A shooter has opened fire on a bus carrying US military personnel at the Frankfurt airport. It looks like he killed the civilian bus driver and one American soldier. The killer reportedly “shouted Islamic slogans” as he fired.
In the past, I would have thought only the shooter himself, and perhaps some radical clerics from the Islamic world, bore any moral responsibility for the crime. However, our intellectual betters on the Left have graciously condescended to explain to us all that even seemingly innocuous political speech can drive individuals to lash out violently, and that therefore we all must hold those who engage in violence-promoting political speech strictly responsible for the violence itself.
For example, prior to the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on January 8th of this year, I would have naively assumed that merely using the common motif of a crosshair in a political graphic could not possibly influence anyone enough to actually cause them to commit murderous violence.
Boy, was I wrong. The Left were nobly quick to educate us.
No less a luminary than that Nobel Prize-winning engine of reason Paul Krugman leaped into action within a couple of hours of the shooting itself. Krugman tore himself away from his glorious work to eruditely link the deceptively innocent graphic, and other non-leftists’ criticisms of the Left, to the motivations of the shooter. Who can forget his sage sermon admonishing us inferiors to accept moral responsibility and mind our tongues?
You know that Republicans will yell about the evils of partisanship whenever anyone tries to make a connection between the rhetoric of Beck, Limbaugh, etc. and the violence I fear we’re going to see in the months and years ahead. But violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate. And it’s long past time for the GOP’s leaders to take a stand against the hate-mongers.
Krugman and the other leftists really opened my eyes. Who knew that political speech was so dangerous? I certainly didn’t but then I was educated in the sciences and not the liberal-arts, so my mind is obviously too puny to understand these things.
So, when I read about a European Muslim shooting at American soldiers, I immediately applied the lessons taught to me by the wise and benevolent Krugman.
I asked myself what mainstream political rhetoric in Europe or even America could have driven the shooter to act? As Krugman taught, the rhetoric that drives shooters must originate with major national-level politicians, media figures and academics. Only they have the social reach necessary to virtually hypnotize a potential shooter and compel him to see American soldiers as such dire villains that he feels morally justified in killing any American soldiers he randomly comes across.
Gosh, who talks like that? I mean, it would have to be someone who, for example, said things like: “American soldiers fight illegal wars purely for oil companies’ profits,” or “American soldiers routinely commit war crimes,” or “American soldiers are racists and religious bigots.” Or maybe they repeatedly claimed that the American military and America itself were the primary cause of all bad things in the world today.
Even my lowly education in the sciences lets me see how such statements could create a “climate of hate” which could deterministically promote violence against any Americans and especially against American soldiers.
By applying Krugman’s rules, I think it absolutely clear that any such “hate-filled” rhetoric drove the Frankfurt shooter to act. But what about the political leaders of parties who may have members who engage in such speech? Well, Krugman states clearly that “it’s long past time for the … leaders to take a stand against the hate-mongers.”
No doubt we can all soon turn on our TVs and computers and expect to see prominent politicians from some party or the other rushing to podiums to denounce any of their party’s members whose “hate-mongering” rhetoric so clearly and definitively drove the shooter in Frankfurt to kill.
And if they don’t, perhaps we all should drop them a line and remind them. If you know of any such reckless “hate-mongers” please feel free to mention or link to them in the comments so that we can warn them about the tragic consequences of their irresponsible hateful speech.
Somewhere out there across Europe and America are many foolish and hateful people whose political speech is responsible for this act of violence and no doubt many others. We must, as Krugman and others have taught us, hold them strictly accountable for the consequences of their actions.
I know that I personally am immediately going to write Krugman a little note and thank him for all that he has taught me.