28 February 2010


Today's NYTimes online features an excellent opinion column by the always-erudite Frank Rich, entitled "The Axis of the Obsessed and Deranged." Rich discusses the murder-suicide of Andrew Joseph Stack III, the tax protester who flew a plane into an office building housing Internal Revenue Service employees in Austin, TX, on February 18. To quote Rich: "What made that kamikaze mission eventful was less the deranged act itself than the curious reaction of politicians on the right who gave it a pass -- or, worse, flirted with condoning it." Stack's Tea Party-like manifesto might explain the resonant sympathy which the wacko right wing apparently feels toward his martyrdom. This observer is disturbed by the echoes of fundamentalist Islamic terrorists hijacking airliners and flying them into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, not to mention the echoes of homegrown terrorists who blew up the Oklahoma City Federal Building in 1995. How can any rational citizen of whatever political persuasion possibly justify random acts of violence committed by misguided, barking mad ideologues?

Tea Party supporters Sarah Palin, Glen Beck and Ron Paul, take note: once you set loose an "unhinged and sometimes armed anti-government right", and rationalize any mayhem which follows as somehow being the inevitable result of too much government, you not only reveal your own dementia, you also place the larger society at risk. Anarchy is no substitute for rational thought and civil justice.

A footnote: be careful what you wish for. What goes around, comes around.

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