Wingnuts, Freedom, and Democracy

Wingnuts understand neither freedom nor democracy.

Picture some guy carrying a deadly assault rifle, a machine gun capable of killing fifty people at any moment. He thinks it is his natural “freedom” to bring this very dangerous weapon, fully loaded, into a crowded public place. He hasn’t a clue that the hundreds of people around him might just want to be free of his very real threat of death, that he himself violates one of the most important human rights, to be free of the threat of violence.

They are haters and blamers. On Stormfront, the neo-Nazi hate site, the favorite group to hate is Jews, but all the usual suspects follow: blacks, gays, etc. They love Adolph Hitler because they think he had the right answer—kill all the Jews—after which everything would be just fine. It never occurs to any of them to question whether Jews are actually responsible for the ills of society, and of course that is exactly what Hitler counted on.

Weapons rights wingnuts
violate the fundamental right
to be free from the threat of violence.

Such people, virtually all of them believers in the importance of owning and carrying weapons capable of killing many others quickly, have a lot to say about their own “rights”, their own “freedom”, but have no clue that others who value freedom could see that much-ballyhooed “freedom” as a threat on their lives. Wingnut “freedom” is a freedom to do as they please regardless of how that affects others. How much distance is there between their “freedom” to carry machine guns and their “freedom” to open fire on a person, or a crowd, they imagine threatens them? Not much, if recent “stand your ground” murders of unarmed people are any indication.

“Democracy” is the other big thing they are clueless about, probably because “democracy” is irrelevant as long as they are perfectly free to do whatever they fancy at the moment. They feel no responsibility toward any person who does not share their hatreds. Likewise, they see laws as nothing more than illegally taking away their supposed freedom. The concept of protecting others’ freedom is foreign to them.

How much distance is there
between their “freedom”
to carry machine guns
and their “freedom” to open fire?

If they are clueless as to why they are less than wonderful persons, I am clueless to explain where their specific hatreds come from. I suppose it would be natural to dislike a people who had actually hurt you in some way—say, brutal slave owners if you were newly emancipated, or the bankers who cheated you out of your home more recently. But we should all be smart enough to understand that only the guilty are guilty, not their descendants or colleagues, and carrying weapons has no relationship to perceived wrong. And hating some group does not compensate for personal weakness.

There is, in fact, an explanation for the distrust sometimes found in a whole people. It comes from their own deep trust of their own, and distrust of people outside their own, and it has a long history. Insular African tribes, who placed great trust in their own, but in no one else, were more than willing to sell their neighbors from other tribes into slavery. They trusted each other without reserve, but no one else. They used their closed society to exclude and betray those not in their tribe, bringing relative wealth and freedom to themselves, and the reverse for others. Today, centuries after slave trading faded away, these same tribes are poor because of their narrow-minded attitude and lack of individualized freedom, and more open-minded tribes are more economically successful. The same is true for closed societies all over the world. They trust no one outside their circle, but within their circle nobody is really free. The society is authoritarian, and does not value individuals. Their exclusionary focus eventually makes everyone poor. North Korea is a prime example.

All such people would do better
to look within and discover
what tolerance is.

As for the wingnuts who feel they must be prepared to defend themselves against the rest of us with military weaponry, they are incapable of understanding that those outside their “tribe” are also humans, with all the characteristics of people everywhere, no matter what they look like. Consider the “patriots” who have taken to defending our southern border from brown low-wage workers, or brown children running from murder. They are also fooling themselves when they imagine they are prepared to defend the nation against its own government. A single tank or missile could kill them all, no matter how many assault weapons they haul around.

Nor is it enough for someone to be a fellow wingnut. The “patriots” who showed up at Clive Bundy’s ranch to defend his right to defraud the US government nearly came to gunfire among themselves. These people are immature fools, angry boys with loaded weapons. They would be better off to discover what tolerance means, and to cultivate their own talents.


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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Well said as always – I should be able to walk down the street or sit in a restaurant without needing to worry about my safety from some nut case running around with firearms


  2. When I see someone armed for an invasion, I’m going to follow a great suggestion: I’m going to leave immediately, quickly, without paying. After I’m out I’m calling 911.


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