that’s important to establish, before you read any further. keep it in mind as you go.
and if you’re one of the couple dozen conservative friends I have left here on Facebook, you might wanna just go ahead and block me without reading any further.
ok – so now that we’ve established all that…
I’ve been walking around most of the day with a bundle of mixed feelings that could best be summed up as follows:
i’m disappointed in myself that I haven’t been able to summon more sympathy and concern for Steve Scalise than I’ve managed…but yet, i’m not terribly surprised at this, either.
I think this comes about as a result of multiple factors.
I’m not even gonna jump on the bandwagon that so many are weighing down as we speak, with regard to his A+ NRA rating, his legislative stance on voting to allow mentally ill people to buy guns, or the fact that he’d have likely been sitting on the hill listening to arguments regarding easing restrictions on silencers just hours after he was shot. That’s gotten enough ink already.
I’ve been ambivalent about guns all my life. I’ve never gotten the whole testosterone-boosting erection that a lot of guys get from firing weapons, but I’ve often said that I see guns the same way I see motorcycles – if you wanna have one, I don’t really give a shit, but I don’t want one, and your enthusiasm for them isn’t gonna rub off on me. it just ain’t. having said that, though, I ain’t ridin’ your motorcycle, and I’m not bringing my kids to your house if you have guns. that’s just where my head’s at. we can hang out at Chuck E. Cheese instead.
So his whole NRA rating, gun stance thing…yeah, it’s hard not to see through a “live by the sword” lens where that’s concerned, but that’s another show.
So that probably informs my general lack of concern for the Congressman, and I’m gonna own that. Like I said, I’m an awful person, and I warned ya. But that’s not what fueled this particular rant.
No – The thing that’s blowing my mind tonight is the orgy of demonization of “left wing rhetoric” that they’re rushing to attribute to what happened this morning.
I’m not gonna try to make a case denying that the shooter had liberal sympathies, as he actually stopped passengers in a car to verify that the people on the diamond were, in fact, republicans before opening fire. The facts speak for themselves as stated. He was one of us, politically speaking.
But when you drive down the field and kick a field goal with the clock running out to put three points on the board when you’re down by seventy points, generally speaking – nobody talks about your brilliant last-minute drive to make that kick.
But the folks on the right are losing their shit over that field goal – “the folks on the left have amped up their anti-trump rhetoric to the point of bloodshed!” “Kathy Griffin!” “SHAKESPEARE!!!”
It’s literally as if they were Amish until late last night and have no idea what’s been happening for the past twenty years.
Let’s revisit Dylann Roof’s left wing sympathies and his burning desire for racial harmony that spoke to him when he set out to murder black parishioners in Charleston.
Robert Dear was clearly sympathizing with women’s right to choose when he shot up a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado.
I’m sure Jared Lee Loughner was making a statement about income equality when he shot Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona…killing six, including a 9 year old girl.
Even the Fort Hood and Washington Navy Yard shootings were never attributed to a particular political leaning – and if that had even been a possibility, I’m sure it would’ve surfaced within the first 24 hours of the news cycle.
Statistics bear out the ugly fact that a clear majority of random shootings in America are perpetrated by angry, bittter, violent, disenfranchised white males…and the majority of them have had leanings that are anything BUT liberal.
There are concurrent threads that run through almost every mass shooting that’s taken place in America, and they’re various flavors of mental illness – but to stand on the sidelines and pretend that there’s some violent groundswell of bloodthirst on the political left after watching a certain candidate spend a year on the campaign trail leading chants of “lock her up” and telling supporters to kick the shit out of protesters embodies a brand of panache that I can’t even wrap my head around.
We live in a world where a hero of the extreme right will be paraded on national television ON FUCKING FATHERS’ DAY after furthering a conspiracy theory that Sandy Hook was a hoax…after getting White House press credentials for his batshit crazy staff of “reporters”. We walk every day through Bizarro America, where a carnival barker managed to convince 63 million people that he could turn back the clock to the Age of Eisenhower simply because he said he could.
We’ve collectively lost our shit. This is who we are now.
But to listen to the very folks who would otherwise be preaching that we shouldn’t politicize a tragedy talk shit about the “rhetoric on the left” blows my fucking mind.
You don’t get to complain about having your lunch money stolen on the last day of school when you’ve been beating up other kids and stealing their wallets all year long.
We see what you did, there. Nice try, but thanks for playing.
final note: i’m sure I’ll wake up in a few hours to a handful of comments calling me a “gun grabber”, spouting NRA slogans and various phrases from the Official Fox News Sean Hannity flashcards…to those of you who think this is an anti-gun screed, I’ll ask you to take a deep breath and re-read what I wrote. this isn’t anti-gun…it’s anti-hypocrisy. and if you take issue with me calling out the Right for being butt-hurt over the Resistance…there’s plenty of campaign footage on youTube to review. Check Yourself.
As for me, I’m gonna go to bed and try to summon some empathy. It’s not comin’ any easier these days.