Read the tea leaves and weep: Arizona shooter is the inevitable by-product of current right-wing rhetoric

Like it or not, the gunman who killed six people in Tuscon yesterday, wounding 14 more (including Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords, his prime target),  was influenced greatly by the melodramatic and violent rhetoric of the Tea Party and their extreme right wing fellow travelers.  There is even word that he has links to a white supremacist anti-immigration militia group.

Reading the messages on his YouTube page, one can tell that Jared Loughner is a very disturbed, yet probably intelligent, young man, which is what people close to him have been telling the press. In one very long video, he (or someone else) is dressed in a homemade costume, and accompanied by loud music in which the refrain seems to be “bodies will hit the floor, eventually burns an American flag to the desert ground.

But the most telling of Loughfner’s uploads is his “Introduction” in which he loosely, and rather incoherently, lists a series of paranoid grievances, most of which you can hear any day  on Fox News, particularly from Glenn Beck. He signs off with:

In conclusion, reading the second United States Constitution,  I can’t trust the current government because of the ramifications.  The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar.

No! I won’t pay debt by a currency that’s not backed by gold and silver!

No! I won’t trust in God!

What’s government if words don’t have meaning?

Emphasis on the Constitution, anti-federalist views, and the security of gold (and maybe silver) are major components of Glenn Beck’s daily school lesson. Take all this, throw in some revolutionary rhetoric (why do you think they call themselves militias?) and top it off  with the gun sight targets that Sarah Palin’s website placed over ‘progressive’ Gifford’s congressional district (not too mention Palin’s impassioned call to not retreat but “reload”) and you have a recipe that any paranoid schizophrenic would love. And then have him easily and legally purchase a high capacity semi-automatic handgun and who would expect anything other than murder?

It’s time to stop with all this Revolutionary War language. The only similarity between then and now is the growing tendency towards violence.


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  1. #1 by robert on June 29, 2011 - 3:54 am

    Just to bring this full circle… Whoops… LOL!!! So it turns out that the guy was just nuts after all, not a right wing revolutionary, left wing anarchist, etc. Too bad we can’t actually dial things back, as the president suggested. Imagine what we might be able to acomplish in this country if we did.

    • #2 by Christian Beyer on June 29, 2011 - 6:19 am

      Full circle? Few people doubted that Loughner was mentally ill or even insane. His rantings suggest this almost as much as his murderous actions. Did Glenn Beck’s insane rantings help drive him to commit these acts? Probably. Is Beck complicit here? No.

      But this all illuminates the paranoia, fear and anger that is at the heart of the far right wing’s arguments.

  2. #3 by Jay Ameduri on June 17, 2012 - 1:32 pm

    Outstanding article. I did saved your website. Keep sharing. Regards

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