Ichabod's Kin
A place for politics, pop culture, and social issues

Arizona in the Crosshairs

Jan Brewer

Image via Wikipedia

Arizona was a “Territory” till 1912, and certain folks there are yet to stop riding mules and seeking gold in ghost mines. Quaintly, Phoenix’s “Historic” district are homes built in the 1930s and ‘40s.

This is also the Arizona that nearly lost a major college bowl game a few years ago for outlawing Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. As so often occurs with such independent cusses, however, money trumped principle and they hosted the Bowl and harvested its dough.

Frontier rhetoric, along with its prejudices, still abounds. It was my distinct displeasure to visit their state legislature on many occasions during 2000-2005 to hear state senator Russell Pearce and others say the most terrible things about Mexico and Mexicans in terms one would not use to describe vermin of the worst sort. Pearce is a hate-filled product of a past when men supposedly were men and life was cheap. With his help, it has become cheaper.

His doomsday mission is aided and abetted by Gov. Jan Brewer (shown above), a hanger-on pol who got to her current position somewhat by default. Before, she was a homely, unpleasant dish-water sort who, as the immigration pot began to boil and she basked in national attention, got a radical makeover and now bears an eternally blond but Sarah Palin “do,” and face-lift smile, even when voicing unpleasant thoughts.

All this is backdrop for the tragedy of the past week, but to add quickly that there are crackpots in all states of the union who may go over the edge at the slightest and seemingly unrelated provocation.

Add to that however that extreme rhetoric creates a climate made for the deranged. Pearce’s inflammatory harangues aside, Brewer has infamously added the legend of supposed beheaded bodies in the desert that was reported widely and with all the scorn it, and she, deserved. If she’s sorry to have so mis-spake, she has not said so.

But that’s only Arizona. The tragedy there can and most likely will happen anywhere and everywhere. I knew we were in trouble when conservative pols, and those who aspired to be, excused virulent speech at the notorious Town Hall meetings as, “W-e-l-l, we can understand their anger…” This simply authorized overt rage, the next step of which can easily become rage carried out.

What such elected officials did not do was to urge extreme caution to calm down once pique has been expressed. But, no, they used that anger, resulting in more incendiary speech and a scary heightening of social tension.

Sen. John Kyl, who bears eerie resemblance to Zippy the Pinhead, jumped on the Pima County sheriff’s suggestion that the Tucson shooting was related to extreme rhetoric, and deemed it nothing more than political exploitation. However, at no time or occasion has Kyle denounced decades of rancorous statements from the neighboring sheriff, the notorious Joe Arpaio, let alone those of Brewer or Pearce.

Of course, Sarah Palin could be counted on to do verbal spadework for potential tragedy, but suddenly and mysteriously disappeared from view when such occurred and was notably represented by “spokespersons” who said her “crosshairs” map had reference other than to guns. Oh, sure, but should our sole Muslim in Congress ever make such inference, you can bet the farm he’d be condemned as a terrorist and cast into outer darkness.

I’m also beyond tired of said rightwingers and their argument from “equivalence,” that “everyone does it,” regardless of political affiliation or persuasion. I am not about to admit that dose of unreality into my brain, especially in the name of fairness and tolerance, because it’s neither. I do admit to rare instances of liberal extremism but the rest of us do not stand and cheer and elect such numbskulls to Congress or fill their coffers for re-election.

Add to this zany picture Glenn Beck, who rushed to distance himself by posting a little petition eschewing violence or talk of it, while hinting that if Obama doesn’t add a signature oh, gee, guess what that could mean! Beck is currently the other book end to Reagan’s first suggestion that government is the problem, not the answer, and thereby our sworn enemy. Beck wants us to stop our ears from hearing all persons, causes and politics but himself, his own and those whom he endorses.

The other elephant in the room is our aversion to gun control, of which I have said much at other times and may be accessed on this site by clicking the Category of Gun Control for posts titled, “Life In a Hail of Bullets,” Let Me Get My Gun,” “Gun Shy,” and “An America Without Guns.”

Regarding Arizona and its currently lame environment, check the same site for “Thank God for Arizona” (be sure that is tongue in cheek) under “Race in America.”

2 Responses to “Arizona in the Crosshairs”

  1. As always, you have hit the nail squarely on the head. I just wish there was a way to bring your comments to the nation. They deserve the most extensive audience possible. Keep giving a voice to those of us who are less articulate.

  2. Did you see the so-called memorial in Tuscon? I was disappointed. I thought the president gave the Republicans a pass.

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