Wildness Running Rampant

Charles P. Piece with The Atlantic has probably written the best piece I’ve seen today on what the excesses are when extremists infect the body politic.  His article derives from yet another senseless public shooting, which fortunately damages only property not human life, but none-the-less exposes a behavior that is rampant in our society today.  A behavior that Pierce feels is the result of how successfully the Tea Party mentality has carried the notion that all government is evil and to be viewed prejudicially.



A Shooting in West Virginia

By Charles P. Pierce

There is a wildness abroad in the land. There is a wildness abroad in our politics. It is infectious, this wildness. It spreads quickly. It spreads through the air, through the unmoored political Id of a thousand talk shows. It spreads through indirect human contact, through the unmoored political Id of hundreds of chain e-mails and direct-mail fundraising pitches. It spreads through direct human contact, one conversation at a time drawn from the unmoored political Id that has been unleashed like an unknown virus into what used to laughingly be called The Body Politic. There is a wildness abroad in our politics. There is a wildness abroad in our very heavily armed land.

State Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Baylous said officers arrived and shot the suspect, killing him. Witnesses reported hearing dozens of gunshots, he said. U.S. Marshal Patrick Sedoti said the man was armed with an AK-47 and also was carrying a Glock pistol. Wheeling Mayor Andy McKenzie said police who briefed him earlier Wednesday told him Piccard was a 20-year-plus veteran of the force who retired 13 years ago. Investigators were seeking a search warrant for Piccard’s home in hopes of determining a motive and if he acted alone, said Chief Deputy Mike Claxton of the Marshals Service in northern West Virginia. Asked if the gunman had any beef with the U.S. government, Claxton said, “We’re really digging hard at this point to find out.”


What’s your guess?

The wildness has its basic etiology in the encouragement at all levels of our politics of the notion of government as the ultimate Other, which coddles and feeds and nurture all the other Others who live off the rest of us. It can be found in the idea that government is an alien entity, a Thing Outside, a rustling in the bushes, a strange shadow on the wall, something to be feared simply for its existence, and not for anything that it may or may not have done. The wildness has its fundamental source in the rejection of the idea of a political commonwealth, and of the idea that self-government is an ongoing creative project of that political commonwealth. Once you reject that idea, and once you accept as axiomatic that government is the ultimate Other, then no rules need really apply. Crash the government when you don’t get your way in the legislature, or the courts, or at the ballot box. Finance those who will do it for you. Cut up the rules regarding fair representation in the national legislature. Rig the national government the way you’ve rigged the national economy.  Cover yourself by ginning up the unmoored Id out in the country until, one day, somebody starts shooting. Starve the beast, Kill the beast. Drown the beast in the bathtub. See tyranny behind every rock and tree. Second Amendment remedies, sold over the counter.To fight the ultimate Other, there can be no rules. We were lucky this time that it was only a building that was shot. We were lucky this time that the gunman’s only victim was a symbol.

I have no idea yet why Thomas Piccard — a former cop, for god’s sake — took his guns to town yesterday. I do know that we, as a nation, have made it easier for him to get guns to take to town. I do know that we, as a nation, have allowed the wildness to spread unchecked through our politics until we have accepted debilitated self-government as a kind of permanent condition. We have weakened the national immune system. And all we ever do is drink down as much patent medicine as we can. Our politics are sick and we insist on poisoning them further. The contagion is raging. The entire country is a hot zone.

SOURCE: Courthouse Shooting West Virginia – A Shooting In West Virginia – Esquire

14 responses to “Wildness Running Rampant

  1. Very well put LB. This is why I find time to read your posts. We can only hope this shutdown debacle will tone down this attitude a bit. I don’t know though, it seems the base of these radicals is only getting stronger around these parts.

  2. It is so horrifyingly depressing. We fear terrorists from abroad? Give me a break. These anti-government types are far more terrifying to me. We’ve got to come to our senses. Tea Party folks speak for no one but the crazy, angry and dangerous.

    • What’s odd too Jean is that as these people get elected to public office they tend to do the opposite of what their mandate is, which is to serve their constituents, ALL of their constituents. Instead what we appear to have is an extreme group of people out to eliminate government save the bare minimal requirement to keep businesses afloat and profitable

      • I will never never understand the power that the Tea Party nuts are having on the Republican party.

      • Jean, was just reviewing my comments to this post and noticed how I misspelled your name. So sorry it took me so long to catch and correct this.

  3. People going berserk and shootings everywhere are becoming the norm in the good ol’ U S of A. There are probably many cures for these national ills, but that would require too much government involvement.

    • Government is as a good as people make it, which requires involvement by most of us. But when government is being branded as evil and rational office seekers get attacked by Tea party extremist, it’s hard to find good, qualified people to run. So in effect, the anti-government crowd wins in making government look like some kind of pariah.

  4. I fear things are going to get worse before they get better. As along as Fox and friends continue to gin up the anger over anything and everything….and couple that with all guns at all costs in everyones hands….sigh….

  5. I’m afraid the wheels are coming off America.

    The social contract is broken, as the 1% have decoupled their fate from that of their fellow citizens. The only industries left depend on the Military Industrial Spy Complex and the polluting, killing, machines (cars) we’ve wrapped our existence around. America is in debt up to the gills to the “communist” Chinese. The winner of the Space Race can no longer get into space without hitching a ride from the KGB/Mafia Russians.

    America is now incapable of passing laws or even keeping the government running. Somehow, even civil war Syria hasn’t yet bounced a cheque.

    Yup, I’m afraid the American Empire is about where Britain’s was after WW2. The Brits gently, civilly, passed the torched and moved to the back-burner. America won’t. It will go down shooting both externally and internally.

      • Yeah. I’ve got to give it to the Brits. Unlike America, they never lied about having an Empire. And, when the time came, they managed the dissolution of their Empire relatively peacefully.Shit, they somehow managed to enlarge the social safety net and created the National Health Service (aka communist medicine) at the same time. The Empire turned into the Commonwealth group of friendly governments.

        How will America land? It ain’t going to be nearly as pretty.The one thing everybody knows is that Americans don’t handle loosing well. Politeness? Dignity? “Ha! Where’s mah guns at?”

        Unless something fundamental changes, I honestly see America becoming more like Columbia than England.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s