Former president Bill Clinton is weighing in on the political implications of the shooting spree in Tucson, telling the BBC “we cannot be unaware of the fact that–particularly with the internet–there’s this huge echo chamber out there.”
Clinton argues that politics must change post-Arizona, and that disagreement must not “degenerate into demonization.”
The former president spoke to the BBC’s Matthew Price at a refugee camp in Haiti, where Clinton is continuing his work to aid victims of the earthquake. Clinton told Price he was praying for wounded Rep. Gabrielle Giffords:
Well, first of all, she’s an immensely impressive woman, and I am thrilled that she has survived this long and I hope that she will make a complete recovery.
Clinton stressed that nobody speaks with the intent of encouraging a person to become violent, but added:
We cannot be unaware of the fact that, particularly with the internet, there’s this huge echo-chamber out there, and anything any of us says falls on the unhinged and the hinged alike, and we just have to be sensitive to it.
I think this is an occasion for us to reaffirm that our political differences shouldn’t degenerate into demonization of the sense that, you know, if you don’t agree with me you’re not a good American. I think that that’s what I’d like to see, I’d like to see the House of Representatives lead the way.
The interview will air tonight at 7 p.m. on BBC World News America.
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