Look: The thing is, when you are writing political copy or giving a political speech, you should always remember that you are speaking to the craziest person who will read your message. Any government official who has held a town meeting or been required to sift through every public comment on an issue knows this. Crazy people gravitate toward politics, because politics is supposed to be all-inclusive. Politics is the discourse of the people, and it's the one public sphere where nobody is supposed to be disenfranchised. That's why stuffy people hate to go to the library—because all of the people they try hard to ignore on the street are welcome there. When you traffic in the language of politics, you're writing to them. They feel empowerment in politics. And when politics goes crazy, they go crazier.
You should read MightyGodKing's reaction to the shooting. He makes some very important points I haven't read anywhere else:
But most paranoids don’t go out killing people; the tinfoil hats and hoarding is usually enough to get them by. So what happened with Jared Loughner? The same thing that happened with Andrew Stack when he flew his plane into an IRS building, or Byron Williams when he decided he had to go shoot up the Tides Federation and the ACLU, or James von Brunn when he shot up the Holocaust Museum, or Jim Adkisson when he decided to shoot up a Unitarian Church, or Richard Poplawski when he shot up a bunch of cops, or Nidal Hasan when he shot up Fort Hood.
I threw that last one in there in purpose, because back when Nidal Hasan — somebody who was obviously mentally disturbed — committed his crime, there were no shortage of people who were willing to say that radical Islam influenced his actions even if he was a nutbag. Now, this is not to say that Sarah Palin is equivalent to Osama Bin Laden; of course she isn’t. Bin Laden is a terrorist; Palin is just a generally terrible human being.
But she, and more importantly the modern conservative movement, uses the violent rhetoric of uprise and uses it routinely.
Not bad for a Canadian. Please go read the whole thing.