Loughner Was Politically Motivated, Just Not By Any Politics You’ve Heard Of

Begin here. The Southern Poverty Law Center has several articles on the subject of the “sovereign citizen movement.” If you talked to any member for five minutes, you’d think they were crazy too, except that there are allegedly as many as 300,000 of them.

Assuming evidence emerges that this is the source of Loughner’s views, the discussion needs to shift from “each individual is responsible for their actions” (as true as that is) to “these are not our views.” I look forward to conservatives making that explicit; it can only help the cause of peaceful discussion of political differences. The crucial question is: do you merely disagree with the political preferences of your rivals, or do you regard the existing political system as illegitimate? I suspect a big part of our current difficulties stems from studied ambiguity on this question, by far too many people.

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2 comments on “Loughner Was Politically Motivated, Just Not By Any Politics You’ve Heard Of

  1. Pliny the Elder says:

    It reads as if someone at their most libertarian moment got drunk and went bankrupt simultaneously. Other than the general anti-government tone, it seems to have nothing in common with conservatism, or any other worldview.

    I had assumed Loughner was motivated by his opposition to the Iraq war so he attacked a member of Congress who had been favorably profiled by USAA and was married to a military officer.

  2. SisyphusBound says:

    By taking a hard line with these ‘sovereigns’ the government would only reaffirm their fears and provoke a violent response. This movement, however, seems the kind of thing that springs from an increasingly polarized electorate. The hippies on the far left go off and live in the woods, the sovereigns stop paying taxes and buy guns.

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