Monday, January 10, 2011

In Reply: If the guy is a madman, his politics cease to be significant

In reply to the following comment at Even As Arizona Shooting Story Unfolds, Some Media Already Blaming Tea Party/Sarah Palin | Right Wing News:
"'His own words were those of a madman.'
So your contention is that leftist and madman are mutually exclusive?

Lee Harvey Oswald was insane, and a leftist, and a murderer. I disagree with your notion that being crazy prevents him from being on the left.

I've known many a crazy leftist."

Leftist (or rightist) and madman are not mutually exclusive, but as being used here, they imply a causation between the two terms that just doesn't exist.

Madman is very likely the cause. Leftist (or rightist) is no more significant as a motivation for the the crime than "dark-haired," "male," "t-shirt-wearing," "college student," "saxophone-playing," "Arizonan" or any of the other words and phrases that describe some aspect of the guy. Pretending that any/every book on his reading list, his politics, or any aspect of his ramblings is somehow significant as a motivation for the crime--or as "proof" that some segment of the American population (whether "leftists," "rightists," or "saxophone players") is in any way culpable for the crime because this guy can be counted among them--is just pure foolishness.

Posted 1/10/11, 11:08 AM

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