Rhetoric And Violence

Say what you will about the vast differences between the liberal '60s and the conservative '90s. The two decades have this much in common: Both were filled with vitriolic antigovernment rhetoric and both saw innocent people killed by bombs set off to protest perceived government tyranny. The actual violence came from the fringe, but the verbal violence was floridly expressed by established social and political figures and organizations. Left-wing fanatics blew up a lab at the University of Wisconsin, but the recipe for making bombs was printed in The New York Review of Books. Right-wing fanatics blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City, but the bomb formula was readily available on the Internet.

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