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Being Rightist and Mentally Ill Are Not Mutually Exclusive

Posted by libhom Sunday, January 23, 2011

The corporate media have been working overtime to try to keep the far right from being held accountable for their role in the Arizona shootings. They have used every propaganda trick they can think of to keep people from thinking sensibly and rationally about the facts.

One of my least favorite tricks has been to dismiss the shooter as "mentally ill." This is disturbing on so many levels. The huge majority of mentally ill people inflict no harm on anyone. Yet, corporate media spin doctors want us to believe that mental illness is an automatic explanation for any bizarre act of violence. The goal is that we look no further. Considering the reality of the behavior of mentally ill people in this country, there is something flawed at the core in assuming that mental illness is sufficient to explain any killing, especially a highly political shooting spree primarily intended to assassinate a member of Congress.

There's another obvious problem with this whole narrative. Of the small minority of mentally ill people who have violent tendencies, can it even be reasonably suggested that those people don't have political views? Are politics the exclusive venue of the sane?

Obviously, that's a crock of shit. Someone can be dangerously mentally ill and at the same time be motivated by a far right point of view or the exhortations of a far right politician.

Some on the left have criticized the right for blaming mental illness exclusively at the same time the right continues its crusade to cut government services for the mentally ill. That's reasonable as far as it goes, but it misses the broader analysis that needs to be made.


1 Responses to Being Rightist and Mentally Ill Are Not Mutually Exclusive

  1. Mauigirl Says:
  2. Excellent point. Just because you're crazy doesn't mean you're not a wingnut. Well said.



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