Written in reaction to the horrific news out of Florida, this well-meaning, but absurd, paragraph from ABC is a good example of how false equivalence can undermine democracy and impede solutions:
“Time and again, the parties dig in and fall back on tired talking points. Democrats, by and large, call for stricter gun control policies; Republicans, for the most part, send thoughts and prayers and say this isn’t the time to act. For all other national security issues — all other real, imagined or persistent risks for our children — politicians suggest policy. They offer ideas, and debate solutions. They feel they have to.”
Read those words closely. Democrats are described as offering specific gun control measures, while Republicans are described as offering empty consolatory words — and yet somehow the postures of both parties are then lumped together as mirror images of inaction.
Accountability in a democracy depends on voters being able to sort out who is responsible for what. And when lazy and inaccurate reporting spreads responsibility around to everyone in falsely equal measure, then, in effect, nobody is held accountable for anything.
For a better — and infuriating — review of the competing positions of the two parties, see this piece from New York Magazine. It made my blood boil.
In the aftermath of yet another heart-breaking mass shooting, thoughts and prayers are important . . . but thoughts and prayers as a cynical, cowardly cover for legislative obstruction are an insult and an outrage.