Monday, January 10, 2011

Monday Mourning

I'm still so unsettled about the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords that I don't know what to say here, in a blog about health care. Note that the health care vote has been postponed. Instead, there will be a security briefing in Congress in Wednesday, as well there should be.

After a tragedy like this, do we go back to business as usual? Did Sarah Palin's use of targeting and crosshairs help bring this about? Is the high-pitched political rhetoric on both sides to blame? The parties are already fighting over who's responsible. Some resist the obvious urge to point to heated political rhetoric as a cause. Others link it to conservative opinionators.

What steps can we take to keep this from happening again? Calls for greater security and civility both seem appropriate. This is a moment when perhaps we can all think about the rhetoric we've been using and try to tone it down some, even strive for unity.

Beyond that, my heart's not really into reporting a smattering of health news about tonsilitis and the effects of vaccines on autism.

Today is a day for thinking about how we can make our points and try to persuade others without encouraging people who are already on the brink of a breakdown. Let's debate health care without all the rhetoric. Let's aspire to rising above the talk, to be like those who intervened and perhaps limited the damage that was done. Let's find our common humanity -- and then let's hold onto it for more than a couple of days.

Let's give this tragedy some meaning by making sure it never happens again. Jennifer

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