Jared Lee Loughner

Is the Anger Gone?

That’s the question Matt Bai asks in yesterday’s NYT (“After Tuscon, Is the Anger Gone?”). His answer, if there is one in his assumption- and error-laden piece, is irrelevant. Bai’s article deserves a good “fisking,” which I may yet deliver. For now, I will content myself with the following observations.

“After Tuscon…” offers a strong (if unwitting) argument for reducing the footprint of the central government, which is a leading source of the division and anger evoked by the tragedy in Tuscon. Of course, those who favor a strong central government would then be angrier than they already are — and they are angry, as evidenced by the rhetoric of Krugman, Olbermann, and their ilk.

True federalism — where the central government has a hands-off policy on economic and social matters (but not civil rights) — would allow those who favor heavy-handed government to live in States that offer such government. The problem is that the people who would be (and are) attracted to such States aren’t content to endure heavy-handed government by themselves; they wish to bestow its “blessings” with everyone else. And they have succeeded in very great measure.

Most commentators, it seems to me, proceed from the assumption that those who oppose heavy-handed government have no rational basis for their “anger.” They do, but those who are wedded to heavy-handed government — most politicians and pundits, and the sheep-like majority of Americans — cannot see it. And, being unable to see it, they view anti-government rhetoric as a manifestation of psychological disturbance, when it should be viewed as a manifestation of righteous resentment at being over-taxed and over-regulated.

No amount of “dialogue” or “shared experience” can bridge the gap between statists and anti-statists. Thomas Sowell explains this well in A Conflict of Visions — a sometimes maddeningly balanced analysis of the contrasting world views that shape the divide between statists and anti-statists.

Related posts:
Libertarian-Conservatives Are from the Earth, Liberals Are from the Moon
A Dissonant Vision
Freedom of Will and Political Action
Intellectuals and Society: A Review
(Jared) Lee Harvey Loughner?

(Jared) Lee Harvey Loughner?

The rush to ascribe Jared Lee Loughner‘s despicable acts of murder and attempted murder to a right-wing “climate of hate” reminds me of the immediate reaction to the shooting of JFK in Dallas.

Because Dallas was, at that time, a media-designated hot-bed of right-wing extremism (anti-Catholic, anti-civil rights, pro-John Birch Society), the murder of JFK was immediately ascribed to the “climate of hate” which, one gathered, hung over Dallas like a miasma. It was ironic to learn, fairly quickly, that the apparent assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald, was a communist who had lived in the USSR, supported Castro’s regime in Cuba, and tried to assassinate retired Maj. Gen. Edwin Walker, a noted right-winger of the time.

History repeats itself as farce. And the present farce is the rush of the usual suspects on the left to pin Jared Lee Loughner’s acts on the “hate” that oozes (so it would seem) from the pores of Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and others on the right. (Whereas Paul Krugman, Keith Olbermann, and their ilk speak only sweet reason.) It is evident that Jared Lee Loughner does not possess a coherent political view of any kind, and that if he has been influenced by anyone it is extraterrestrial beings.

Even if Loughner were a certified right-winger of some kind, would that make Palin et al. accessories to his crime? And if so, wouldn’t that pin the assassination of JFK on Nikita Khrushchev and the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan on Jodie Foster? Or perhaps everything is the fault of “society,” as the left likes to say when it comes to criminals.

Facts and logic will not keep the left and its allies in the media from spewing and spreading hateful rhetoric aimed at discrediting their political enemies. Nor will it keep them from trying, again, to use the power of government to disarm Americans and stifle speech of which they disapprove, speech that threatens their agenda of regimentation.

When a leftist cries “hate” and “fascism” he should be looking in a mirror.

Related posts:
Fascism with a “Friendly” Face
Parsing Political Philosophy
Fascism and the Future of America
Clinton the Conspirator
The Psychologist Who Played God