What the two tragedies reveal about the leftist mind.
The murder victims of James Holmes, who slaughtered 12 and wounded 50 at the Dark Knight Rises movie premier in Aurora Colorado, were still sprawled in the theater when ABC News chief investigator Brian Ross on-air tried to link the killer to the Tea Party––without even a modicum of vetting the information, as ABC’s apology later admitted. A quick fact-check would have revealed that the Colorado Tea Party James Holmes is a 52-year-old Hispanic, not a 24-year-old white PhD candidate. Indulging another left-wing narrative cliché, CNN’s Piers Morgan tweeted, “America has got to do something about its gun laws. Now is the time.” New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg chimed in as well with the “gun-control” meme, seemingly oblivious to the lack of evidence that shows strict gun control laws reduce murder-rates. Over at the Huffington Post, Michael Shank fingered America’s “highest income inequality rates in the rich world,” which correlate “strongly with high rates of social-health problems, from homicide and violent crime to mental illness and drug addiction.” This is a variation of the “poverty-made-’em-do-it” argument that the current recession, which has seen rates of violent crime go down, not up, refutes.
Here we see the enduring banality of the progressive mind, mired in discredited psychological, social, and economic theories like a fly in amber. Yet progressives fancy themselves the product of enlightenment and reason, with knowledge about human nature and behavior superior to those Neanderthal conservatives who “get bitter” and “cling to guns or religion,” as Obama said during the 2008 campaign. Those benighted, racist reactionaries are consumed with repression and fear of the “other,” full of resentment over the declining power of their “white-skin privilege,” and fiercely resistant to the improving changes engineered by their betters to achieve “social justice.” Psychotic as they are, it’s no surprise they endorse policies that compensate for their insecurities and ignorance by seeking to exclude the historical victims of oppression. And to the progressive it’s an obvious truth that a few such souls will occasionally explode into the sort of violence perpetrated in Colorado.
The fact that most of these mass-murderers are loners and lunatics with no political agenda at all hasn’t deterred progressives like Brian Ross from jumping to the same conclusions. It was just last year that their zeal to link the shooter of Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords to the Tea Party blew up in their faces. No matter, the “narrative,” as they like to call it, of conservative psychosis is too politically useful, too flattering of progressive pretensions to superior intellect. The irony, of course, is that such reflexive assertions are the sign of a mind woefully lacking in critical capacity and hence vulnerable to politically and personally gratifying fairy tales.
Which brings us to the second massacre, equally revealing of progressive addled thinking. Major Nidal Hasan, the jihadist who in 2009 murdered 13 fellow soldiers at Fort Hood to cries of “Allahu Akbar,” had left a super-highway of evidence about his terrorist inclinations and eagerness to kill for Allah. As the recently released Webster Commission investigation into the FBI’s handling of that evidence shows, several months before his rampage at Fort Hood, the FBI and anti-terrorism task force agents had perused 18 emails Hasan had sent to Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born jihadist consigliore later killed in Yemen. In these emails, Hasan displayed his eagerness for supporting terrorist outfits like Hamas, and inquired about the theological arguments for killing his fellow soldiers and other innocents. “I would assume,” he wrote in one email, “that a suicide bomber whose aim is to kill enemy soldiers or their helpers but also kill innocents in the process is acceptable.” Other evidence for Hasan’s inclinations was available as well, including a Power-Point presentation at Walter Reed hospital that quoted Mohammad’s famous “great commission” to his disciples: “I was told to fight all men until they say there is no god but Allah”––quoted as well by the Ayatollah Khomeini and Osama bin Laden as justification for their own jihadist murders.
Despite these dots begging to be connected, nothing was done about Hasan, nor were his superior officers questioned. The FBI conveniently assumed that his queries were part of his “research” into the effects of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan. Delving into his conversations with al-Awlaki was deemed too “sensitive.” You can bet if Hasan had been a white supremacist exchanging emails with a neo-Nazi organization about killing people, the FBI wouldn’t have been worried about sensitivity. Hasan was given a pass because he is a Muslim, and the federal government has decided as policy that we must show our “respect” for Islam, that we must promote “diversity,” that we must eschew “profiling” of innocent Muslims, and that we must endorse the obvious lie that the jihadist theology justifying terrorist murder is a distorted “highjacking” of what we’re supposed to call the “religion of peace.” That’s why the Department of Defense labeled Hasan’s jihadist murder “workplace violence,” and why the Webster Commission report speaks of generic “radicalization” rather than the Islamic jihadist ideology Hasan himself endorsed. All of this Orwellian evasion and lying is part of the misguided “outreach” to the Muslim world that for over a decade has not convinced a single jihadist to give up trying to murder us.
More important, the failure to read the obvious signs of Hasan’s jihadist intentions, and the subsequent air-brushing of his Islamic motivations, both reflect the mind-destroying orthodoxy of another progressive ideological dogma, multiculturalism and its bastard offspring “diversity.” Multiculturalism is a species of anti-Americanism, a melodrama of white Western wickedness against various innocent victims “of color” oppressed and brutalized by colonialism, imperialism, and racism. These crimes demand reparations from the oppressor, mainly in the form of mandated “diversity” in private and public institutions, which means a variety of ethnicity and skin-color rather than of minds. After 9/11, diversity demands intersected with Muslim “outreach” policies to spin a protective cocoon around Hasan’s obvious signs of jihadist intentions.
That obeisance to diversity, even to the point of endangering our citizens, was on the military’s mind became obvious after the massacre in the repellent statement by top Army officer General George Casey: “Our diversity, not only in our Army, but in our country, is a strength. And as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.” No, general, our strength is our political principles that lie at the heart of American identity. And getting rid of phony “diversity” is worse than murdering a pregnant woman, as Hasan did at Fort Hood, only to a moral idiot.
And so goes the progressive mind: immune to fact, full of ideas young in the 19th century, crippled by incoherent thinking, morally idiotic, and slave to unexamined orthodoxies––and sometimes deadly for those who pay the price for progressive dogmas.
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