In case you happen to be Facebook friends with a women’s studies professor, the content of whose latest posts we can only guess, ask her to remember the years 2002 to around 2007. This was the run-up to the Iraq War—its planning, execution, and escalation. These years also just so happened to coincide with an era of extended dementia, an orgy of the most vile, childish, callous work of the activist Left, a time when violent radical rhetoric reached its most rabid masturbatory peak.
Remember the “protests”? Kill Bush. Impeach Bush. War Crimes. Kill Cheney. Blood for Oil. Soldiers are murderers. Soldiers are torturers. Insurgents are freedom fighters. Islamists gathering on lawns listening to Ramsey Clark. Atheists and Islamists finding God together. The Stalinist Workers’ World Party leading the campus Left. Burning Bush in effigy. Movies about Bush’s assassination. Ask that they remember this in light of all the low-class posturing about “civil” political discourse.
There’s something supremely hideous about being lectured by the Left on political civility. After all, aren’t the legacies of such magazines as The Nation (which nation remains to be seen) those of revolutionary ferment? That rag did the Soviet Union’s PR work for years, and now we’re supposed to listen to their moral analyses? How many staffers at that magazine believe in revolutionary Marxism? What about the contributors at Dissent? How many attended one of those Kill Bush “peace protests”? Is it too inflammatory to call somebody “The Worst Person in the World”? MSNBC doesn’t think so.
And please do not take Christopher Hitchens seriously until he fully repudiates his Trotskyist past. He can slander the Tea Party all he wants. But until he stops writing about his Commie days with schoolboy nostalgia, as though he needn’t apologize for them because Trotskyism was allegedly anti-Stalinist, I won’t really be interested in his ideas on who should tone it down.
I have no desire to “prove” that Jared Loughner was a leftist. He might be. He might not be. What good will it do? If investigators find a dog-eared copy of Georges Sorel’s Reflections on Violence in his sock drawer, we’ll earn some talking points—cheap, filthy ones we shouldn’t use anyway. People are dead.
If it matters, the evidence so far indicates that Loughner harbored some type of strange syncretic stew of political beliefs—a little leftism, some radical libertarianism, some fascism, some anarchism, some Marxism. In other words, he took the worst of each of the fringe movements and, in his indubitably disturbed mind, mixed them into his own fantasy philosophy. He should apologize for this, not any of us.