Saturday, July 7, 2012
Jordan MP Pulls Gun During Live Broadcast
I have to admit that I find this video kinda cool. In a debate on live television, a member of Jordan's Parliament pulled a gun on a critic (whether this man was a journalist or another MP, I don't know) over heated discussion about Jordan's policy towards Syria. Before that, he threw a shoe at the critic, and the moderator had to break them up; I have to give props to the moderator for breaking them up, even after the MP pulled out his gun.
I think a lot of people may look at a video like this, and conclude that these people are "animals" for resorting to pulling out guns or throwing punches over issues. From videos I've seen over the years, this is much more common than you would think. But not in the United States. In our country, political conflict and debate has never gotten past the verbal stage. Yes, some of the words used by some are toxic in nature, but no one's ever pulled a gun. The worst you might see is someone yelling at the President, "YOU LIE", or something to that effect. So, we might come off as a civilized nation. But I think that the debate in this country comes off as sterile. Outside of perhaps social issues (abortion, gay marriage), no politician in this country would ever feel compelled to do anywhere close to what this man in Jordan did. That is because when you are owned by someone else, or by a collection of interests, and are basically told what to say (or more to the point, how to vote), you lack all conviction. I believe that a lot of people sense this, albeit unconsciously, and that's one of the reasons why political participation is relatively low in this country.
When I first saw this, the first thing I thought about was the assault on the Senate floor in 1856, when Preston Brooks attacked Charles Sumner with his cane, hitting him with it until it broke.