I don’t have a detailed psychological evaluation of either man, but based on the facts as we know them, it seems reasonable to argue that Nidal Hasan is a disturbed loner influenced to kill by extremist rhetoric that appeals to crazy people, and Jared Loughner is a disturbed loner possibly influenced to kill by extremist rhetoric that appeals to crazy people. The fact that Hasan was an increasingly devout Muslim meant that radical Islamic rhetoric appealed to him. The fact that Loughner was an increasingly disturbed young white American man meant that Ayn Rand and possibly David-Wynn: Miller and whatever else he got his hands on appealed to him. And any dangerous extremist supplements his bizarre beliefs with bad misreadings of non-extreme texts — the Koran, in Hasan’s case, and the various dystopian works of fiction on Loughner’s reading list.
Absolutely. It is more coherent to argue that Loughner was driven to kill by reading Plato than by listening to goldbugs and conservative polemicists. In fact, his obsession with dialectic and his distorted logic show that he could have become a successful English professor.
An ardent atheist, he began to characterize people as sheep whose free will was being sapped by the government and the monotony of modern life.
“He didn’t want people to wake up and do the same thing every day. He wanted more chaos, he wanted less regularity,” one friend said.
The friends said Loughner told anyone who would listen that the world we see does not exist, that words have no meaning — and that the only way to derive meaning was during sleep. Loughner began obsessing about a practice called lucid dreaming, in which people try to actively control their sleeping world.
For some reason, all the idiots blubbering about the dangers of Tea Party radicals keep glossing over these tidbits. If Loughner was being influenced by incendiary thinkers, it sure wasn’t the Christian ones. He sounds like a typical English department graduate student:
“He appeared to be to me an emotional cripple or an emotional child,” Coorough said. “He lacked compassion, he lacked understanding and he lacked an ability to connect.”
Cates said Loughner “didn’t have the social intelligence, but he definitely had the academic intelligence.”
“He was very into the knowledge aspect of school. He was really into his philosophy classes and he was really into logic and English. And he would get frustrated by the dumbed-down words people used in class,” Cates said.
A 22-year-old woman in Arizona, Caitie Parker, claimed on her Twitter feed that she went to high school and college with the gunman, and was in a band with him. She described his politics in the past as “left wing, quite liberal, & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy.” She also described him as having a lot of friends “until he got alcohol poisoning in ’06” and dropped out of school. “Mainly loner very philosophical.”
Yet, all the idiot liberals want to whine about is how Loughner ranted about money and shot a Democrat, so he must be a drone in the rabid Glenn Beck terrorist network. Every time I read stupid remarks concerning the popular superstition in the power of mass media to hypnotize people and mobilize them into a force of murderous zombies, I want to puke. Before, it was the conservatives whining about Darwin and Marx; now, it’s the liberals whining about Palin and Beck. And they all do it while making obeisance to their holy idol, American democracy, even though their assertions rest on the premise that most of the population are mindless, drooling morons.