Will The Left Answer For Any Of This?

One More Thing: It is hard to imagine a website more overflowing with savage hatred of political enemies than the Daily Kos. Just a few days ago, an enraged blogger at that site posted a vitriolic rant aimed at Rep. Giffords that has since been taken down but can be viewed here. Even if the idiotic theory that this gunman was “influenced” by a “violent” statement or image from the media were true, it would make more sense to blame this much more recent outburst of left-wing rhetorical violence against a conservative-leaning Democrat than it would a nearly year-old ad posted by Sarah Palin on Facebook.

Even though it has been established that Jared Lee Loughner, the man who shot Congresswoman Giffords and murdered/wounded several others on Saturday, has no easily discernible political affiliations, left-wing commentators are still using the incident to blame Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and others for creating a climate of political hate.

In their warped little universe, only the right-wing is motivated to political violence. Well, I want to remind everyone of a few examples of left-wing related or inspired political terrorism, violence and insanity that have taken place within recent memory.

Remember Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech killer? 32 killed, 25 wounded, April 16, 2007. Violent hatred of the rich and wealthy, could have easily been inspired by far-left class warfare rhetoric. Violent hatred of God and religion, could have easily been inspired by left-wing hatred of religion.

Remember Harlan Drake? He murdered pro-life activist Jim Pouillon on September 11, 2009, while he was protesting. Violence against pro-life political activists is routine, and violence against women by the disgraced butchers we call abortionists is also a common occurrence.

Remember Amy Bishop? Three killed, three wounded, February 12, 2010. An obsessed devotee of President Barack Hussein Obama.

Who can forget the SEIU thugs who beat up a black conservative named Kenneth Gladney at a Townhall meeting in St. Louis back in August of 2009?

Or how about the Black Panther thugs who intimidated voters on election day and ranted in the streets about “killing crackers” and their babies?

Though it didn’t take place here in the U.S., I have to give special mention once again to the eco-fascist snuff film “No Pressure”, which was released and quickly canned in the UK. This is one of the most horrific and violent propaganda films I have ever seen, and far surpasses most American television shows and movies in terms of gore. Of course there is a long history of environmental and animal-rights terrorism from the left.

I refuse to engage in dialogue with anyone who thinks political speech on either side should be silenced because of any of these incidents or any that have occurred on our side of the spectrum. Your position is unacceptable, hypocritical, and morally contemptible.

21 Responses to Will The Left Answer For Any Of This?

  • In principle, you are right. I was particularly unimpressed with the NYT’s web page picture of Loughner, which was cut off to make it look like he was giving some kind of neo-Nazi salute. (When you look at the article and see the whole picture, you see he is holding up a poster at the Tucson Book Festival.)

    But most of your examples are weak. Amy Bishop’s victims were her tenure committee, not political figures, and her motives were pretty obviously apolitical. Same for Seung-Hui Cho. Of the others, only Drake committed an actual murder.

    It is hard to deny that gun-control opponents are more likely to own, understand and use firearms than gun-control advocates. The Left should get some blame, but trying to assign equal blame is futile.

  • There is no place for the imagery of gun violence in peaceful political discourse. Jesse Kelly and Sarah Palin and many on the right are guilty of this too-easy rhetorical tactic, which the left has seized on. And we just came from a political season where prominent conservative candidates spoke vaguely of “second amendment remedies.”

    The left is guilty of it too, time and again–the revolutionary/guerilla mystique.

    I would submit that this style of “political speech” should be silenced. People should feel free to argue their views but without analogizing political discourse to an armed struggle.

  • Nut jobs and Their MO’s
    Individual citizens who express their personal will with bullets, explosives, or poisons as a point of political advocacy are acceptably called nut jobs and other names like crazy or demented.
    But those who can insert and express their personal will for the voice of others as a vote in congress to serve their own invested political agenda are addressed as “the honorable” or “the distinguished” senator or representative” even though that vote may contribute to allowing women to “legally” kill their young, allow further societal perversion and moral decay of the nation as well as contribute to the ever eroding individual freedoms associated with greater government control of the lives of their “subjects”.
    They too are pulling lethal triggers, igniting fuses, and sending out thousands of packages of rules and regulations which can bring death or destruction to the masses and the nation in ways that don’t produce a 911 call or sound an alarm or explode on TV news screens. These blatant acts of violence by our representatives in congress are only considered debatable or politically divisive but never “deadly” yet comparatively are WMD’s launched more often by proponents of “gun control”. And the victims of these crimes are not eulogized or mourned the following day on the news they usually are not even aware of what befell their fate.

  • Also, don’t forget that Congresswoman Giffords herself is a gun owner and has long defended the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms. Whether her opinion changes in the future, of course, remains to be seen.

