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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

They made him 

Chet at The Vanity Press provides some fine coverage of the Knoxville church shootings:
American conservatism is not merely, or even primarily, a set of principles; it's a culture, and at the grassroots one of its main rhetorical and motivating features is a carefully cultivated hatred -- a seething, white-hot hatred -- of the shadowy Other that it labels "liberals." It has cultivated this aspect of itself through talk radio, blogs, speeches, all sorts of communications media, and it has done so for decades . . . . The same loathing of "liberals" that has raised cash and gotten out the vote for Republicans, the same feelings of inchoate anger that have convinced millions to vote against their own interests in the name of screwing some nameless Other that they hate and blame, are what moved this man to walk into a liberal church and start gunning people down. His actions were a straightforward fulfillment of some of the conservative movement's most powerful words, and of the feelings of impotence and rage that those words continually evoke.
Until and unless American conservatism actually expunges the anti-"liberal" hatred from its rhetoric and motivations, I see no reason to let the movement disown this guy who shares and is clearly motivated by that same hatred. They made him, whether they like it or not.

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