The Rise of Violent Rhetoric

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It is not true that the Left uniformly despises violent rhetoric (you should see my e-mail in-box after I say something nice about Israel or, horror of horrors, George W. Bush), but it does seem, at times, that the Right revels in bloodily martial imagery. Andrew discovers this gem from Sarah Palin's Facebook page. She is not talking about the victorious war against Marxist-Leninism, by the way. She's talking about college basketball. I'm with Jack Shafer, by the way: Such language does not make most people kill other people in shopping malls. Still, it's noteworthy:

To the teams that desire making it this far next year: Gear up! In the battle, set your sights on next season's targets! From the shot across the bow - the first second's tip-off - your leaders will be in the enemy's crosshairs, so you must execute strong defensive tactics. You won't win only playing defense, so get on offense!

The crossfire is intense, so penetrate through enemy territory by bombing through the press, and use your strong weapons - your Big Guns - to drive to the hole. Shoot with accuracy; aim high and remember it takes blood, sweat and tears to win. Focus on the goal and fight for it.

If the gate is closed, go over the fence. If the fence is too high, pole vault in. If that doesn't work, parachute in. If the other side tries to push back, your attitude should be "go for it." Get in their faces and argue with them. (Sound familiar?!) Every possession is a battle; you'll only win the war if you've picked your battles wisely. No matter how tough it gets, never retreat, instead RELOAD!

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Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.

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