Barack Obama won’t be saying, “If I had a psycho son, he’d look like Vester Lee.” But he might as well. Because Vester Lee Flanagan II, the bigoted maniac who murdered the WDBJ reporter and cameraman Wednesday on live TV, was a philosophical offspring of the Left.
It’s well known now that Flanagan was a professional victim, nurturing grudges against all and sundry based on his “status” as a homosexual black man. He had an axe to grind with white women because they supposedly made racial statements to him, and against black men because they supposedly directed anti-homosexual remarks his way. And it didn’t seem as if he liked anyone very much.
Of course, most of the bigotry he perceived from others was in his head, a function of his own prejudice, inculcated via decades of liberal indoctrination. When you dislike others, you view them through tinted lenses and ascribe negative motivations to everything they do. Where a fair-minded individual might interpret a comment as innocuous, simply a misunderstanding or an example of the issuer merely having a bad day, you see malice. “Of course it was racial! That’s the way white people are.” And, “That had to be ‘homophobic’ in this society, which macro and microaggresses against everything that I am!” (of course, certain things are supposed to be stigmatized). These notions, again, were put in Flanagan’s mixed-up head by liberals and liberals alone. They disgorge hateful, pure and utter nonsense such as microaggression theory, “white privilege,” critical-race theory and 1000 other things designed to divide with lies. It is evil.
Flanagan had described himself as “human powder keg,” but what was he so angry about? He lived in the most prosperous nation in the most prosperous time in man’s history; he could walk into any supermarket and avail himself of thousands of delicious foods from the world over at reasonable prices, a luxury that would have made the jaws of people existing in former ages drop. He was living, as we all do, in Shangri-la. But his attitude was hardly inexplicable.
To paraphrase G.K. Chesterton, “Goods look a lot better when they come wrapped as gifts.” Everything is a gift, but the Left teaches just the opposite: to have a sense of entitlement, to believe you’re owed, to ever and always view our very large glass as half empty. Some have asked, quite naively, how it is that despite Flanagan’s pathetic performance as a reporter, he was hired by more than one media outlet and given chance after chance to right the ship. Well, golly gee, Cletus, it’s a mystery.
Flanagan was clearly an affirmative-action hire, enjoying the daily-double victim status of being black and homosexual. And that was part of the problem: too much was given to him on a silver platter — because of liberalism.
There have been many articles in recent years about how college graduates today enter the workforce with unrealistic expectations about their economic self-worth and starting salary. We hear about how so many of them can’t tolerate criticism and rejection; act as if their own feelings are inordinately important and should command respect; and how they lack a sense of propriety, a grasp of their place in a workplace’s hierarchy. As a consequence, they may barge into an office to vent their feelings, even if it’s neither the time nor the place.
This is all the result of liberal parenting, of the psychobabble disgorged by the likes of Dr. Benjamin Spock. It’s no wonder many young people today have little sense of just hierarchies — their permissive liberal parents didn’t establish a just hierarchy in the home. Instead, they acted as if their family was a dysfunctional democracy and junior a special-interest group that political correctness dictated must be coddled and catered to. Junior seldom heard the word “No!” uttered in exclamatory fashion; junior seldom had to delay gratification; junior got participation trophies just for showing up. He was treated as a little prince around whom the world revolved. He was marinated in “self-esteem” pap in schools, telling him how great and special he was. The result? Junior and many of his peers (not that he imagined he had any peers) grew up to be narcissists.
As for Flanagan, it has been reported that his refrigerator was covered with pictures of himself. We know what this means. A mother may display numerous pictures of her children because she loves her children. And a man would display numerous pictures of himself because…?
It all reminds me of the Satan character’s line in the film The Devil’s Advocate: “Vanity is my favorite sin.” “Pride” is probably even more accurate. But it all gets at the matter’s heart. We don’t need some hard and fast psychological diagnosis here. Whether Flanagan was most correctly characterized as a “narcissist” or just a self-centered, entitled jerk, the bottom line is that his state was attributable to a philosophical disease, a disordered way of thinking that masquerades under an ideological banner:
Of course, liberals will blame guns. This is partially because, unlike with Dylann Roof, they can’t blame Confederate flags or 19th-century statues. But it’s also because they’re incapable of putting the blame where it really belongs: the man in the mirror.
Guns don’t kill people. Liberalism does.