Just another well-in­ten­tioned pro­gres­sive

Ow­ing to his ha­tred of Repub­li­cans, the ball­field shooter was well armed

The Washington Times Daily - - COMMENTARY - By R. Em­mett Tyrrell Jr. R. Em­mett Tyrrell Jr. is ed­i­tor in chief of The Amer­i­can Spec­ta­tor. He is au­thor of “The Death of Lib­er­al­ism,” pub­lished by Thomas Nel­son Inc.

Have you fol­lowed the drift of the Main­stream Me­dia (MSM) as to what pro­voked James T. Hodgkin­son to at­tempt the mas­sacre of the Repub­li­can base­ball team as it prac­ticed in Alexan­dria, Va., last week? Not the Demo­cratic team, not the Wash­ing­ton Na­tion­als team, but the Repub­li­can team. Well, it was not nec­es­sar­ily Hodgkin­son’s pol­i­tics, we are told. Af­ter all, his pol­i­tics were pretty much main­stream pro­gres­sive. Ac­cord­ing to the MSM, it was “a Volatile Home Life in Illi­nois.” That is the way The New York Times put it on the news­pa­per’s front page Sun­day.

Strong drink was al­luded to. Anger and vi­o­lence were also men­tioned as fea­tures in Hodgkin­son’s ru­ral Illi­nois home. More­over, Hodgkin­son was abu­sive to­ward the fos­ter chil­dren that he and his wife of 30 years had un­der their care. One of the chil­dren com­mit­ted sui­cide by light­ing her­self afire. Another died of a drug over­dose, and there was a grand­niece who was dragged around by her hair. Hodgkin­son was also charged with prop­erty dam­age and may­hem suf­fi­cient to have earned him a cou­ple of mis­de­meanor counts in re­cent years. It makes one won­der what the Illi­nois Depart­ment of Chil­dren and Fam­ily Ser­vice — which The New York Times blasely men­tioned — is good for.

Yet as I say, the MSM is soft-ped­al­ing this lu­natic’s pol­i­tics, and I can see why. There was noth­ing par­tic­u­larly un­usual about them. He could have been one of Bernie’s non­de­script sup­port­ers at the Philadel­phia con­ven­tion last sum­mer. In the world of the Amer­i­can left, there is noth­ing ex­treme about car­ry­ing plac­ards de­nounc­ing “The Rich” or “the Gi­ant Cor­po­ra­tions.” There is noth­ing too ex­treme one might say about the en­vi­ron­ment or the plight of the poor or the fate of the LGBT com­mu­nity.

And why not bring the whole fam­ily down to Central Park for a lit­tle Shake­speare in the Park? This month we are fea­tur­ing “Julius Cae­sar,” and in place of Cae­sar we are fea­tur­ing the pres­i­dent of the United States, who dies of mul­ti­ple knife wounds on stage. Why did not, say, the John Birch So­ci­ety think of such a skit back in John F. Kennedy’s day? On the other hand, the whole fam­ily can curl up in front of the Stephen Col­bert or Bill Ma­her tele­vi­sion shows, and watch these comic ge­niuses test the lim­its of the First Amend­ment.

The fact is that James T. Hodgkin­son was in many ways just another pro­gres­sive — you will note that they do not call them­selves lib­er­als any­more. I won­der why? Is the word “lib­eral” too tainted by de­feat, or too mod­er­ate? Or is it that the left pretty much agreed with me when I ti­tled my obit­u­ary to lib­er­al­ism “The death of lib­er­al­ism” in 2011?

Ac­tu­ally, that Hodgkin­son is pretty much a stan­dard­is­sue pro­gres­sive ought to give ev­ery­one the creeps. His pol­i­tics are no dif­fer­ent than those of a lo­cal li­brar­ian or a school­teacher or a union guy back in 2014 when it was so fash­ion­able to be a mem­ber of the “an­gry left.” Of course, in 2011 there were the Occupiers, and now in 2017 there is the Black Lives Mat­ter move­ment. What sep­a­rates Hodgkin­son from Bill Ay­ers, the bomber of the Pen­tagon, ex­cept that Mr. Ay­ers tried to kill more peo­ple? The left has been on a steady evo­lu­tion to­ward homi­cide like what Hodgkin­son un­der­took last week for years, and there are a lot more Hodgkin­sons out there than we care to con­tem­plate.

Truth be known the Amer­i­can left, and that in­cludes most of the MSM, has be­come quite mor­bid in its fas­ci­na­tions. The whole way it talks about poverty, the en­vi­ron­ment, im­mi­gra­tion, race — prac­ti­cally any so­cial prob­lem — is mor­bid. I look at The New York Times and The Wash­ing­ton Post ev­ery morn­ing. They sit there on my break­fast table. Rarely do their front pages not fea­ture what the po­lit­i­cal philoso­pher Ken­neth Minogue called a “suf­fer­ing sit­u­a­tion”: sev­eral starv­ing Africans, a corpse or two from some hell­hole, an im­pov­er­ished Ap­palachian fam­ily with at least one child, his head shaved be­cause of cancer or some other hor­ri­ble mal­ady, a gay cou­ple that has suf­fered a set­back. I could go on, but you get my point. The MSM is ob­sessed with mis­ery, so­cial strife and — dare I say it — po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness.

As long as these val­ues dom­i­nate, and there is no mit­i­gat­ing al­ter­na­tive, the pub­lic had best be armed.

IL­LUS­TRA­TION BY GREG GROESCH

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