You see, there is a member of the Woonsocket Zoning board, one Richard J.Fagnant, that posts things like this on his facebook page:
He might have included his thoughts on the picture when originally posted, but just blindly shared this photo to his timeline, without any commentary denouncing the image. Would you post a picture to facebook of something that you found offensive without explicitly stating your objections at the same time? I certainly wouldn't, for fear that people would get the wrong idea about me. The way I see it, Mr. Fagnant either doesn't share this fear, or this is the EXACT idea that he wants people to have of him. I'm leaning heavily toward the latter.
As troubling as this image is, more disturbing is the fact that, in the world of social media, this seems to be what is passing as measured political discourse these days. You may have serious criticisms about how President Obama has run this country. I know I do. Frankly, Mr. Obama has been as disappointing to the left as he's been infuriating to the right, but these types of public postings a) scare the living daylights out of the folks at the Secret Service, b) cheapen your legitimate criticisms if/when you make them, and c) undermine any credibility you might have.
Agenda driven "news" outlets like MSNBC and FOX aren't exactly a bridge over the political chasm, either. The weak-minded can be easily influenced by the outrage porn peddlers on these stations. To illustrate how dangerous this hot-headed rhetoric can be, and how these outlets spin stories to gin up the base, I offer this.
Back in December of 2012, an Indiana man set fire to a mosque in Toledo, Ohio. The man was arrested and charged with arson with extra penalties attached for hate crime. Most news outlets reported that the man told police that he drank 45 beers in seven hours before getting into his car and driving two hours to set fire to the mosque. He also told police that the reason he did it was because he "wanted to get some payback" for American troops killed by Islamic extremists in the middle east, and that he got" all riled up" while watching FOX News. FOX, of course, had a somewhat different take on the story, conveniently omitting the 45 beers, drunk driving, and the station he was watching that got him all "riled up."
Journalism used to be driven by a tenacious search for the truth. Sometime in the 1980's it became revenue driven. In the days of agenda driven "news", I almost long for the days when cash money drove the news cycle...
I guess the point here is this:
If you have legitimate critiques of sitting politicians, let's hear them. We may not agree, but let's at least discuss them in a calm, rational tone. If you're going to parrot a party line, spoon-fed to you by a clearly biased news outlet, I say, "Enough of your bullshit."