive from corporate media is of our reluctant use of only the minimum violence to make us safe from some evil other. Look at this media and follow the money.
Is General Electric, the owner of NBC, also a defense contractor? Yes. Does GE profit from violence? Yes.
The tragedy in Tucson brings the nation to tears only because the victims are us. The truth is that this loss of life doesn’t ever register on the scale of misery and lives lost to the industrialized violence that passes for U.S. foreign policy.
You reap what you sow.