FRAMESHOP:FRAMESHOP: O'REILLY'S VIDEO RAGE

With each passing day, the voice of the violent right becomes louder and clearer in this country--so much so that many progressives are trying to understand what it means and where it comes from. Posted by Olliver Willis latest video...

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Jeffrey Feldman, Editor-in-Chief
Frameshop, 04/05/2007

With each passing day, the voice of the violent right becomes louder and clearer in this country--so much so that many progressives are trying to understand what it means and where it comes from.

Posted by Olliver Willis latest video of Bill O'Reilly becoming visibly unhinged in a discussion about a drunk driving incident is revealing and well-worth discussing around the water cooler and at the dinner table:

O'Reilly's behavior in this video is the kind of behavior Americans seek to eliminate from society through good parenting, education, and--quite frankly--law enforcement.  But instead of limiting it, FOX News chooses to broadcast these unhinged fulminations across the airwaves--pummeling violent hate into the public psyche like fist blows to our national character.

Violence as the organizing logic that gives shape to a full panoply of political rhetoric--an entire culture of political speech crafted from metaphors and body language evoking violence.

It is a force rapidly overtaking the right wing in this country and it is not slowing down, not pausing. More and more with each passing day, I am aware of an aggressively violent way of framing political ideas from the voices that speak for right. 

It is a rhetoric of bursting veins and chopping heads, an idiom of killing, not talking, to the opposition.

I am left with a question--what place should this rhetoric have in our public debate?  What place? We watch violent movies, play violent video games--but what place should violent rhetoric have in politics?

My answer:  We should choose to speak differently.   

There is violence in life and when we are confronted with it we should speak plainly of it.  But when we are talking about other issues that have nothing to do with violence, our goal should be to look elsewhere.

The alternative is a political culture that spirals into a violent vision like a boat spiraling into a maelstrom. 

Instead of digging deeper into this violent ground, we should seek to build through our political voice a foundation of peace and participation.

Not fear violence--not shy away from it when it is necessary, but choose a political voice that is not violent.

 

© 2007 Jeffrey Feldman, Frameshop

© Jeffrey Feldman 2007, Frameshop

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