Tag Archives: Giffords

In the Language of the Party, A Memorial is a Rally

I sat last night watching and tweeting the #memorial last night.  Or was it a political rally.  The answer I think is that it is both.  And neither.  And therein lies the real problem.

I watched last night because I believed in the possibility of some sort of communal healing occurring at the event which might unite the country after the last week of rancorous bloodletting.  I came out of it more worried than ever about our future as a nation.

I was impressed with Obama’s speech.  I thought he struck the right tone and tamped down the various “blood libel” type memes that have been working their way over the media and internet surrounding this event.  None of which I believe are helpful.  Conservatives are not to blame for this event, nor are liberals.  If we fall into the trap of blame, we are playing into the Marxist ideology that states that individuals actions are scripted due to societal influences rather than their own monstrous criminal acts. This of course was also Sarah Palin’s point in her video statement from yesterday which can be found here.

So what did happen last night?  First of all as someone with great experience in theatre, and the staging of events, nothing that wasn’t planned or at least foreseen by those that planned the event.

So let’s subject the event to a little analysis and see what we find.

It was billed as a memorial for the dead and wounded.  But it seemed to those of us watching it was more of a pep rally.

I wouldn’t have minded that, if it was sold as a Rally for Tucson.  But it wasn’t.  It was however branded as “Together We Thrive” which seems like a crass reworking of the “Yes We Can” mantra enough on the face of it. Michelle Malkin’s piece on this can be found here.

What this brings to light though is the way that Conservatives think of a “Memorial” which is solemn, reverent, based in faith traditions, and focuses on the individuals and families in question, and the Post-Modern/Neo-Marxist idea of “Memorialization” which works to place the individual within their appropriate identity politic and hold them up as an example to be followed and exalted.

That is the dissonance we witnessed last night.  In Party Speak: “A Memorial is a Rally.” It is also why the leader of the Party got to say all the words of condolence, provide all the biographical information on the dead and wounded, and deliver the news that “She opened her eyes” as though it was an accomplishment that he had something to do with, instead of letting a friend, family member, rabbi, deliver that news.

This was not a tightly scripted political rally in the guise of a “memorial.” And while it may have helped the Obama it did not help Tucson, Arizona, or America.

We need a real memorial.  For a country that used to know how to grieve, rather than simply scream on cue for its leaders.

 

Scott Boston @scottsboton

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The Arizona Tragedy; A Theory of Total Blame

It has become great sport in since the initial shooting and attempted murder of Gabrielle Giffords to muse on the cause of such an event, what would make someone do such a thing, and how we can as a society can prevent such actions from occurring in the future.

These are the wrong questions for us to be asking as a nation, and they are they wrong questions for us to be answering as members of the Tea Party movement.

It is tempting for us to fall into this debate, as before Ms. Giffords had even made it to the hospital, there were those on the left blaming the Tea Party for the action, and we felt a corresponding urge to defend ourselves.

And therein lies they trap.  The story now becomes a moving target of motivations, first tea party, then reading lists, then ideologies or religious affiliations, then guns, then gun laws, then about the general safety of members of congress.

The one commonality all these story-lines share is who they blame, or rather, who they don’t.

None of these story-lines blame the shooter for his actions.  None say he was a sick and twisted individual who took actions that made sense to him and him alone.

Instead, they blame you.  They blame me.  They blame America. And in the end all these problems will result in a call for more government solutions.

The only conservative response to this tragedy is that the shooter is responsible for his own actions.  Anything else is political posturing.