Frank Rich's column in yesterday's NY Times brought to mind a subject that has come up a few times with my friends. Not a subject we talk about a lot, but apparently I'm hardly the only one who has had this awful thought. It's this: out there in the wilds of insane America are any number of people who actually want to kill the president of the U.S and who would do it given half the chance. As you are surely aware, this country has no shortage of nut cases. In my opinion, you can start with the likes of Fox News and right wingnut talk radio, but, of course, I'd be considered a leftist extremist by the apologists for people like Limbaugh and O'Reilly, who after all are simply exercising their First Amendment rights to be mindless jerks.
But isn't a steady diet of these people dangerous? I simply pose a question, how can a constant stream of anti-Obama rhetoric, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that you can hear on Fox or on your AM radio dial not enflame the minds of the truly twisted who are out there in their hundreds of thousands in this country? As we know, any one of these certified loonies can obtain a gun as easily as they can buy a tomato in a store.
There have been an amazing number of attempts or what appeared to be attempts on the life of presidents. It takes a nut case to kill a president. Every assassin or would-be assasin of a president has been if not certifiably deranged--Leon Czolgosz, Charles Guiteau, Squeeky Fromme--then certainly obsessive to the point of derangement--John Wilkes Booth, Lee Harvey Oswald, John Hinkley, Jr. The atmosphere to breed and incubate murderous hatred in the crazed among us is palpable.
An exhibit. This is from Fox News, of all places. You don't have to believe me. Just watch this.
Now I ask you, if this is what they're saying on Fox News, is fear for something really terrible happening to Obama misplaced?