When it comes to the linkage between violence and rhetoric, I abide by a fairly simple rule: If you’re not advocating violence, you’re not responsible for violence. That doesn’t mean your rhetoric is decent or appropriate; it may be vile, awful and factually incorrect. But it isn’t the cause for violence.
President Barack Obama also abides by a simple rule when it comes to linking violence and rhetoric: If he doesn’t like the rhetoric, it’s responsible for violence. And if there’s violence associated with rhetoric he likes, then the violence must have been caused by something else.
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