Jared Loughner’s Psychology

The right-wing lie factory is hard at work trying to prove that Congresswoman Gifford’s accused attacker is a “liberal” based on searching Loughner’s ravings for “liberal” remarks. Elements of it are claiming that the gunsights were merely telescopes which is of course absurd.

However, this may be put into perspective using former Los Angeles DA Vince Bugliosi’s magnificent study of the JFK assassination, “Reclaiming History” (Norton 2007).

Bugliosi’s research establishes the case that we knew the facts as early as 24 Nov 1963. Oswald WAS nominally left-wing and he acted alone…profoundly so.

We know that Lee Harvey Oswald was, at the time he shot JFK, “a left-leaning Castro sympathizer”. However, looking deeper, we also know that he flirted with the extreme right as well as the extreme left in search of a way to relieve his loneliness. And, he did so in a right
wing culture in which the John Birch Society, not the Socialist Workers Party (the largest pro-Castro party at the time) was making extreme statements; in 1959, the JBS, the precursor of the Tea Bags, accused President Eisenhower of being a Communist, and called upon
members to take up arms against the “Communist” government.

As kids in 1959, we were shocked to hear the JBS claim. Kids are as as suggestive as neurotics and psychotics, and some of the neighborhood kids immediately saw Eisenhower’s “Communism” as a wedge issue permitting them to rebel against adult authority. Rebellion was in the air, because we were already being psychologically manipulated by the Mad Men of advertising into discontent with the greater discipline of the 1950s, and for the more delinquent of us, Eisenhower’s “Communism” allowed us to safely rebel.

Of course, this rebellion consisted in running our mouths, exclusively.

In the USA, no liberal, progressive or radical left parties have called for politicians to be assassinated. The only time such parties called for armed revolution was during the 1960s and before WWI. But in the late 1950s and early 1960s, in the 1990s, and today, radical
right parties have claimed that the “government” was “radical left” and should be overthrown.

Republican politicians, starting with Barry Goldwater in 1964, have attempted to use these grassroots lunatic movements (which are much larger than radical left movements) to get elected.

In doing this, the politicians and the leaders of the radical right have “enabled” lunatics like Oswald and Loughner who become convinced, by the mainstream right-wing rhetoric of emergency and irreconcilable differences, that a popular politician is the source of all evil.

The right wing is the responsible enabler. The right wing was responsible for the assassination of Kennedy, the Oklahoma City bombing, and the Tucson incident.

The ONLY domestic left-wing terrorism since WWI in the USA was the Weatherman campaign in which, in all incidents but one, the Weathermen phoned the targets to avoid deaths and injuries, and which appeared in 1970 only to disappear by 1972.

Left terroristic rhetoric was certainly in the air in the late 1960s from the Weathermen and Black Liberation. But it had none of the effects that right rhetoric (of John Birch in 1960, the “militia” in 1995, the Tea Bags today).

Left rhetoric calls on people to be free and promises what seems to most people a Cloud Cuckoo land of socialistic affiliation and sharing while hiding, in many cases, the hard work that might be needed to climb this Big Rock Candy Mountain. Since nearly all of us work for a living, we’re aware that it might not be easy, so the Left rhetoric is rejected outside of its natural home, university communities.

Whereas, as Theodore Adorno showed in his study of “the authoritarian personality”, right rhetoric seems to transmit itself much more successfully.

It tells both the conventional person, and marginal individuals (often raised by conventional parents) that they need not change: that they are actually self-disciplined political knowers: and that somewhere, they are being taken advantage of by a shadowy liberal elite.

As a result the authoritarian “lone male assassin” has been the deniable operative of right-wing causes.

John Lennon. Oklahoma City. Tucson. In each case, the perps were accomplishing right wing ends. Lennon had spoken out for peace.

With its day care center and its children, who were murdered, the Murragh Federal Building represented a hated Federal government that, in providing any domestic welfare, would force whites into association with blacks; the meaning of welfare and health care to American whites is precisely that if the white person needs it, he’s a failure and he’s Black, and this is a source of unimaginable terror for conventional American white people.

Although Giffords was a very centrist Democrat, she apparently became, as did JFK for Oswald, a symbol of a lack of repression, a person willing to express emotion, which Oswald and Loughner (typically “scarey” males who never smile and who can’t get girls) and in a completely apolitical way became a symbol, to Loughner, of gratification and real life who must be destroyed.

Because right-wing people in the USA typically have personality disorders in milder forms, they are in denial, and tend to marginalize Oswalds and Loughners, treating their disorder as having nothing to do with them. As conventional parents they reject mildly dysfunctional children, which often makes the children far more dysfunctional.

Oswald, like Loughner, was grandiose and narcissistic. Oswald transformed an unsuccessful career in the Marine Corps (which isn’t exactly a service that attracts lefties) into the belief that his failure gave him a deep and profound insight into what was wrong with American society, in a way that would exempt Oswald from looking at himself. Loughner’s isolation and failure was intellectualized by Loughner and again, the problem became, for Loughner, the outside world.

