Sarah Palin owes the American people of very sincere apology. She owes David Letterman an apology. She owes her own children an apology. Her actions and statements have been dangerous, exploitive, divisive and deceptive
I am disappointed that the media pundits commenting on this case did not point out that Sarah Palin conveniently used a 6 second joke by a non-political figure to divert the discussion away from the role Palin’s recent political rhetoric has played in creating a hostile and dangerous political climate in America over the past year. Palin’s outrageous comments falsely connecting Obama to socialism, falsely creating a completely unfounded fear of Big Brother government and stoking up political paranoia on the Right is dangerous and in poor taste. Her kind of rhetoric can directly be connected to the recent murders by Right-Wing extremists at the Holocaust museum in DC and in Kansas. She stoked the paranoia and inflamed their misguided passions and twisted political world view.
The Palin-type of extreme political rhetoric from the Republican Right has been feeding a growing domestic terrorist problem in America. This kind of dangerous rhetoric routinely comes not only from Palin herself, but also, from Right-Wing talk radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage, extremist Right-Wing websites like Free Republic.com and, unfortunately, from many, many Republican Party officials and activists. Examples of Right-Wing political hate speech on talk radio are legion. Free Republic.com has thousands of posted comments of the most extreme nature. At about the same time that Palin was making her most recent inflammatory comments, the Republican Party held a political fundraiser that raised over $15 million dollars where a second rate actor called Obama “dangerous” and made many other hate-filled comments about our President.
We all remember the Sarah Palin rallies during the 2008 Presidential campaign where the crowd contained numerous Right-Wing nut jobs who shouted “kill him” when Obama’s name was mentioned. We all know about the Right-Wing conspiracy theories that contend Obama is a secret Muslim and/or not really an American citizen. We saw hundred if not thousands of signs to this effect at the McCain-Palin rallies in 2008 and at the Fox News/Republican sponsored anti-tax “tea parties” earlier this year. The man who committed the political murders at the Holocaust museum in DC wrote in support of these whack-job Right-Wing conspiracy theories on the Free Republic.com web site!
Stephen Crockett is co-host of Democratic Talk Radio and author of the Democratic Voices opinion column.