In the wake of Dr. Tiller’s murder by an anti-abortion activist, finger pointing has started in another horrible crime: today’s shootings at DC’s Holocaust Museum. Given my attribution of Tiller’s murder partly due to hatred spewed from the right, I need to set a couple things straight here before delving into this crime.
The suspect, James Von Brunn, appears to be a neo-Nazi/white supremacist. This is not an extension of the Republican Party’s, or religious rights’, ideology. There is no question that Tiller’s suspected murderer, Roeder, had direct connections to rightwing propaganda — I drew those connections in this post.
Von Brunn is different. This kook is a neo-Nazi conspiracy theoriest with no connection to the mainstream right. As evidence, here’s his Internet paper trail: an archive of his website “holywesternempire.org”. (The reference to the Germanic Holy Roman Empire during the Middle Ages should be obvious.) Explore his website if you want (I’m not wasting my time), but keep two questions in mind: Do you see links to mainstream rightwing sites? And did any mainstream rightwing websites pay attention to him. Perhaps I need to do more research before answering these questions, but after a cursory look at Von Brunn’s website — as well as trolling rightwing blogs for ages — I think the answers to these questions are no and no.
Tensions are running high and it’s easy to try making a connection between the GOP and people like Von Brunn, but that connection just isn’t logical. Neo-Nazis stand apart from the rest. Let’s not confuse the two.
[Update] On connecting this shooting to “rightwing terrorism”, and the Department of Homeland Security [DHS] report which came out warning us about a rise in “rightwing extremism,” are these arguments valid? Yes. Technically, neo-Nazis come from the right politically speaking. What I’m trying to say in this post, though, is that neo-Nazis come farther from the right than mainstream Republicans. This isn’t the case of, for example, Scott Roeder assassinating Dr. Tiller because Roeder is an anti-abortion activist, and the Republican Party has anti-abortion planks in its platform. Through its agents on the religious right, the Republican Party essentially endorsed extremist rhetoric to court people like Roeder. Now comparing abortion doctors like Tiller to Hitler doesn’t necessarily mean that Tiller will be murdered by some nut who doesn’t think his morals can be corrupted, but don’t be surprised when it happens — and don’t deflect your share of accountability, either.
Of course, the ironic thing here is that the Holocaust shooting suspect, Von Brunn, happens to think Hitler was a swell guy. Hence why I’m not drawing connections to the mainstream right where Von Brunn is concerned — the man is a neo-Nazi. And for their part, the Republicans have been so pro-Israel that it’s not necessary to point out examples.
For those on the left who wish to lambaste our our counterparts on the right for, as Larisa Alexandronova puts it, “thought the [DHS] report was a political stunt,” that criticism is valid. After the Pittsburgh shootings, Tiller’s murder, and this Holocaust museum shooting, anyone who doesn’t take the DHS report seriously is fooling themselves. Whether or not those who committed the crimes are neo-Nazis or those influenced by mainstream rightwing talking points matters not as far as the report is concerned, because the report is about rightwing extremism. Anyone who continues to imply that the DHS report was a political move from the Obama administration is, in my view, chooisng to ignoring examples of empirical evidence that just happen to be dripping blood. Which is shameful.
To all concerned about the political semantics of this, classically speaking fascism and neo-Nazis have always come from the “right”. What I’m trying to say here is that neo-Nazis don’t come from the Republican Party. As for Von Brunn’s criticism of neo-conservatives and being a 9/11 truther (most truthers I’ve seen voted for Ron Paul), I don’t see where this places Von Brunn on the “left”. Additionally, the leader of the Democrats is a black man with a Chief of Staff who’s Jewish, leading a party that champions things like gay rights and multiculturalism. So I don’t think Von Brunn was routing for anybody on the left, either.