I’m so old I can remember Bill Clinton blaming the 1995 Oklahoma bombing on Rush Limbaugh. Heck, I’m so old I can recall MSNBC and the rest of the leftist hive mind blaming the 2011 shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords on Sarah Palin, when 30 seconds of observation showed clearly the shooter was severely mentally ill. Oh, wait—you don’t need to be old for that: the New York Times repeated that outrageous slur in an editorial just four years ago—now the subject of a much-deserved libel suit from Palin.
Actually this is the left’s oldest playbook, and it hasn’t gotten any less stale than it was in the aftermath of that November 1963 day in Dallas, when the left blamed JFK’s assassin on a “climate of right-wing hate” in Texas, despite the obvious fact that Kennedy’s killer was a dedicated Communist. Keep in mind that the left, including high government officials in the Kennedy administration, had been braying for several years that the principal threat to the nation was the “radical right,” and especially those little old ladies in tennis shoe bombs in the John Birch Society. If you doubt this, go look up the paranoid report of California’s attorney general Stanley Mosk. You could reprint the Mosk report today with just one small change: swap out “John Birch Society” with “January 6 insurrectionists” and you’re good to go. Meanwhile, within a decade of the left’s panic over the “radical right,” a wave of bombings swept the nation—all of them carried out by radical leftists.
You didn’t need to be a rocket scientist to know the left would blame the Buffalo shooter on Tucker Carlson (since Rush isn’t around to blame any more), without having taken the trouble to read the “manifesto” the shooter left behind. Like so many similar manifestos from other mass killers in the past, it is incoherent and contradictory, and fair-minded people will discern a mixture of mental illness and an embrace of “extremism” that is not distinctly ideological in any serious way. (Extremism isn’t necessarily ideological in any consistent fashion, but this is an issue for another day. But read the last third of Max Weber’s “Politics as a Vocation” for insight on this point.)
Anyone remember the Unabomber’s manifesto in the late 1990s, which spawned the internet parlor game of comparing the Unabomber’s manifesto to Al Gore’s Earth in the Balance? The similarities were embarrassing for the Veep. (The FBI has never confirmed or denied rumors that a marked up copy of Gore’s book was found in the Unabomber’s shack.) Alston Chase argued persuasively in A Mind for Murder that Ted Kaczynski’s manifesto was derived from what he was taught at Harvard around the same time Gore was a student. Is Harvard to blame for the Unabomber’s rampage? If an eco-warrior blows up a pipeline or oil refinery, can we blame Greta Thunberg? (If you’re interested in a more serious treatment of the defects of Al Gore’s radical metaphysics, see this old piece from . . . me.)
Finally, the central focus of outrage from the left that right now operates in a 24/7 mode of calling all white Americans racist is something called the “Replacement Theory,” that is, a self-conscious design of the left to have “people of color” come to outnumber whites, and who will provide a permanent majority for the Democratic Party. It is said to be “Republican Party orthodoxy.” Where could Republicans have gotten such a crazy idea?
Of course, many of the “people of color” that Democrats think they own as naturally as they once owned black people are starting to defect, such as hispanics and Asians. . . If anyone needs replacing, it’s our sick leftists.