It will take responsible leaders
Question: Vitriolic political rhetoric is on the rise for one simple reason: it works. In the wake of the tragic shooting in Tucson, what can political, business and community leaders do to change the political dynamic so that demonizing opponents is not a winning strategy? How do we end the rhetorical arms race?
It is not clear whether or not vicious rhetoric wins elections. It turns off many voters. But it does attract angry and unstable people who feel justified in expressing their irrational rage.
Provocative radio and TV commentators won't disappear as long as they draw a large audience. But unless responsible leaders reject followers in their own parties who preach lessons of hate, unstable listeners will continue to believe that destructiveness is OK.
During the 2008 presidential campaign, John McCain demonstrated responsible leadership, putting a stop to talk threatening Barack Obama. But it takes courage to denounce popular media figures. They will turn on anyone who challenges them, as we saw when Republicans who criticized Rush Limbaugh quickly backtracked.
January 11, 2011; 11:42 AM ET
Category: Accomplishing Goals , Congressional leadership , Failures , Government leadership , Leadership weaknesses , Political leadership Save & Share:
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Posted by: post-it2 | January 14, 2011 3:07 PM
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