The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Crazy and Dangerous

Two mentally deranged middle-aged men dominated the news over the past weekend. Both were correctly identified as right wing haters. Both were insane. One did a despicable thing but did not injure or kill anyone. The other did far more than that. Driven by the same brand of rabid anti-Semitism we often see emanating from certain countries and groups of Middle Eastern origin, he murdered 11 Jews and wounded many others (including cops) in a hate-filled frenzy in Pittsburgh.

Most decent people were stunned and saddened by this violence, but there are more than a few who have decided to take political advantage of the carnage that occurred. In a way, they contribute to the division and hatred this country faces. Whether it's an idiot talking-head on MSNBC suggesting that somehow Donald Trump is responsible for the actions of two mentally deranged men, or some low-life politician trying to gain political advantage by suggesting that the other party is somehow indirectly responsible because they engage in "hate speech," those who angle for political advantage step over the bodies of the dead to gain cheap political points.

But there are others who have decided that gaining political points isn't enough. In a frenzy of moral preening, they condemn not only Trump, not only the GOP, but also everyone who voted for them—essentially half the country. After all, they believe that anyone who voted for Trump is a hate-filled, white nationalist.* Kurt Schlichter is not shy in commenting on the sheer stupidity of that position:
You know, there's nothing that Normal Americans can identify with more than a guy living in a Ford panel van covered with Trump memes and soccer manifestoes who sends bombs that don't work to Democrats who support policies that don't work. Likewise, Normal people totally identify with – let me get the liberal narrative du jour right here – a Trump-hating freak who shoots up a synagogue. And I think it’s a terrific midterm strategy for our Democrat friends is to keep making that idiotic case. (extreme sarcasm for the benefit of the willfully obtuse)

The Official Media is in a frenzy explaining how Donald Trump personally instructed Kooky Weirdo de Florida to mail pipe bombs to washed up Dem hacks and that nameless garbage being in Pittsburgh via a series of cunningly encrypted dog whistles. “Make America Great Again” is apparently code for “Mail bombs!” Nothing says “Murder Jews” like moving the embassy to Jerusalem and ending the Iran deal.

Oddly, of 63 million Trump voters, only one jerk managed to decode this cipher. The other hated Trump for liking Jews too much. But, as CNNMSNBC’s brain trust and such thinkers as rock legend Joe Scarborough teach us, their crimes are on all of us anyway for some reason.
In a country of 320 million people, there are, sadly, some really crazy people. Some are apolitical, some identify as right-wing, and some identify as left-wing. No political party or ideology has a monopoly on crazy. The vast majority of crazy people are crazy but harmless, but a tiny percentage are crazy and dangerous. Our challenge is to identify and neutralize the latter group. It will not be easy.


*For those who would argue this isn't happening, here's but one of dozens of examples (from an opinion piece in The Week poetically entitled "The Revenge of the Deplorables"):
It may have been politically ill-advised and numerically imprecise for Hillary Clinton to declare at a fundraiser in September 2016 that roughly half of Donald Trump's supporters belong in a "basket of deplorables" characterized by irredeemably "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic" views. But it was undeniably true.

This was obvious at the time, and it's even more so now, after the horrifying events of the past week — including the mailing of a dozen pipe bombs to prominent Democrats and the single deadliest attack on the Jewish community in American history.

Every president is elected by a distinct electoral coalition, and the coalition that elected Trump included an unusually large number of people with virulently illiberal, extreme right-wing views — the kind of people who normally find both major-party nominees far too blandly centrist to inspire much enthusiasm. Trump spoke to these voters.
So ... an "unusually large number" of Normal Americans [to use Schlichter's characterization] are indirectly responsible for the aforementioned insane acts of violence perpetrated by unhinged actors. This despicable contention demonstrates the conceit, condescension, and abject stupidity of some on the Left. When Leftists whine about incivility, consider that calling a large group "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, [or] Islamophobic" because they don't agree with your world view is as much an affront as suggesting that leftists are "unhinged" or "totalitarian." The response may be equally uncivil, but spare me the notion that only one side is culpable in this increasingly vicious war of ideas.