Thursday, Jan. 13, 2011

Francis Fukuyama

I have two separate observations. The first is that there's been a polarization and a kind of demonization of political rhetoric in the country that is very unhealthy and has been growing for a long time, and I think has gotten worse since the financial crisis. The second observation is that I don't think Tucson has anything to do with that whatsoever. Now it's becoming clear that this was just a deranged individual — he didn't have a political motive. It could have been Virginia Tech or any number of other crazy people that did things like this. So I think the first thing is a problem that we have to deal with, but I just don't — I know the events of the past week have focused attention on that — think there's a connection between the two.

You worry about a case of political violence, but as far as I can tell, this isn't a case of political violence. It's just a crazy guy so I don't think it's part of a trend toward the breakdown of civility in this country.