Posted on | February 9, 2014 | 24 Comments
While the beatdown on Jesse Myerson’s communist advocacy will continue — compelled by the impersonal forces of history — we can take a brief detour to examine what he wrote after Jared Loughner’s deadly January 2011 shooting spree in Tucson, Arizona.
You can read the whole thing, if you have a masochistic appetite for bad writing, but here’s a sample paragraph:
But even if it cannot be demonstrated that Loughner’s act grew out of the right-wing violence-glorifying culture, there remain critical pieces of context for understanding how culpability for violence is not the sole possession of the man who pulls the trigger. Arizona made the deepest cuts in the country to their mental health budget; Loughner was an obvious victim of this policy, standing as he did to benefit from such funding. Having been removed from school and rejected from the military on the grounds of his mental instability did not, owing to Arizona’s lax standards regarding firearms, prevent him from buying a gun, another important point.
Oh, so “culpability for violence is not the sole possession of the man who pulls the trigger,” which might come as a surprise to Jared Loughner, who pleaded guilty and was sentence to life in prison, but this is how Marxists think, see? Your belief in individual responsibility is “false consciousness,” and in fact you are rendered helpless by the oppressive power of the capitalist bourgeosie, as represented in the person of a certain Republican politician:
Obviously, Sarah Palin finds a link between Islamic extremism and terrorism against America, and she is right to, even though it contradicts her “lone gunman” point. I wonder, though, whether she would have made the same point about crimes beginning and ending with those who commit them if Jared Lee Loughner had been named Abdul Aziz. Wouldn’t she be right to suspect that a widespread inchoate movement which rallies around weapon-related symbols and idioms and has been known on a considerable number of occasions to resort to violence might have produced this result?
Readers will recall that, in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, some idiot leftists claimed that a “target” map — showing Democrats that Sarah Palin’s political action committee had hoped to defeat in 2010 — was to blame for Loughner’s rampage at a public meeting for “targeted” Arizona Rep. Gabby Giffords. Myerson admits he initially believed Loughner was a right-winger:
I myself thought, at the first reports of the shooting, that, on the balance, he probably was quite likely to be a Beck-head, and I think I was right to suspect that and to remain wary of such people.
Thing is, though, I’m a sucker for empirical evidence, and mostly it does not point to Jared Lee Loughner as a foil-hat right-wing lunatic (after the mold of, say, Timothy McVeigh), gold obsession notwithstanding. In fact, a friend of his told Good Morning America, “He did not watch TV. He disliked the news. He didn’t listen to political radio.”
Coincidentally, Myerson seems to have lost interest in “empirical evidence” regarding the Tucson shooter just about the time Loughner’s friends and acquaintances started explaining that the gunman’s political beliefs were “liberal” or “radical.”
Of course, schizophrenia has no ideology, but Jared Loughner‘s descent into madness — after breaking up with a girlfriend, he started using marijuana, LSD and salvia divonorum, and dropped out of high school — was certainly not a right-wing phenomenon. And there was an unusual influence on Jared Loughner’s worldview:
The two-hour video is anti-Christian, anti-American and anti-capitalist, and Jared Lee Loughner became obsessed with it. Zeitgeist, a conspiracy-theory documentary released in 2007, has spawned its own cult following. According to Loughner’s friends, the accused Tucson gunman was one of the cult’s most zealous converts. And many of Loughner’s otherwise inexplicable obsessions — from his fascination with currency to his rantings against illiteracy to his paranoid fears of “mind control” — parallel ideas promoted in Zeitgeist.
The first disclosure of the movie’s influence on the mass murder suspect’s beliefs came in an interview Wednesday with ABC News. “I really think that this Zeitgeist documentary had a profound impact upon Jared Loughner’s mindset and how he views the world that he lives in,” Zach Osler, 22, told ABC’s Ashleigh Banfield. Osler’s father confirmed that influence in an interview published Sunday by the Arizona Republic. “He wanted to watch [Zeitgeist] all the time,” George Osler told the Phoenix newspaper. “It was cool at first. But then it got weird. It was all he wanted to do.”
The Zeitgeist connection may be the most crucial clue to understanding the bizarre ideas that seemed to crowd Loughner’s disordered mind in months leading up to the Jan. 8 shootings that left six dead and 12 wounded in Arizona. . . .
You can read the rest of my Jan. 17, 2011, American Spectator column. Myerson obviously never read it, because he seems never to read anything that doesn’t confirm his own paranoid beliefs. Despite his self-declared devotion to “empirical evidence,” Myerson is in fact fanatically devoted to the conspiratorial worldview of Marxism. This ideological devotion more or less requires Myerson to ignore the significance of Zeitgeist as a factor in Loughner’s madness.
Myerson didn’t really want to understand why Loughner did what he did. The deaths of six people in Tucson were of interest to Myerson only insofar as they could advance the Left’s agenda.