Petition: End the Violent Rhetoric
Dear Fellow Americans,
This is a heartbreaking moment in American history. Although we do not know the details of the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others in Tucson, we do know that we are living through an era in which horrific acts of violence directed at politicians seem inevitable. It's heartbreaking in part because we're not shocked.
We're not shocked because violent language, vitriol and intolerance have become normal, useful and profitable in our culture. It is deliberately used in political campaign activities and packaged into entertainment by the media.
The world that we are co-creating right now as citizens, members of the media and politicians is a world at perpetual war. It is a world in which American people are not only at war with people outside the country, but with people inside the country. We believe this constant strife is weakening our nation.
At some point, as American citizens, we have to say: enough is enough with the violent rhetoric and the politics of division. As Abraham Lincoln said to a divided nation in 1861: We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies.
To politicians and the media, we'd like to say: stop pushing our buttons and behave responsibly. Stop inducing conflict among the American people to advance your political or profit-driven agenda.
We, the undersigned, accept our civic duty to end this era of violent rhetoric and the politics of division. It is our responsibility - as citizens, politicians and the members of the media - to encourage civil and informed political engagement. We recognize that civility, tolerance and understanding are values that form the foundation of a stable, prosperous, and democratic society.