Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot and critically wounded this morning at an event at a Tucson, Arizona Safeway. Reports vary, but at least six people died, and more are injured.
There will be all kinds of speculation as to why this happened. But, one thing is for sure, the caustic nature of our political process, the 24/7 nature of reporting, and the hard edge of opinion makers make our way of government almost impossible.
There is no room for nuance. While the people inside the game know how it’s played, it’s the people on Main Street who watch in horror, without clear understanding of what’s going on.
When the red light on the TV camera goes on, the politician is an actor playing a role, sometimes slamming the opponent in public, but winking and nodding at the same time, and having a drink with that same opponent later in the day.
Most don’t understand the public versus private nature of the people who make laws. Most don’t understand that in many cases, the lawmaker postures and positions to prove a point. Most don’t understand that most lawmakers are like you and me.
In a time when unemployment is at an all time high. And, when, for many, the future looks bleak, all of this is personal, and events like what happened today occur.
It’s time we take a step back.