Sarah Palin's hit list.
At the time the hit list was originally posted, I found it in extremely poor taste and wondered how Palin or her supporters could find it acceptable. We were in a state of war, for one thing. We had soldiers dying overseas. It seemed to border on reckless, but the country took it as just another bit of Palin's over-the-top political rabble rousing. "It's only Sarah," we said. We'd come to expect that from her.
Worse, we'd come to expect it from that side of the aisle. Months before Palin posted her map, a few zealots showed up at a political fundraiser in Phoenix with handguns. One carried an assault rifle. They weren't breaking any law; they were simply exercising their first and second amendment rights.
At some point, an invisible line was crossed. Civility, reason, and graciousness were tossed out as unnecessary trappings of the weak. Intelligence and education were deemed luxuries of the elite. "Real Americans" no longer needed to respect or listen to people who disagreed with them. Real Americans were going to take back their country. Ready, aim...
If I, or anyone I know, had posted a hit list map with gunsight crosshairs on it in March of 2010, we'd be behind bars, under severe interrogation, and charged with serious crimes within days. Hours, perhaps. And I don't necessarily disagree with that.
Why, then, did the country shake our heads and shrug when Palin did it? What did we expect would come of it?