It’s useful to consider that in spite of irresponsible accusations of right wing toxic political speech causing the recent tragedy in Arizona, America now is in probably its best position vis a vis political violence in its history. Consider this list of members of Congress who died unnatural deaths, and consider the sheer number who were killed in duels. Of course, at one point the Vice President of the US shot and killed a political opponent, too, and wasn’t even brought to trial. As Adam Serwer observes, Congressmen in the past have beat each other with canes on the floor of the Capitol. America has been much more partisan historically than today, and though we should be careful about how we exhort each other politically, some measure of violence, unfortunately, is going to persist because of the world in which we live.

HT: The Monkey Cage

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