Of all the tropes trotted out in the wake of the murders at Virginia Tech, perhaps the most grating is the one about how tragedy shouldn’t be politicized. The tragedy is already political. It results from the murderous choice of one man. But only some murderous plans are realized. And only some murderous potentials flourish. To honor the dead by eschewing public policy discussions about how to reduce the likelihood of a disturbed student getting a gun and killing dozens of classmates and faculty is a cruel joke.
Liberals and others make a mistake when they excoriate the right-wingers proposing sex-segregated housing or mandatory monotheism or concealed weapons for everyone as solutions to this tragedy for “politicizing” the deaths. Instead, let’s excoriate them for offering really, really bad ideas, and for blaming the wrong people for something terrible that transpired.
Why shouldn’t people contending to run the country tell us – as they did with this week’s Supreme Court outrage – what it has to do with their plans for our country? We can mourn together with people we disagree with without pretending that those disagreements have no consequences.