There's somehing that doesn't fail to surprise me when reading the American newspapers or the numerous blogs that American citizens devote to their domestic politics: The ferocity each side seems to have in store for the opposite camp.
Wow! looks like there's no lost love between the Dems and the Republicans.
One may think it is quite normal that on this particular field when points of view diverge there's some heat to be expected but really, to this point of antagonism...
Of course, as a Frenchman, what do I know about American politics? But if I try to compare the traditional opposition between right and left in Europe, only far leftists would be as vindictive against far rightists and conversely.
But these two extremes amount to less than 10 % of the voters in France whereas Democrats and Republicans make about, say, 90% of the voters in the U.S.
Is this virulence a good and faithful image of the American national mentality when it comes to debating and exchanging ideas? Or more simply is the pattern of thoughts so different that no comparison can be made between the way Europeans and Americans deal with their respective domestic concerns?
As pertains the recent shooting in Tucson I don't know if the inflammatory rhetoric that has gained ground in the past years as Ned remarked yesterday was a decisive factor in what happened or simply there was a loony going around with his Glock 19 ready to realize his fantasies.
My wild guess is that there exists a culture of both physical and mental violence in the American psyche due to the history of the country and the sociological background of its immigrants. When the cultural context is what we know it is, no wonder stuff happen...