There has been a lot of finger-pointing from the left, particularly at former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, accusing conservatives of intensifying of the political discourse.
But who’s the pot and who’s the kettle?
On Monday’s “Imus in the Morning” program on the Fox Business Network, pollster Frank Luntz explained how difficult it would be to remove all imagery that could be associated with violence from the national dialogue.
“The truth is it’s in our culture,” Luntz said. “Go back to the Star Spangled Banner – our national anthem is about a battle. It’s about rockets blasting in air, bombs going off in air. And so it’s always been a part of who we are – from the American Revolution to the Civil War. But that said, when push came to shove in politics, as tough as it always was – we always found a way to cooperate. We always found a way to get things done when times were toughest.”
Luntz specifically pointed to liberal online outlets – the Huffington Post, MoveOn.org and the Daily Kos. Each of those sites has blamed a perceived rhetorical shift on conservatives in various postings. But they weren’t without fault themselves, according to Luntz.
“For the first time, we’re in a situation now where the anger on the right and the left is horrific,” he continued. “And all you have to do Imus is just go the Huffington Post, go to MoveOn.org, Daily Kos. Read the comments from people and maybe one out of five would qualify for violence.”
He explained that the posters were so freely expressing such violent message because they felt they were protected by anonymity. However, Luntz suggested all parties cool off.
“I’m sure that if you take a look at comments about you, if you take a look at comments about Fox, comments about John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi – every third comment because they think that they are protected by anonymity, every third or fourth comment is vicious and not just personal, but plays into this tension, the anger out there,” Luntz said. “And people really need to back off out there and treat others with respect.”