Wednesday morning a gunman began firing at Republican members of Congress as they practiced for the annual Congressional Baseball Game for Charity. All told, four people were wounded in the attack, including Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) who remains in critical condition. And I would be remiss not to mention Scalise’s bigotry against the LGBT community or his decision to speak at an event hosted by a white supremacist group.
The gunman, later identified as 66-year-old Illinois native James Thomas Hodgkinson, later died of his injuries. According to Hodgkinson’s Facebook page, he was a committed supporter of Senator Bernie Sanders and loathed the Republican Party. Additionally, criminal records revealed a troubled background filled with violence against women and children.
And for some on the Right, this tragedy was another opportunity to paint all left-wingers as terrorists and psychopaths, or hold them responsible for the actions of a deranged gunman. One of those right-wing figures, alt-right cult leader Stefan Molyneux, did just that in a message posted to YouTube.
According to Molyneux, Leftists caused this shooting by way of “18 months of poisoning the [political] atmosphere with relentless, hysterical, hate-filled attacks upon the Trump presidency” and the entirety of the GOP. Continuing his comical monologue, Molyneux rhetorically asked Leftists why they “portray” Trump as “anti-constitutional, anti-woman, anti-minority, anti-law.”
Actually, that’s a fair point. It isn’t as if President Trump were ever, say, sued by the Justice Department for housing discrimination and forced to settle. Or floated the idea of separating contestants by race and pitting them against one another on The Apprentice. Or boasted about groping women and getting away with it. Or slandered Muslim-Americans by accusing them of cheering on 9/11. Or is being investigated for obstruction of justice.
He droned on, claiming that many who “share these viewpoints merely serve as amplification conduits” by “sharing and retweeting and adding their own inflammatory and escalating rhetoric to all this hysteria.” He asked Leftists to “look in the mirror” and ask themselves why they consume and spread these “lies.” According to Molyneux, it’s because they “really hope that crazy people will listen.”
Democrats and Leftists in general often support the concept that aggressive speech could lead directly to violence. The idea behind hate speech laws and the more socially enforced politically correct language policing of post-modern life. The Left is hysterically obsessed with microaggressions and manspreading and mansplaining and all other sorts of innocuous chafing. Aggressive language leads to violence. That is the Left.
What is the effect of 18 months of poisoning the atmosphere with relentless, hysterical, hate-filled attacks upon the Trump presidency, the character and motive of Republicans, and the very legitimacy of last November’s election? What happens when you repeatedly denounce the democratically elected leader of a relatively free country as a fascist, a racist, a sexist, a misogynist? And that sinister overseas forces schemed to secure his election, stealing it from Hillary Clinton?
What happens when you continually portray a president — an entire political party — as anti-constitutional, anti-woman, anti-minority, anti-law? What happens when you complain that the policies Americans voted for will destroy families, destroy women, kill sick people, and destroy the country?
Most people who share these viewpoints merely serve as amplification conduits, sharing and retweeting and adding their own inflammatory and escalating rhetoric to all this hysteria. They do not choose to act themselves, but they set ideas and events in motion that can result in exactly this kind of political terrorism.
You need to look in the mirror, Leftists. You need to figure out what your deep and dark motives are for all of this rage, all of this verbal abuse, all of these lies. Why do you spread them? Why do you consume them? Why do you amplify them? If you are really honest with yourselves — if you’re able to look that deeply into the heart of darkness that passes for your political philosophy — you know exactly why you create, spread, and amplify these lies: Because you really hope that crazy people will listen.