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It is painful to watch the media stretching to find examples of left-wing violence in America to present a "balanced" view of the recent killings in Wichita and Washington.  I'm afraid they may pull a muscle.

Because there aren't any such examples.

Oh, sure, you can find an ELF nut who thinks he's going to strike a blow for Gaia by torching some Escalades in a car lot or some hard-boiled soft hearts who'll make any sacrifice for their critter breathren, even throw paint on a perfectly innocent stole.  And lord knows I've seen enough black-bandanaed anarcho-wannabes acting out their daddy rage on USA Today paperboxes.  And apparently any one of them could have massive hacker chops.

But I can't really find any examples of left-wing violence on persons in America for a long time back.

The wackos who kidnapped Patty Hearst killed the superintendent of schools in Oakland 36 years ago.  And then there were the Weatherman who blew themselves up in Greenwich Village 39 years ago.  

There are probably a couple I've missed, so let's call it half a dozen.  If you can think of more, let me know.

People who self-identify as "liberal" have an odd tendency, compared with believers in some other systems throughout history:  we tend not to kill the people we disagree with.  

Call me smug, but I take a lot of pride in being that sort of person.  I like being liberal.

Mr. Webster thought well of us, calling us, among other things, "marked by generosity" and "not bound by authoritarianism, orthodoxy, or traditional forms."

Add "fair" to that list.

We fight battles and we fight 'em hard.  We push to elect representatives that will advance our issues, and we push them like hell.  All legal, all fair and square.

When we win, we try to be gracious.  (My personal apologies for falling short on that one.)  When we lose, we take our lumps and come back again.

Fighting fair is a liberal value.

This world will never run out of people who don't believe as we do and who won't fight fair.  That someone in the Bush administration was smart enough to start asking about them is reassuring, but we'll never be rid of them and I doubt we'll change their minds.

We can only follow our principles, and try thereby to present a clear choice to the people in that wide open stretch of political spectrum between ourselves and the James von Brunns of the world:

Who would you rather have in charge, the generous, creative people who fight fair?

Or the guys who kill the people they disagree with?

Some interesting reading:


Mike Lux's piece on political violence in HuffPo

Anti-abortion violence 1989-2004

Matthew White on political violence 1998

My apologies to those who are awaiting the next thrilling installment of "Sen. Robert F. Wagner, Super-Progressive."  I know this personal musing BS is lame, but it's been a very busy couple of days and this is something's been on my mind.

Originally posted to Crashing Vor on Thu Jun 11, 2009 at 02:30 PM PDT.

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