The Murderous Impulses of the Left
There have already been any number of definitive analyses of the left's exploitation of the Arizona shootings, so I don't want to repeat them; cf. here, here, here, and here. Is there anything else to say except that one should never be surprised at the moral rot of the left? This is what they do. Since they they know as well as anyone that they cannot win on the merits, their first and last resort is always to defame, to smear, and to demonize.
If we limit ourselves to conscious motivations, then Glenn Reynolds is correct in saying that there are really only two explanations for such disgusting behavior on part of the left: they are either "(a) asserting a connection between the 'rhetoric' and the shooting, which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie; or (b) [they're] not, in which case [they're] just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible. Which is it?"
But there is a third alternative, which is that they actually do believe what they are saying. That the left is morally insane is not controversial. To embrace moral relativism is ultimately to affirm that no act is forbidden, that there is no transcendent source of morality, and that we are not held accountable for our actions. Which is why one can never accuse a leftist of hypocrisy, since it is impossible for a true nihilist to be a hypocrite.
We will not review our many posts that explain how and why the ideology of leftism is animated by hatred and envy. But because of this, it is impossible for the leftist to handle the cognitive dissonance that is generated between two diametrically opposed psychic realities. On the one hand, the leftist is no different than anyone else, in that he has a reservoir of hatred, greed, irrational thinking, prejudices, etc.
However, the leftist regards himself as morally superior, to such an extent that he deems himself worthy and capable of ruling over all the other unenlightened and morally inferior beings who are greedy, irrational, power-hungry, etc. The conservative is not sanguine about human nature, beginning with his own. But the leftist denies human nature, beginning with his own.
How can such beautiful souls as Barney Frank, Paul Krugman, Keith Olbermann, or Nancy Pelosi be animated by anything less than the most lofty and selfless goals? Easy. They cannot be. Therefore, what is denied in themselves must be projected into others, which is where conservatives come in.
For the left, conservatism is, was, and always will be a convenient repository for their own psychic projections. Many commenters have noticed that if you really want to know what's going on in the leftist's mind, just take note what they condemn in others. This is axiomatic.
In the case of the Arizona shootings, what is the left projecting? From the moment information about the murderer's preoccupations became available, it was evident to me that he suffers from paranoid schizophrenia, and I will be very surprised if that is not the final verdict. Suffice it to say that the paranoid schizophrenic is not in contact with what we call reality, and that their motivations emanate from a tangle of irrational impulses, fears, obsessions, hallucinations, and delusions.
So at this point, there is obviously no rational basis whatsoever to attribute the murderer's actions to anything other than severe mental illness (and perhaps to the people around him who ignored or enabled it). Note that the left is irrationally using this irrational person in order to insert their own peculiar preoccupations, and furnish him with an understandable motivation: he murdered because he was animated by conservative ideas and principles.
What this actually means is that these murderous impulses are indeed real, except that they are first in the mind of the leftist. The left is in a state of perpetual rage at conservatives, even more so than usual since last year's election. To put it simply, we drive them nuts with anger. They would like to kill, but their beautiful self image prevents them from recognizing and owning their own rage. Therefore they must project it into others: into Glenn Beck, or Rush Limbaugh, or Sarah Palin, or this insane criminal.
Or me. I am well aware of the fact that I provoke intense anger in our trolls, which is instantaneously projected into me, and transformed into hatred to which they feel compelled to react. In other words, I become the spurious "cause" of their anger and hatred.
Contemporary liberalism (i.e., leftism, not classical liberalism) is not just accidentally but intrinsically wrong. It is wrong not just in this or that elaboration of its principles and policies, but in its very substance. As such, it's like trying to use defective bricks to erect a building, or magical thinking as the basis of science. When your first principles are in error, then everything entailed in those principles will also be in error. To put it another way, it really is possible to be rotten to the core.
Schuon is never explicitly political, but he frequently slips in a page-stopping observation that is pregnant with political implications. It would be strictly impossible to be a student of his and also be a leftist, just as it would be impossible for any seriously religious person to be a leftist.
Not that there aren't religious leftists (indeed, leftism is a political religion). It's just that their values are deeply at odds with perennial truth, and when push comes to shove, it is clear that they derive their values from ideology and not religion; or, if from religion, they deeply misunderstand its esoteric and often even plain meaning. Rather, they simply use religion as a vehicle to advance their political agenda, an agenda that is rooted in ungoverned feeling. Everyone knows this, which is why Democrat candidates are so awkward and unnatural when they talk about religion.
Metaphysical truths, in order to be effective, must become operative in the will. Thus, to transfer responsibility for a dimly perceived spiritual truth to the state is to render it inoperative, since it relieves man of having to be personally conscious of the principle.
Leftists flatter themselves by imagining they "speak truth to power," when they actually promulgate seductive lies to the powerless in order to keep them that way (and to keep voting Democrat). After all, it isn't as if the simple behavioral principles for avoiding poverty aren't well understood. But since they require the cultivation of certain timeless virtues -- and don't allow the sentimental liberal to feel good about himself -- the liberal isn't interested.
Is there a single leftist who understands the following principle?: "Too great an indulgence toward others is often caused not by an innate weakness of character but by an actual inability to conceive the frailty of men and the malice of the devil" (Schuon). And the reason they cannot conceive of the frailty of men is that it would require too much painful self-examination. They'd rather project it into others. On the one hand they project a weak and pathetic part of themselves into "the poor." And they project an angry and controlling part into "the rich."
One immediately thinks of the Hollywood left, who project their deep character flaws into those they presume to rescue, which then absolves them of the need to root out their own frailties and rise above themselves. But "to take fallen man as the human norm is to end up idealizing not man but the human animal, the thinking beast" (ibid). This is why no one is more anti-human than a humanist, for they undermine man's sufficient reason for being, not to mention his rootedness in the transcendent.
A Bill Clinton embodies the qualities of earthly intelligence and oily charm; or cunning and seduction; or calculation and hypnosis. As Harvey Mansfeld wrote, he is "the envy of vulgar men," and deservedly so.
But as Schuon explains, cunning is no more a normal mode of intelligence than paranoia is a normal mode of perception. The latter is not perception but apperception, i.e., the systematic confirmation of one's own projected thoughts and impulses. Leftists know what motivated the Arizona murderer, which is a roundabout way of saying they unconsciously know their own motivations.