Sunday, September 07, 2014

The Left's History of Violence

My daughter pointed out something yesterday that I had never really appreciated, viz, most assassinations/assassination attempts are of Republicans.

Run the list - Garfield and McKinley were Republicans and there were assassination attempts on Ford and Reagan.

I pointed out Kennedy as the counter-example, and the attempted assassination of FDR.

Nonetheless, it does seem weird that there is such an imbalance.

The answer may actually be in the proclivity of left-wingers to engage in violence.  The common thread that seems to unite these hits and near misses is a leftwing ideology of some kind, which includes even Lee Harvey Oswald, a Communist. (Admittedly, Squeaky Fromm was a left-wing nut, and Hinckley was simply a nut.)

But why should there be that imbalance?

Here's an interesting point from Human Events:

Four men have murdered U.S. presidents. Three of them have been communists.

Charles Guiteau, the troubled Bible Communist who lived for more than five years in John Humphrey Noyes’ Oneida Community, murdered President James Garfield. Leon Czolgosz, an anarcho-communist follower of Emma Goldman, murdered President William McKinley. Lee Harvey Oswald, a Marxist enthusiast of Fidel Castro who lived briefly in the Soviet Union, murdered President John F. Kennedy.

Rather than confront this troubled history, Leftists downplay the radicalism of these assassins or invent wild conspiracy theories to cast blame on political enemies rather than the politically inconvenient villain.

Even most of the failed presidential assassins have cited Left-wing motivations. Giuseppe Zangara, would-be murderer of Franklin D, Roosevelt, confessed: “I kill kings and presidents first, and next all capitalists.” Manson follower Squeaky Fromme claimed her desire “to be a voice for the Earth” sparked her decision to approach President Gerald Ford with a loaded gun. She maintained that “before class and race and gender, the Earth needs to be seen and heard and fought for.” Sarah Jane Moore, who worked for the Symbionese Liberation Army-inspired People In Need, tried to kill the 38th president 17 days later. “The government had declared war on the Left,” she later explained of her motives. “Nixon’s appointment of Ford as vice president and his resignation making Ford president seemed to be a continuing assault on America.”//

And this:

Weathermen get tenure. The Unabomber gets offered a book deal. John Brown gets a hagiographic song. Right-wing terrorists get ostracized. There’s no romanticism of political violence on the Right as there is on the Left. Where is the Right’s Sacco and Vanzetti, Tom Mooney, or H. Rap Brown?

The Left lionize their murderers. The Right runs from theirs.

These very different reactions to political violence, and the very different histories of political violence (that leaves a preponderance of killing on one side), do much to explain the Hard Left’s desperate attempt to blame Saturday’s tragedy upon its political adversaries.//

If you subsidize something, you get more of it, and there does seem to be a rather casual relationship between the hardcore Marxist left and the value placed on the life of "class enemies." (See e.g., Revolution by Murder.)

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