    I know there is a Congresswoman from Long Island, Democrat Carolyn McCarthy, whose claim to fame before her election was that her husband was killed in a mass shooting on a commuter train in 1993 and she became a strong gun control advocate after that. What her views on guns were PRIOR to that, I don’t know.

    I would think, though, that if you had actually owned and used guns properly for much of your life, being a crime victim and knowing you might have been able to defend yourself if you had the gun with you would make you even MORE pro-gun-rights. Those who become very anti-gun after suffering from violent crime PROBABLY are those who have never owned or used guns in the first place.

  • I blame Bush.

    “I think it’s tempting not to negotiate with hostage takers, unless the hostage gets harmed. In this case the hostage is the American people and I was not willing to see them get harmed,” Obama on keeping taxes from increasing, December 6, 2010

    “A Republican majority in Congress would mean “hand-to-hand combat” on Capitol Hill for the next two years, threatening policies Democrats have enacted to stabilize the economy,” Obama, October 6, 2010

    “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” Obama in July 2008

    “Here’s the problem: It’s almost like they’ve got — they’ve got a bomb strapped to them and they’ve got their hand on the trigger. You don’t want them to blow up. But you’ve got to kind of talk them, ease that finger off the trigger.” Obama on banks, March 2009

    “I want you to argue with them and get in their face!” Barack Obama, September 2008

    “We’re gonna punish our enemies and we’re gonna reward our friends who stand with us on issues that are important to us.” Obama to Latinos, October 2010

    “I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!” Obama on ACORN Mobs, March 2010

    “We talk to these folks… so I know whose ass to kick.“ Obama on the private sector, June 2010

    I blame Bush for not stopping the treasonous left continually fomenting hatred and violence.

  • FWIW, I don’t think there’s value in linking left wing ideology with violence in this country any more so than there is with linking right wing ideology with violence in this country — at least at this time in history. Unlike 50 years ago, much less 100 years ago, we do not at this time have a climate or tradition of political violence of any kind in this country. When things like this happen, it is invariably the work of people who are so fringy in their ideology, and so clearly unstable in their thinking, that I don’t see much value in blaming the occurrence on one side or the other.

    What I do find increasingly disturbing is how eager some partisans in our country (mostly on the left) are to invent a climate of political violence in our country where there isn’t one, so that they can have the pleasure of seeing their opponents as even more evil than they already do. And that, we seem to have now in full force. Heck, even before Obama was sworn in I had a number of left-wing friends tell me, “I don’t think that Obama will survive his first term. The right is too violent to allow that to happen.”

    Though we haven’t seen much of this yet, the next logical step is to insist that therefore everyone in your political opposition must be silenced and restrained by force. My hope is that we have so much equity built up in our political culture that we never get there, because that next step is always unimaginable. But it bothers me that people keep wanting to flirt with the “my opponents are so evil and violent that something must be done” way of thinking, when it’s pretty demonstrable that we do not in fact have a violent political climate.

  • To the degree that most of these lunatics who engage in violent actions are acting in any kind of ideological fashion, it seems that they are not right or left but anti-system. It’s the people who express how the system is irretrievably broken, declare both parties to be useless, and who also delve into a bit of conspiracy-mongering that wind up resorting to violence.

    It’s convenient for the left to blame Palin while ignoring the Daily Kos blog – posted only two days ago – that was much more incendiary towards Rep. Giffords. But it’s not just the left that seeks to make hay about this incident. Anybody who is invested in the tireless narrative about the dangerous rhetoric of the right seems willing to assign some degree of blame to Palin, Limbaugh et al. It’s a fun game to engage in if one is willing to suspend all critical thinking faculties. And as you have suggested, Joe, it is being done in an attempt to silence people and clamp down on excessive “rhetoric.”

    The fact of the matter is that no one is to blame except the shooters themselves. Somehow I doubt these individuals were somehow motivated even partly by some obscure Palin facebook posting. It won’t stop the nattering nabobs from pursuing the narrative, no matter how banal and idiotic.

  • What I do find increasingly disturbing is how eager some partisans in our country (mostly on the left) are to invent a climate of political violence in our country where there isn’t one

    As I think about it, perhaps there is an equal and opposite tendency of the right, which is to insist that the government may become an oppressive tyranny at any moment and we better be ready to defend ourselves.

    I hear fewer conservatives claim to believe that the government is about to start hearding people into camps at any moment than I hear progressives claim that the Right is about to stage some sort of violent insurrection, but it’s nonetheless a rhetorical habit which is destructive to civic life.

    To the degree that most of these lunatics who engage in violent actions are acting in any kind of ideological fashion, it seems that they are not right or left but anti-system. It’s the people who express how the system is irretrievably broken, declare both parties to be useless, and who also delve into a bit of conspiracy-mongering that wind up resorting to violence.


