The obvious explanation

From the May 6, 2013 Athwart column by James Lileks, entitled “The Obvious Explanation.”

Of course, whenever something blows up in a public place, many let leak their suspicions that aggravated Lutherans are less likely suspects than Islamists, even if reports suggest the suspect left a ticking hotdish at the site. But there’s a difference between the two presumptions. One sees enemies who wish America harm because it stands in the way of the glorious Caliphate and the elimination of Jews. Ha! Silly. The other believes that violent protest was totally awesome and tragically romantic in the Sixties and deserves the poetic rue of a Redford-directed movie about time-seasoned rebel bombers. But now it’s the natural end result of people who object to the percentage of the economy consumed by the government and to the erosion of liberty that naturally attends the expansion of the powers of the state. Or, as Salon no doubt sees them, Tea Party Nazi-Bircher skinhead yahoos yelling on ham radio about the Federal Reserve and Gardasil.

One blames people foreign to American principles; the other finds foes among those who wish to restore them. What’s the phrase? Blame America first. But only after you’ve ruled out the Saturnians.

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