Zombie asks this rhetorical question: Anti-Bush Truther shoots up Pentagon; Should we play the political blame game?
On Thursday, a “9/11 Truth” fanatic named John Patrick Bedell started shooting at the Pentagon and managed to wound two guards before they mercifully put him out of our [sic - heh] misery.
We now know that the guy thought the government and the Bush family were behind the 9/11 attacks (or “demolitions” as he called them), and was basically frothing at the mouth with Bush hatred.
Now, I’ve been to innumerable “Truther” rallies over the last 8 years, and can say with some confidence that about 98% of folks who think 9/11 was a hoax are left-wingers, or at the very least fit in very comfortably in the left-wing milieu, since the impetus behind Truthism is to undermine the basis for Bush’s “War on Terror,” an impetus which is also a cornerstone of modern Leftist thought as well.
So far, however, I’ve noticed a deafening quietude on the left-leaning blogs about this guy’s affiliations and belief systems. Those brave enough to troll leftist comments sections have noted mumblings therein that the guy was probably a secret “teabagger,” despite all evidence to the contrary.
Compare this to the response in the leftosphere when Joseph Stack flew his plane into an Austin IRS building a couple weeks earlier. Despite leaving a suicide note that approvingly cited Karl Marx and that condemned capitalism as nothing but “greed,” he was pilloried by every left-leaning site as a right-wing hitman who epitomized the inherent violence of the Tea Party movement — because he had anti-government feelings.
Now, just for a moment, let’s set aside the false guilt-by-association game everyone’s always playing. We all know that John Patrick Bedell and Joseph Stack are basically insane, plain and simple — as are any number of similar whackjobs who periodically go loco and erupt into violence. Violent psychopaths often incorporate some seemingly random overarching theme into their mindset, and on occasion that theme involves politics. Whenever someone like Bedell or Stack goes ballistic, every pundit jumps into the fray and tries to spin the outburst as “exemplifying” the political viewpoint of those with whom the pundit disagrees.
But that only rises to the level of a valid argument when a distinct pattern emerges. If, say, 5,000 suicide bombers in a row are invariably Islamic fundamentalists — well, OK, we’ve got a problem with the belief system, not just with the individuals. Yet I don’t see a pattern in these “going postal” violent outbursts which seem to happen perhaps three or four times per year, every year, no matter who’s in power or who’s president: [...] the truth is, paranoid people simply feel threatened by the external power structure in general, so they lash out at any symbol of authority, regardless of its political affiliation.
So, instead of playing the blame game so unapologetically employed by the Left when they feel they can spin things to their political advantage, I’m not going to say that Bedell’s actions at the Pentagon epitomize the leftist worldview. Rather, he was just crazy, as clearly indicated by his belief in the craziest of modern crazy conspiracy theories, 9/11 Truthism.
Are most Truthers leftists? Yes. But that doesn’t mean that all left-leaning Americans are thereby just as crazy as the most extreme among them; it simply indicates that when a leftist goes crazy in the post-9/11 era, he often gloms onto Truthism as his paranoia of choice.
Put it this way: Leftism fails as a coherent philosophy on its own terms. We shouldn’t try to wring significance from the delusional outburst of someone who just happened to be leftist. There are plenty of ways to logically disembowel Marxism and its numerous noxious contemporary offspring without having to resort to an unnecessary round of political “gotcha!”
UPDATE 2: Despite attempts by the usual suspects to paint the shooter as some sort of radical Republican, he turns out to be a registered Democrat. Oddly enough, Wikipedia (reader beware, as always) offers evidence that he was also a big fan of anarcho-libertarian Murray Rothbard. The same page also states he suffered from bipolar disorder, that he envisioned a US currency based on cannabis, … Complex, arcane medical terms like “round the bend”, “nucking futz”, and the like may be more appropriate than partisan labels.