  • I am going to surrender myself to the police first thing tomorrow morning.

    Two weeks ago tomorrow, I listened to Rush Limabugh.

  • Just because one believes that the false left-right paradigm is designed to control our thoughts and actions does not mean one is anti-system. The system is the Constitution. Simply because it has been usurped does not mean it is broken, simply ignored. I for one, am not anti-government, I am simply anti government that is not in accord with the Constitution. We have not reached a point where we must engage in violence, we will eventually, but I doubt that will be in any of our lifetimes. Nevertheless, we are responsible for our words, but not necessarily for the actions others may take because of them.

    Our national government is far too large, far to powerful and way off base. It promotes murder of innocents at home and abroad, it ignores real threats because they keep the populace in fear, it has systematically destroyed economic freedom, which will end political freedoms.

    If that stance inspires someone to violence, should I be held responsible? When I stand outside an arbotuary and pray that the murder promoted and protected by our government, illicitly and unconstitutionally, be ended, am I engaged in anti-government actions that will promote others to violence? A murderer killed Tiller. Where do you draw the line? Clearly, each individual is responsible for their own actions, and this kid that committed murder is responsible for murder, whether or not he had a political motive or not – he is a murderer.

  • “I would submit that this style of “political speech” should be silenced. People should feel free to argue their views but without analogizing political discourse to an armed struggle.”

    I would submit you move to North Korea then.

  • And not everyone who engages in violence is a lunatic. I’m sick of this too. Loughner WAS a pretty demented lunatic.

    But Eric Rudolph wasn’t. Scott Roeder wasn’t. We may disagree with their methods for any number of reasons, and we may even say that what they did was immoral. But no, I don’t think the idea that abortionists are mass murderers who should be stopped is an insane or evil idea.

  • This one is for Spiro:

    “But most of your examples are weak.”

    GOOD OBSERVATION. So was the connection between the man who flew a plane into an IRS building and the Tea Party last year. So is the connection between Loughner and the political right. So was the connection Bloomberg tried to make between the Tea Party and the Times Square Bomber when everyone thought he was a “white male.”

  • I agree that using gun sights and bullseye’s images, which is done by both parties, is in poor taste, and should stop. However, they are just images, and any reasonably intelligent person knows that. Those who suggest that Sarah Palin’s use of these images on her website in any way contributed to yesterday’s horrific shooting should be prepared to prove it, or leave her alone.

  • Oh, I’m sure it will stop – that doesn’t mean it should.

    When it does stop, it will mean that everyone has given into the complete unfounded, immature, and fear-based idiocy that assumes that this shooter was actually influenced by these images.

  • Does this hit on something larger? Is it possible that our lack of a common culture (Christendom) takes images out of context? Images do have purpose and they do influence. Look back to the battle between the iconoclasts and iconodules. The Church has always used images to convey meaning and influence thoughts. For most of our history the laity was illiterate and the images of stained glass windows, statues and icons were tools of catechists.

    In our twisted modern culture, think of the influence of pornographic images, both in hardcore and pop culture varieties. These are images that open the will to the demonic.

    Think also of the power of images in the fight against abortion. Graphic images of dismembered babies invoke appreciation for the realness of the scourge of child murder.

    So images do have effects. What we lack is the proper context to understand images. Without an appeal to the common culture of mere Christianity (to borrow from C.S. Lewis) we are left with the dictatorship of relativism.

    The most profound image of contradiction is the Crucifix. We, Catholics, understand it and even have the corpus on it so we may remember (anamnesis) that Jesus died for our sins. Protestants clean it up for human sensibilities by removing the corpus and only leave the empty cross. The secular-pagan culture despises the Crucifix because it forces us to confront the ugly things about ourselves.

    So there is merit to having concern over images and even rhetoric; however, we must temper that with context in truth.

    Targeting the districts of your political opponents with gun sight cross-hairs is not a problem. What about all of those marketing companies that engage in market targeting or target a specific audience. Targeting is neutral. If someone takes the image of a cross-hair to indicate that the target should be killed, then the problem lies with the receiver of the information and not the deliverer.

    The guy that committed the murders is a murderer, it is that simple. He is a sinner like the rest of us, he actively violated God’s commandments, as we all do, he took it to the level of grave sin and we must pray that we do not. For anyone of us could become this murderer if not for the grace of God. Does he need to be punished? Of course. Should he be extended mercy? Without doubt. It is incumbent on all of us to pray for his repentance and conversion while he spends his life in prison, or if the legitimate authority decides to do so, at or before the hour of his execution.

