Read. Argue. Listen. Act.
President Barack Obama spoke in Tucson, Arizona, on Wednesday night.
Share your thoughts on Obama's speech: will the tragedy in Tucson change the tenor of the American political debate?
President Obama's speech struck a healing chord. Let's simply receive the words, and how he delivers them; with genuine conviction. The turning point, perhaps through legislation, will come when more advanced measures are taken to treat borderline teens before they turn violent. This kid had been totally on the radar. Obama's temperate message is significant for those experiencing personal loss, and for defending the dignity of those who show up in public for what they believe. It was an intimate speech, also American, at its best.
I hate to feel pigeon-holed, in terms of political leanings, and the more I hear YOU Brian, and so many others in the media tell people they have to pigeon hole their beliefs into silos of liberal, conservative, etc...even going so far to have separate phone in lines on issues....what that says to me is the reason we can't have a more civil discourse, is that as soon as we utter a sentence, we are put in a slot, and believe me that's not how people are. Some days I'm downright conservative, and other times I'm thinking that Michael Moore has some great ideas.Also, today I heard Mara Liason(sp)?analyze what Republicans have to do to attract more Latino voters!!! And later on tell us what Obama did in his speech to try to get reelected.... Isn't that the job of a pundit? or maybe she doesn't work for NPR anymore... In my humble opinion, that is not being the political correspondent, it is adding to the problem.
The tenor of political debate can only change if the public cries out against such negative behavior. Many times I've seen pundits and news casters salivating in hopes for more mud slinging between parties, candidates, etc. It's seems like tabloid obsession to me. But the public seems trained to seek entertainment so the news gives them drama. I turn that nonsense off. Each person has a responsibility with the way they choose to use their words. That is of course if an individual is mature enough and has any knowledge of how to debate on any issue without just wanting to destroy someone who happens to disagree. At any rate what a spoiled country we are. These are the least of life worries for so many millions in this world who don't even have any kind of human rights to begin with. So many in this world are just hoping for basic things in order to survive. We are so blessed and so darn blind. Like teenagers tend to be.
Unhappily, most of the prior comments show why the Arizona tragedy will lead to nothing new in the way of moderate political discourse. So I must join in and ask, Would President Obama have been in Arizona last night to address both that state's citizens and the nation if only the little girl and the three older citizens been killed? A Democratic politician and one of her aides, as well as a Conservative judge, were injured and/or killed, however, and this brought a response (a good and temperate one, I should add) from the elected leader of our country. But where was that currently-temperate leader in evidence when thirteen (count 'em, thirteen) military personnel were killed by a disgruntled and perhaps even crazier army major last year. The first commenter stated that tens of thousands have been killed by guns in the U.S. in the past decade. This may be true, but where was the president, or the prior president, in honoring those who died in even worse massacres? Answer: Neither was there, because none of the prior incidences involved politicians? That's a pretty rough, and possibly biased, statement that I'm making. But to paraphrase the question asked every year at the start of Passover, other than in its effect on politicians, why is this incident different from all other incidents where the White House is concerned?
Everyone needs to grow up; name-calling is childish, and rude.
For some reason, half of my comment got cut off.
There have been tens of thousands of gun murders in the U.S. since the beginning of the 21st century.
Obama brought me to tears last night. I wish I had some of that little girl's idealism. As an old woman I've become cynical about people actually changing, "doing the work." Still, I hope and dream. Maybe this will be a turning point.
since the beginning of the 21st century. Every time the violence bubbles up on the the front page, there is soul-searching and hand-wringing, and then everyone forgets about it until the next one. Oh, everyone except the gun freaks, who run out and buy more guns because they are convinced that the gubment will restrict them...which it never does.
No, this will make not a shred of difference.
I am a Democrat living in a very Conservative area, so many friends are very different from me politically. I was shocked to receive the 1st political FWD since Tuscon in my email yesterday and wrote a long response about taking it down a notch, but after reading Pres. Obama's remarks I have cut and pasted them as a REPLY TO ALL. They simply and eloquently say what America needs to hear.
I think that no one side has a monopoly on toxic rhetoric. I think that almost all of us, red or blue, right or left, can agree that we want a safer world for our kids, fairness and justice from our government, and a better standard of living for those who come after us.
My 2 cents to Brian's questions: never assume that you know what your ideological opponent in a discussion is thinking. Someone who wants national healthcare should not be assumed to be a socialist, someone who wants illegal immigration to be controlled should not be assumed to be a racist. Basically, shut up, and listen.
Thanks for this. I am so proud of the President's generous and brave words. And thanks for this, Brian. You are also a brave and generous man. Let us use this opportunity to do something good for our community or our country. I have a wonderful nephew who is not on my "side" politically, but he is very involved in being a good citizen in his community, and he is involved in pedestrian safety, and landscape design.Thank you.Susan
Sorry, but I will not be convinced anything has changed until Fox News plays the entire video of Obama's speech from the other night on the air without any commentary.
Until then, this changes absolutely nothing.
Oh, but will it change the tenor?
I know it made me rethink my own "assumptions."
I always consider myself well-informed--and right--but I was genuinely moved to rethink some of my own thoughts and words of the last few days when he said, "What we cannot do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on each other."
I thought it was great how he said that our hopes and dreams are bound together. It was a good reminder that we all want similar things--we just let our LANGUAGE get in the way of productive conversations as to how to achieve those goals.
The political aftermath of the Tuscon shooting is a prime example of how we let vitriol, as it's come to be called this week, keep us from having any kind of meaningful conversations about anything. So, bravo Obama. Great job.
Obama's dignity has shamed crazies like the new tea-party Congressman from Ft. Lauderdale, Allen West, who tried to hire as his chief of staff a woman who said "If ballots don't work, bullets will." We haven't heard a peep from them as they have been hiding under their rocks since Giffords got the bullet they recommended.
Excellent, excellent speech with strokes of pure genius. Such a relief to listen to someone who understands how language works.
I've had my moments of doubt and disappointment with Obama, but he was excellent last night.
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