This is a reading list. This is the reading list Jared Lee Loughner published on his You Tube page. This is the reading list that is being used to discern his politics and motives from both sides of the political spectrum.
Animal Farm, Brave New World, The Wizard Of OZ, Aesop Fables, The Odyssey, Alice Adventures Into Wonderland, Fahrenheit 451, Peter Pan, To Kill A Mockingbird, We The Living, Phantom Toll Booth, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Pulp,Through The Looking Glass, The Communist Manifesto, Siddhartha, The Old Man And The Sea, Gulliver’s Travels, Mein Kampf, The Republic, and Meno.
Cable Networks, pundits, yappers, bloggers, and others, have tried to use this reading list to sort out this guy’s political leanings. It seems, this guy only read Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto, if you listen to broadcast news. Each side, cherry picks one of the two to tell us whether he is a Lefty or a Rightie.
At the same time, each side is asking us to tone down the rhetoric. Reducing a reading list to two incendiary books is exactly the kind of demonization that has become the standard of our political discourse. But if you go Loughner’s site, and if you choose to blog about it, how corrupt in your thinking do you have to be to pick out just these two books, or either one of the books alone?
I watched as MSNBC, FOX and CNN, cherry picked from the list these two books to project his political leanings. The other books, are usually never mentioned by those who want to use the book to prove a point.
In the last few years as such events take place there is a rush to judgement and demonization. There is a rush to demonizing entire religions, nationalities,or political factions. Many of the people on my side of the political spectrum, are so angry, that they are poised to take on all the disgusting tactics of those they criticize. Jumping to conclusions; using limited information to invent a narrative that fits their political desires; accusing those who want the justice system to do its work as being wimps; calls for vengeance; calls to curb free speech, the list of retrograde thinking is endless.
My god, do we really want to behave like them? It seems that wanting to wait for the facts and not jumping to the conclusion ” he is hard-core right/left winger”, that we are giving him a pass because he is white. No you morons, this is the way we should act every time. Instead of us reflecting back to them how we should behave in a democratic society of law and a justice system, we enter into the same frenetic hysteria that the right-wing has defined as the rightful behavior. The only time democracy, justice and laws matter is when you can have the fortitude to allow the worse of us the rights our system provides. Politicizing the tragedy is exactly the tool of the right. The left is pissed that they should not be free to act like the fools of the right. Really?
If you think that I give the brand of right-wing Toxic Populism a pass you are mistaken. But, in order to stop the cycle, we cannot dive into the pool of toxic muck and get mad because now it’s our turn to do it. The idea is to stop the cycle of blame, demonization and disregard for the democratic system of justice.