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Sad Day for America

January 9, 2011

Whatever prompted the killings of six defenseless persons, including a nine year old little girl, and the shooting of seven others today in Tucson, the reasons will never justify the act. While family members and friends grope for answers, all I can say is this is a sad day for America. We have in our country people who think the answer to our problems is to kill others, to lash out, to abandon morality and one’s humanity.

I hope we all take time to reflect on this terrible act. I also hope politicians look at their own behavior and ask themselves if their inflammatory rhetoric needs to be toned down. For in these very difficult times where so many are jobless and under tremendous strain, where so many feel slighted, put upon, and hopeless, these people often will be spurred on by aggressive language from our leaders to find someone to blame – and even act out in negative ways. This is a very dangerous thing indeed. People look to their leaders for inspiration, for guidance, for solutions. What they are finding instead is an overabundance of arrogant vitriol. Our leaders need to speak more rationally, more calmly, more constructively – yes, they need to be more civil in their discourse. Mature persons approach problems with an even hand and put personality and ideology aside. They behave with integrity. Leaders must take the higher road, must be above petty insults and underhandedness, and at all costs avoid propaganda for when they do not, when they choose to abandon civil discourse, they open the door for incivility, for violence, and even murder.

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