I’m but one of a ten-thousand strong army of conservative hobbyist pundits. I’m not a reporter, nor any sort of investigator.
But there are bloggers out there who are more of the investigative type, who know the web well, and they should look into this story , of death threats issued by “conservatives” and “patriots” in South Dakota. A Sioux Falls school board’s consideration of a plan to nix daily Pledge of Allegiance recital at the high-school level led to hundreds upon hundreds of emailed threats, many of them death threats, against school board members. Also, shockingly, many phoned threats.
As a society, we need to push back against this kind of junk and barbarism. Against cheap outrage-manufacture on one end, and the actual cyber-bullying on the other.
Both political parties need to firmly indicate that while anyone is free to register with their party, the party’s leadership will actively oppose any candidacy, or even any paid position in the party, for anyone caught doing this sort of thing. Do-not-fund-or-support lists should be set up and distributed nationally by both parties, and conservative and liberal media organizations should do the equivalent.
But back to this case. There probably is a way of figuring out which conservative media and web outlets focused on this story, which ones did so irresponsibly, who published the phone numbers on which sites, and even who some of the people were who issued the threats. Again, I’m talking about a journalistic investigation, not one related to criminal or civil law. I’m talking about the outcome being reprimands, shamings, and party-ostracisms, depending on the case.
All very hard to do, yes. But we should begin to try. And we need the investigative reporting to even start.
OF COURSE the liberals have many, many, many more offenders on their hands than conservatives do. Witness the shameful behavior the Democratic Party tolerated in Wisconsin protests against Governor Scott Walker’s legislation two years ago, which involved death-threats galore . You know I could go on, and on . . .
And that’s before I would even get to the hateful and irresponsible behavior of liberal media outlets!
But let’s start with our house.
For doing so might shame the moderates and the ethical liberals who have cowardly washed their hands of any responsibility for the hateful and ethics-free climate that now characterizes so much of the Democratic party, into making some moves against it.