Bryan Preston looks at film critic Frank Rich’s column in New York magazine, quipping that it “should get him ridiculed and fired; no one who is so irresponsible with the hard facts of life has any place in the commentariat.” “The title,” Preston observes, “gives Rich’s game away. It’s ‘What Killed JFK?’ not ‘Who Killed JFK?’ as it should be.”*
Yeah, better to blame a right-wing bogeyman than look at the actual facts of the case and the background of the shooter. No wonder all too many on the left buy into the conspiracy theories. Lee Harvey Oswald was not a villain taken from liberal central casting. He, Preston reminds us, “was not a mainstream Dallas man. He would not have been a Tea Partier. Lee Harvey Oswald was a communist.”
So, liberals had to find someone else to blame:
They blamed Dallas for Kennedy’s death then, and [liberal talking heads] blame Sarah Palin and conservatives for the senseless shooting in Tucson this year. The facts of the story change, but the smear stays the same. Frank Rich blames “hate” for both, but the only hate on display is his own. It blinds him to the fact that Oswald was a man very much of the left, and that the Tucson shooter had no discernible ideology at all. But men of the left such as Rich prefer to assign collective guilt on their political enemies. Without pushing that collective guilt on others, their own lives have no meaning. They cannot convince themselves of their own superiority without an inferior other to hate. And collective guilt is a useful tool to intimidate.
Interesting how so many on the left so eager to accuse conservatives of harbor such (often intense) hatred themselves for conservatives. And their hatred is not based on things conservatives have done, but on things certain liberals like Mr. Rich (and those who blamed conservatives for the Tucson shooting) project onto them, as if conservatives in general must necessarily be guilty for the actions of one lone individual (often not even a conservative, see, e.g., the Tucson shooter or Lee Harvey Oswald).
Preston’s column really merits your time and further thought.
*(Seems to show how smart they are, some folks have to find the “root causes” of every crime while downplaying the actual criminal who committed said crime.)
ADDENDUM (which causes me to put this post into the “Random Thoughts” category): Maybe it’s just my bleary mind after much travel, little sleep, but it does seem there’s a correlation between the collective guilt folks like Frank Rich assign to conservatives and the insistence by some on the left (e.g., President Obama) to blame Republicans for not apologizing for the boorish behavior of others. Maybe it’s just that they want to be able to blame conservatives for something. Or that they “need” to.
NB: Changed the title back to something I had originally contemplated (and as per comment #5 intended to use). I did not mean to suggest that all liberals share Frank Rich’s bizarre form of prejudice, but many do. Most do not, but it seems that a very high proportion of those who do are in the chattering classes.