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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Soundbites: Jan. 25

Heated rhetoric a part of American politics

Ever since the terrible shooting on Jan. 8, a debate has raged throughout the country about the current tone of today’s politics. It started when our esteemed Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, without any shred of evidence, cited “”vitriolic rhetoric”” as the cause during a nationally televised press conference. But what exactly is “”vitriolic rhetoric?””

There is nothing new about the rhetoric in today’s politics. It has always been nasty. From ancient Greece to modern America you can find numerous examples of “”vitriolic rhetoric.”” The election of 1796 and 1800 between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams sure weren’t very polite. Andrew Jackson’s wife was called a prostitute by his political rivals. Anyone who thinks Fox News or MSNBC is bad should read the newspapers of the late 1700s and early 1800s.

This so-called “”vitriolic rhetoric”” is not going away.

Rhetoric had nothing to do with the shooting, so why should we change our rhetoric? There is no correlation.

One thing that can be taken from the shooting is that no matter how nasty politics gets, we are all still human. Even the most conservative Republicans will show compassion toward the most liberal Democrats, and I have little doubt that would be the case the other way around.

I spent the last year of my life campaigning every day against Gabrielle Giffords. I pray for her and wish her a speedy recovery. However, when she does return to Congress and after a well-deserved obviation, I will continue to oppose her politics.

I want political debate and heated rhetoric to continue across America because that’s who we are. This country was founded on and has survived on extreme rhetoric. Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly should be able to opine all they want to their viewers. Keith Olbermann and Rachel Maddow should be allowed to say what they want to their viewers. I want to see the American people engaged.

I was proud to see so many Americans get upset when an unconstitutional health care bill was forced down their throats through backroom deals, open bribes and coercion, and I would expect Democrats to get just as upset once that bill is repealed.

Do not kid yourself. One crazed lunatic’s actions are not going to transform American politics, nor should they.

— Trey Terry is the communications director for the College Republicans.

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