Another day, another disgruntled far-leftie picks up a gun and starts shooting. Thankfully, the officers in question were able to effectively return fire and gave Bedell exactly what he deserved. Deadly force. Score one for the gene pool.
And again, we need to be on the lookout for headlines from the mainstream press tying Bedell to the right, and particularly to the Tea Party folks. The left–and indeed even some on the right–have a fundamental misunderstanding of the kind of folks that inhabit the movement. While generally they’re no fan of big government, they’re also not the types prone to violence. Of the millions of tea party folks who gathered throughout the United States of America since this time next year, not one was arrested, and some rally venues reported the rally sites being cleaner when the rallies were finished than when they started.
Still, that won’t stop the mainstream press. The Holocaust Memorial shooter was portrayed as a right-wing nut until it came out that he was a Nazi (National Socialist) sympathizer, that he hated “neo-cons,” and that his original target as the offices of The Weekly Standard. Fort Hood shooter and Islamic jihadist Nidal Malik Hasan was originally portrayed as a shell-shocked, war-weary soldier instead of the America-hating Muslim extremist he was. University of Alabama-Huntsville shooter Amy Bishop was described as a gun-toting wingnut until news broke that she was an obsessive fan of Barack Obama, and would sing his praises to the point where it was “off-putting.”
When it comes to the truth about John Patrick Bedell, who shot up an entrance to the Pentagon yesterday evening, consider this, from Fox News:
John Patrick Bedell, 36, of Hollister, Calif., was identified as the shooter. Officials said they’d found no immediate connection to terrorism but had not ruled it out.
Signs emerged that Bedell harbored ill feelings toward the government and the armed forces, and had questioned the circumstances behind the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
In an Internet posting, a user by the name JPatrickBedell wrote that he was “determined to see that justice is served” in the death of Marine Col. James Sabow, who was found dead in the backyard of his California home in 1991. The death was ruled a suicide but the case has long been the source of theories of a cover up.
The user named JPatrickBedell wrote the Sabow case was “a step toward establishing the truth of events such as the September 11 demolitions.”
That same posting railed against the government’s enforcement of marijuana laws and included links to the author’s 2006 court case in Orange County, Calif., for cultivating marijuana and resisting a police officer. Court records available online show the date of birth on the case mentioned by the user JPatrickBedell matches that of the John Patrick Bedell suspected in the shooting.
Contrary evidence aside, this shooter will inevitably be characterized as a radical right-wing activist. It doesn’t matter that he hates the armed forces (a domain of the left), that he’s a 9/11 truther (another domain of the left), or that he’s obviously–and thankfully–a terrible shot. The mainstream press wants these shooters to be right-wingers. They want them to be racists, as we saw when MSNBC described the inherent danger of armed white people at Barack Obama events while showing a close-up shot of what turned out to be a well-dressed black man carrying an AR-15. They want to marginalize the right. They want to portray us as angry, as violent, as unstable.
And, in doing so, they want to feel better about themselves and their bitterness.
What liberals don’t seem to understand is that, for the most part, we don’t wake up each morning with that same anger with which they greet each day. More often than not and with a few specific exceptions, we don’t resort to shouting and expletives to get our point across. More often than not and with a few specific exceptions, we don’t engage in the politics of personal destruction. We generally have the facts on our side — perhaps we find solace in knowing that the burden of proof is then on the left.
I’ve often wondered exactly what it is that so embitters those on the left who faithfully adhere to an ideology characterized by [mandated] social equality, by pacifism, tolerance, peace and love. I’ve often wondered why those who, for the most part, are blessedly and blissfully ignorant of the evils and dangers of the outside world seem so intent upon allowing a raincloud to follow overhead all day.
George Will, in a fantastic Washington Post piece from 2006, draws from a Pew Research study and posits that the happiness gap between those on the right and on the left of the traditional political spectrum might have something to do with marriage, with faith, and even with sunshine. Conservatives, he wrote, have a tendency to be and stay married, to attend worship services, and to live in sunny and warm locales. Liberals do not. I think he’s right in many ways, but I believe he’s wrong in a few as well.
While Will cites as evidence the faded and tattered “Kerry/Edwards” and “Gore/Lieberman” bumper stickers often displayed with bitter pride on hybrid vehicles and gas efficient small station wagons as evidence of liberals’ anger, I believe it goes deeper than that. Sure, a little anger and bitterness can be shown through vehicle adornment, but in my opinion more can be found in the need to constantly look for relaxation, meditation and centering in the countless yoga studios and meditation centers which pepper the coastal countryside.
Will also curiously mentions that conservatives are inherently pessimistic, and that pessimism leads to delight in being proven wrong. I don’t buy it. Though there is a certain level of frustration in knowing the realities of the world and watching as liberals ignore common sense, conservatives for the most part seem to me to be inherently optimistic, though guardedly so. Many of us, after all, awake in the morning thankful for another day on God’s green Earth, wondering how we might contribute to our success in our lives, whether it’s prosperity at work or just making our families happy at home. I believe that conservatives, for the most part, are conscious of our place in life and in the world, and understand the relationship and consequences between ideas and actions. While I admit to be painting with a broad brush, it seems this bears in sharp contrast to liberals, who seem to partake in organic foods and environmental causes perhaps in an attempt to force themselves into a greater sense of self, of belonging, of necessary cause.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe I am painting with a broad brush. Maybe liberals just wake up on the wrong side of the bed. Maybe they accidentally put fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice in their bowl of Kashi. Maybe all Republicans are dumb. Maybe Rush Limbaugh is brainwashing all of us. Maybe Dick Cheney truly is evil, and Halliburton his personal Death Star. Still, I can’t help but think that there is something bigger behind such a perspective.
A person must be wired a certain way to perceive the world as a conservative or a liberal, must have priorities of a certain kind, must have a materially different sense of good and bad, right and wrong, essential and non-important. If such a difference exists, why can such a discrepancy not project onto mood? If such a difference exists, why wouldn’t it manifest itself in ways like we saw with shooters Bedell and Bishop?