It's not often that you see liberals calling for violence but that is exactly what appears to have happened Monday on a left-leaning cable network.
MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan drew the ire of conservatives after he asked political cartoonist Ted Rall to explain why a violent revolution is necessary.
While Ratigan didn't go so far as to call for violence himself, he opened the segment by putting the idea in the minds of his viewers. "Are things in our country so bad that it might actually be time for a revolution?" Ratigan asked. "The answer obviously is yes. The only question is how to do it?"
Rall joined Ratigan to discuss his new book The Anti-American Manifesto which makes the case for revolution.
"We are here because the US is going to end soon," Rall wrote in his book. "There's going to be an intense, violent, probably haphazard struggle for control. It's going to come down to us versus them. The question is: What are you going to do about it?"
"A war is coming. At stake: our lives, the planet, freedom, living. The government, the corporations, and the extreme right are prepared to coalesce into an Axis of Evil. Are you going to fight back? Will you do whatever it takes, including taking up arms?"
"I argue that violence is the last case scenario," Rall told Ratigan. "Nobody wants it. It's easier to go other routes. Going through the political system is best."
"But we've seen since the economy melted down, that neither the Democrats nor Republicans nor any third party is poised to step in," he added. "In terms of passive resistance, the American left has been very peaceful since the early 70s, since the Kent State shootings and where has it gotten us?"
"Millions of people marched against the war in Iraq. What did it do? The tanks rolled in just the same."
"We don't really have time to wait. We've got a real unemployment rate of almost 20 percent. The economy is in deep trouble. People are getting thrown of their homes, over 10 million of them. The planet's in trouble. This is unsustainable. The system is really in deep trouble," Rall continued.
"We know that the unemployment rate is going to keep going up. Not one attempt at a jobs program from this president, so what are we going to do? It's up to the people. John Locke said the people have an obligation to revolt when their governments fail."
"Do you believe that is even in the DNA of Americans?" Ratigan wondered.
"I think it's going to be in the DNA," Rall replied "Nothing will radicalize an American citizen more than getting thrown of their home by a bank that just paid a CEO a bigger raise this year than the year before, not being able to feed your kids and knowing that one percent of the country has all the money tied up in it."
Conservative blogs immediately called out MSNBC for allowing Rall on the air.
"He’s not kidding," noted John at Verum Serum. "He wants a war. He even uses al Qaeda sleeper cells as an example. And of course where would one go to promote a book about the violent tearing down of America?"
"Because he's considered an artiste -- and most especially a left-wing artiste -- irresponsible networks such as NBC and irresponsible newspapers like those listed above help to mainstream the same radical views that if they were held on the right would probably (and rightly) result in a visit from Homeland Security," complained Big Hollywood's John Nolte.
"Ignore the details of Ted Rall for the purposes of this discussion: he’s a bitter, failed cartoonist that can only achieve his Special Time by contemplating the sexual degradation of prominent Republicans," wrote Moe Lane at RedState. "What’s important here is Ratigan had [Rall] on the air - and did not verbally shred [him] on the spot."
"The network SHOULD KNOW BETTER; it should not need to have me, or anybody else on the Right, point out that giving seditionist lunatics like Rall access to the even the marginal soapbox represented by MSNBC is a Bad Idea," Lane said.
By his own admission, Ratigan is a conservative.
This video is from MSNBC's The Dylan Ratigan Show, broadcast Nov. 8, 2010.