This weekend's assassination attempt in Arizona is a defining event, but, unfortunately, it's the latest in a series of events that have defined our politics as violent and threatening.

Must I show you the pictures to prove it?  

Presidents have been murdered, and so have presidential candidates.

Presidents have also been shot at, and wounded, and I hope you notice the victims come from both parties.

Still, we want to blame our political enemies for what we do together.

So, today, the liberal New York Times has a column headlined "Climate of Hate" blaming what happened in Tucson on the political right.

While the conservative National Review counters that the tragedy is "…being milked for political advantage by ghoulish opportunists on the Left."

I think they're both right…and that's not a contradiction, because there's enough blame to go wing to wing…from the far Left to the far Right.

Unfortunately, today's National Moment of Silence will only last a moment…and, before you know it, we'll be back at it…ratcheting up the rhetoric, demeaning those who disagree with us, trying to politically conquer, not compromise.

Arizona is not the end.  The battles over healthcare and immigration are still being fought.  And when I say "battles" and "fought" I wonder:   have we come to the point where just those words encourage violence?

I'm Andy Hiller, and that's my instinct.

(Copyright (c) 2010 Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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