There has been a bit of an online storm over the part that Sarah Palin's crosshairs map payed, or didn't play, in the shootings in Tucson. I'm not going to reheat any of that but I am interested in why politics borrows so much of it's language from the military lexicon.
Those who take an interest in politics are probably so used to hearing military terms used that they are deaf to their heritage. We hear about campaigns, strategy, targeting, war rooms, HQs, election battles, fighting for a seat etc. yet we hardly remember that these words were borne out of conflict. War fighting isn't the only part of life where there is intense competition yet we don't borrow language from the world of sport. In politics it is a battle not a match.
With the language of politics being so militaristic is it any wonder that we read people saying that Labour needs to "turn its guns on the Tories" or see crosshairs used as a visual metaphor for a target seat?
I don't believe for a second that seeing Sarah Palin's target map was the cause of Jared Lee Loughner's attack and I believe that few of those who claim that it was believe it either.
Newslinks for Saturday 25th May 2013
5 hours ago