truly great piece by Gary Kamiya, originally posted on Salon.com. sj
They're coming to take our guns away. Cop killer Richard Poplawski is an extremist. But amid the deafening din of the right wing's anti-government rhetoric, how extreme is he? By Gary Kamiya
Apr. 07, 2009
It would be convenient to pretend that Richard Poplawski, who killed three Pittsburgh policemen on Saturday with an AK-47, was just a right-wing nutcase. A devotee of the white supremacist Web site Stormfront, Poplawski believed that the United States was controlled by a secret Jewish cabal that had a master plan to abrogate freedom of speech and use the U.S. military to police Americans.
It would be easy for us to cordon Poplawski off, pretend that his ugly and paranoid worldview had nothing to do with the Obama hatred spouted by the American right. But the truth is that Poplawski's hateful views cannot be separated from the increasingly extreme ideology and rhetoric that characterize the contemporary American conservative movement. As his friend, Edward Perkovic, told the Associated Press, Poplawski feared "the Obama gun ban that's on the way" and "didn't like our rights being infringed upon."
Such obsessions don't come out of a vacuum. Fox News, Rush Limbaugh and the GOP have been whipping up hatred and fear of Obama and "liberal Democrats" for years. Joined by the National Rifle Association, which has run false and irresponsible ads claiming that Obama is planning to take away Americans' guns, they have encouraged and helped to create a pathological right-wing subculture in which free-floating hatred of "the government" mixes with a maniacal fetish for guns. Poplawski is the diseased fruit of that ugly tree.