As of this writing, the identity of the man that allegedly opened fire on a group of Republicans in Alexandria, Virginia is believed to be James T. Hodgkinson, a 66 year old from Illinois.
A quick scan of his Facebook page (currently being overrun with furious conservatives) shows a fiercely anti-Trump progressive that strongly supports Bernie Sanders. I kind of hope he left a suicide note behind because now that he's dead, I'd really like to know what motivated him to attempt murder. I'm no fan of Bernie but it's nigh impossible to twist even his angriest screeds into a call for violence.
Naturally, however, after years of outrageously violent right wing rhetoric, conservatives are simply aghast that a liberal committed an act of political violence and they're loudly condemning the entire liberal movement:
There's not a shred of self-reflection to be found here but this is the most telling comment on this tragedy so far:
"Please don't compare this to Obama's treatment." The collective amnesia of the right is staggering. It's almost like the explosion of violent hate speech from 2008 through today simply doesn't exist. Just a few weeks ago, a rabidly racist white supremacist murdered two men in Portland, the latest in a long string of hate crimes committed by the right, but we can't talk about that because a liberal tried to murder people today.
Don't be even slightly shocked when this is called terrorism by the "liberal" media; not because it isn't (of course it is) but because of the ease with which the label is applied to a liberal compared to how excruciatingly difficult it is for conservative violence to earn the same moniker. We as a country have been heavily conditioned to treat the thousands of acts of political violence committed by conservatives to be random, "isolated incidents" unconnected to the concerted effort of right wing media and politicians to dehumanize their enemies. Bill O'Reilly called an abortion doctor a killer for years until he was murdered. Fox News screamed about Planned Parenthood selling baby parts until a man shot up a clinic, killing three. Eric Trump literally said he doesn't consider his father's critics to be people but, hey, Ivanka doesn't understand why Washington liberals are so vicious.
I'll make conservatives a deal: We'll take the blame for this just as soon as you take the blame for any of the murders, rapes, or beatings done in the name of your politics.
I shan't be holding my breath.
There are 509 days left to the 2018 elections.
- This article kills fascists (No, I won't be changing this. Your ignorance as to what it means is not my problem.)
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