In the wake of 2012′s bitter political contests, former Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) has single-handedly managed to forge a small swath of common ground between liberals and conservatives. On Monday, Paul issued a Tweet so insensitive that members of both political parties have since expressed their bipartisan disgust.
The Tweet was prompted by the tragic death of U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle on Saturday:
Chris Kyle’s death seems to confirm that “he who lives by the sword dies by the sword.” Treating PTSD at a firing range doesn’t make sense
— Ron Paul (@RonPaul) February 4, 2013
To be fair, that does sound like a rather… risky? … form of PTSD treatment, but perhaps we can all agree it’s an egregiously dickish move to imply that Kyle’s death was caused by his own well-intentioned attempt to help a fellow veteran. Kyle dedicated much of his post-military career to helping PTSD sufferers such as his alleged killer, Eddie Ray Routh, who opened fire on Kyle at a shooting range.
While specialists will no doubt debate the safety and effectiveness of this form of PTSD treatment (the theory is that it reintroduces a small, “safe” PTSD trigger to help desensitize the sufferer), the rest of America has come to a consensus on the separate matter of Ron Paul’s comments. Even Paul’s own son, Rand, seems to agree that that was a stupid fucking thing to Tweet, Dad (not his exact words but given Rand’s proclivity for right-wing pandering, he was almost certainly thinking it).
Paul, an anti-war advocate, later offered his condolences, implying that his Tweet was meant as a criticism of “Unconstitutional and unnecessary wars” rather than of Kyle himself. While we don’t necessarily disagree with Paul’s anti-war stance, we’d like to offer him a few helpful tips for next time:
1.) If someone dies, do not use his death to make a completely tangential political point.
2.) And especially don’t do this within 48 hours of his tragic passing.
3.) And double-especially don’t do this if the guy was just trying to do something charitable for a fellow veteran in need, even if the guy’s methods were questionable.
4.) And triple-especially don’t do this via some glib comment on Twitter, you asshat. In fact, to be on the safe side, just never Tweet about anyone’s death, ever, from now on.
5.) And also, you need to rethink those hideous shoes you’re always wearing. That’s not really relevant to this particular controversy, but as long as we’re offering some constructive advice here it seemed appropriate to bring it to your attention. That is all.
Photo: Flapa blog via Flickr