    Should we blame Palin? Of course not, that is ridiculous. If anyone has actually listened to Sarah, then you know that this guy stands for everything she’s against. This is a specious argument.

    Without recourse to ultimate, infallible truth a society will degrade to the point of eventual destruction. This should be the chief point we take away from these murders. We have no hierarchy of order. God, informed conscience, Constitution, Federal and State government, local government, community, family – without recourse to God and subsidiarity we are left only with the will to power. Why is the director of the FBI heading this investigation on-sight?

    As Hargrave points out, what is likely and sadly to happen is that we will self-censor and self-check to the extreme, which is building an invisible prison for our own minds and rendering us feudal serfs, rather than freemen. Just another symptom of the god-state vs. the state under God.

  • It seems to me that the political and cultural left is trying to have it both ways when it comes to images, rhetoric, etc.

    If it’s movies, music, TV shows, etc. loaded with violent and sexual images or four-letter words that we are talking about, they will insist until they are blue in the face that these words and images don’t affect anyone adversely, and anyone who thinks otherwise is merely a censorious prude. And if a case occurs in which someone commits suicide or rapes or kills someone else and cites the movie, song, etc. as having motivated them to do so — well, that person was just crazy to begin with and it’s not the fault of the director/writer/artist (which is true up to a point). But when something like this happens, all of a sudden, the mere fact that Sarah Palin placed gun sights on a map makes her solely responsible for this tragedy? Which is it?

    That being said, it might not hurt for people who work in any kind of media to take a little more responsibility for their words and actions.

    In the mid-1970s horror novelist Stephen King, using the pseudonym Richard Bachman, wrote a novel called “Rage” about an alienated high school student who took his teacher and classmates hostage. At the time, of course, such incidents were unheard of. However, after several incidents similar to the one in the book occurred in the early and mid 90s, and the shooters were found to be in possession of copies of “Rage,” King decided to let the book go out of print. Obviously, King is no prude when it comes to violence and horror, but even he recognized, at least in this case, that there are lines that probably shouldn’t be crossed.

  • Joe,
    I should have said that showing people in gunsights and bullseyes is in poor taste. Maybe I was mislead by the MSM and the Palin-haters in believing that that’s what she did. If these images were only used over districts on a map, then I agree that there is nothing inappropriate in that. Ann Althouse has a great post on how war terms, like “campaign”, have crept into the everyday lexicon. The left is grasping at straws in using anything they can find as, uh, ammunition, to try to silence the opposition. Conservatives are told to be quiet and refrain from expressing their views, lest they influence even one crackpot to go over the edge.

  • Instead of looking at political rhetoric how about a culture that is so steeped in violence and death that there are people who have no idea what killing someone is all about. Of course Keith Olberman et al would never even think of blaming the culture of death for this tragedy. That does not follow the script that they need to advance their agenda.

    I find it disgusting that within hours of this tragedy the news coverage aspect was eclipsed by the need for the political commentators to take an opportunity to make their side look good.

  • If it’s movies, music, TV shows, etc. loaded with violent and sexual images or four-letter words that we are talking about, they will insist until they are blue in the face that these words and images don’t affect anyone adversely, and anyone who thinks otherwise is merely a censorious prude.

    Oh, yes. I broke up a relationship I was having with a liberal man when he took me to “Pulp Fiction” and I walked out of the theater after a scene where a guy got his brains blown out was played for laughs. It was the most disgusting movie I had ever seen. My boyfriend had been enjoying the film, was angry at having to leave, and we got into a fight in the street because I didn’t get the hip, trendy, ironic, post-modern coolness of it all. And this guy was the biggest gun-control advocate…well, clearly, we were not a match made in heaven.

    Apparently libs are so smart and saintly that they can look at brains being spattered all over a movie screen and remain unaffected, while conservatives (they believe) are so weak-minded and cretinous that a glimpse of targets on Palin’s site will drive a tea-partier over the edge.

    Hinckley shot Reagan to impress Jodie Foster – a lesbian movie star. At the time, it was acknowledged by everyone that Hinckley was clearly a madman who did not act out of political motives. The right did not immediately proclaim that he was a liberal who shot Reagan because of, say, “Star Wars.”

    In this case, the bodies had barely hit the ground before the left began blaming Palin and teapartiers.

  • I can’t get the little murdered girl out of my mind. I heard a wretching phone interview with the mother this morning. The child loved animals and dreamt of being a vet, she was the only girl on her Little League team and she was very interested in politics and (born on 9/11/01) she was a patriot. Her mother said she believes her little girl is in heaven and “is doing great work there.” The mom said she thanked God for the 9 beautiful years she had with her daughter.

    Could we all exhibit such faith and strength after such an unimaginable tragedy?

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