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Ashbrook On Arizona And National Discourse

Sarah Wendel, left, and Brett Wolf join a vigil on Sunday at the U.S. Capitol in support of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and the victims of Saturday's shooting in Tucson. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

Sarah Wendel, left, and Brett Wolf join a vigil on Sunday at the U.S. Capitol in support of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and the victims of Saturday's shooting in Tucson. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)

Rough-and-tumble political discourse is nothing new for Boston, but the weekend shooting spree in Arizona has the whole country talking about the tone of our national debates and whether it has reached a fever pitch — feverish enough to inspire violence.

WBUR’s Tom Ashbrook, host of On Point, has been wondering just that. So keenly, in fact, he took the unusual (for him) step on Sunday of writing and posting a commentary – Them, Us, We – and Tucson:

No matter what your politics are, you have to ask why Sarah Palin drew a gun sight around Gabby Gifford’s district. Why she chose to say, on the biggest of stages, “Don’t retreat. Reload.” Reload what? For what? Democracy is not a place to toy with violence. Fundamental respect is precious. Real work on the nation’s problems is hard. We have to move forward together.

Today on Radio Boston, we turn the microphone on Ashbrook. He explains why he thinks the national debate has become poisonous and what one young man’s actions in Arizona have to do with it.

What do you think? Join the conversation in the comments or on Twitter, @RadioBoston.

Guest:

  • Tom Ashbrook, host, On Point

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