Today's culprit is freedom of speech, or at least the speech of the American right and its broadcast cheerleaders. Shock-jock radio presenters feed on biased television news to present a view of the world divided between goodies and baddies. The baddies are always on the brink of victory and must be confronted with virile aggression. Language that might not disturb a balanced mind can clearly stimulate and legitimise an unbalanced one.
The vitriol and inaccuracy of the campaign against Obama's public health reforms last year were like those against abortion and homosexuality. To many Europeans, the echo across the Atlantic came from a people isolated from the outside world and unable to handle today's social and scientific progress. The debate was infused with nastiness and xenophobia, as if the US was a land composed of tribes bred only to hate the outside world, and often themselves.
Damn Americans are too stupid to be trusted with freedom! There oughta be a law!
Maybe the Guardian will change their tune when they all have to get a license to practice journalism. Or not, possibly that's their aim.
Anyway, my new response when a guy like this tells me to shut up is "Make me, pencil neck."