If it turns out that this video was in fact posted by the same Jared Loughner who is suspected of shooting Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, then we have some sense of his politics. As Ben Smith notes:
"You don't have to accept the federalist laws," the video above says; It also insists on the gold and silver standard, talks of revolution, and suggests that the government is imposing "mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar."
There's also a clear sense, from watching the above video, that its creator is, at the very least, somewhat paranoid—and perhaps ready to act on his paranoia and anti-government feelings. "I am a terrorist," says one of the lines in the video.
The question: If the culture were filled with more statements like this, from Bill Clinton in 1995 (and via an e-mail from another journalist), instead of with rhetoric that seems to stoke the kind of anti-government paranoia on display above, would what happened yesterday have turned out any differently?
So I say this to the militias and all others who believe that the greatest threat to freedom comes from the Government instead of from those who would take away our freedom: If you say violence is an acceptable way to make change, you are wrong. If you say that Government is in a conspiracy to take your freedom away, you are just plain wrong. If you treat law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line for your safety every day like some kind of enemy army to be suspected, derided, and if they should enforce the law against you, to be shot, you are wrong. If you appropriate our sacred symbols for paranoid purposes and compare yourselves to colonial militias who fought for the democracy you now rail against, you are wrong. How dare you suggest that we in the freest nation on Earth live in tyranny! How dare you call yourselves patriots and heroes!
Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, speaking in Arizona, seems to be pondering the same question:
When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And, unfortunately, Arizona I think has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.
It's not unusual for all public officials to get threats constantly, myself included. And that's the sad thing of what's going on in America. Pretty soon, we're not going to be able to find reasonable, decent people who are willing to subject themselves to serve in public office.
UPDATE: Loughner Linked to Anti-Semitic Hate Group?
More on the politics of Jared Loughner, via a leaked Department of Homeland Security memo obtained by FOX News:
Strong suspicion is being directed at AmRen / American Renaissance. Suspect is possibly linked to this group. (through videos posted on his myspace and YouTube account.). The group’s ideology is anti government, anti immigration, anti ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government), anti Semitic. Gabrielle Gifford is the first Jewish female elected to such a high position in the US government. She was also opposite this group’s ideology when it came to immigration debate.
The question remains: To the extent that Jared Loughner has a coherent right wing political philosophy, where did it come from (there are reports that he used to be left leaning), and did this political philosophy become part of his internal justification for the actions he allegedly took yesterday?