A shallow intellectualism (as opposed to the real intellectualism of self-taught people who do their homework) characterises Loughner and characterised Oswald. Bugliosi documents how Oswald checked out books from the library without, according to Marina, reading them thoroughly or at all. Loughner apparently decided that words were without meaning in such a way that, instead of making him want to read Wittgenstein (as might have been the case in a liberal university community with support for intellectuals), caused him to reject coherence before knowing what it was.

Loughner’s crisis is familiar to many intelligent people. They wonder if life and language have any meaning. But in liberal university communities, as was my experience in Chicago, these screwy kids often get mentors…in the form of teachers in high school and university professors who haven’t been terrorised (by school administrations terrified of sexual harassment charges and the Kulturkampf against the Catholic Church that has exaggerated priestly misconduct) and so can emotionally connect with intelligent messed up kids, and teach them, perhaps, that while words ultimately have no meaning, they have meaningful uses.

Few such mentors are available, however, in communities like Dallas and Tucson.

The attractive, sociable people who had what Loughner lacked were symbolized by JFK for Oswald, and Giffords for Loughner.

Oswald and Loughner were enabled because in the USA, political discourse is seized by people who think it’s cute to run their mouths about how the media and government are “too liberal”.

They do so in order to display that they alone have the old time religion when in fact their lives are in disarray, as was Palin’s.

Consider the case of rock star and hunting expert Ted Nugent, who sat right next to me in Homeroom 42 at St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights, Illinois, from 1964 to 1966, when he was expelled primarily for conduct violations.

Although he was a talented musician, who opened for The Who with his band The Amboy Dukes at The Cellar in Arlington Heights in 1965, his life was a mess. Not only was he expelled from St Viator, he subsequently was a draft dodger who got girls pregnant irresponsibly. In each case, his powerful and domineering mother, a political power in the neighboring community of Mount Prospect, got Ted out of trouble; note how weak parents create “losers” whereas dominating parents create psychotics, but the losers and the psychotics have a lot in common…and the losers do the psychotics’ work.

Nugent became a so-so successful heavy metal musician whose fans had to abuse drugs, alcohol and nicotine to endure his noise, yet today, an aging and somewhat decrepit Tedster professes to hate such fans. He knows he’s no better.

Nugent is an example, as is Palin, of a successful, functioning psychotic. Such people need failed psychotics to do their dirty work for them. Even more so than Palin, Nugent has called for his followers to use their guns on “liberal” politicians while denying that he “really” means it…and as a result, a nine year old girl is dead.

They run their filthy, rotten, goddamn big mouths and enable the crazies, who then do their dirty evil work for them by killing the sane, the decent, the liberal, the progressive and the sort of people who are trying to accomplish something with their lives, including a nine year old girl who was on her student council (her father’s statement is unbearable). Nugent couldn’t make it through Viator and has spent the rest of his life covering up the fact that he’s not the “alpha male” he claims himself to be.

To Nugent and to Palin, Oswalds and Loughners are their hidden, real selves who can be psychologically manipulated at long distance with violent metaphors “not meant literally” to eliminate and terrorize even moderate Democrats.

Nugent and Palin are utterly unlike decent, and truly successful Americans. Nugent is merely a good shot and has none of the musical talent of a Peter Townshend. Palin repeatedly failed at college. This is why they seek to destroy “liberals”; for “liberals” read “the sort of people who get high SATs and admitted to good schools and become doctors and lawyers, who at least try to stay married, and who don’t have more children than they can manage, and who don’t get girls pregnant”. “Failures” like Oswald and Loughner do their dirty work.

I support the Second Amendment, because by this time, fifty years after the assassination of President Kennedy, decent people need to defend themselves against crazies. The problem goes far, far deeper than guns.

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3 Responses to “Jared Loughner’s Psychology”

  1. kaela Creighton Says:

    I think Loughner was just a failure of his proving years going through a quarter-life crisis. He can’t handle that isn’t anyone. I went through one. Mine was more or less a realization of how hopeless I am. They prevented me from succeeding then blamed me. I’m crazy as well; I more or less don’t have a place in life, no mores to cling to. They should just keep tracking devices on us. That way they don’t have to unnecessarily target people who proably wouldn’t do anything anyway. It’s all about control. I would never be inspired to do anything bad, but I’m accused because of the others.

  2. spinoza1111 Says:

    As a person who wound up nearly homeless in Asia after paying child support for twenty years to children who won’t contact me, who got a job in Asia for five years, who worked hard for a promised bonus whilst racking up credit card debt, who was deliberately screwed out of that bonus and who is now, once again, trying to figure out how to keep off the streets, at the age of 61,

    Whose grandfather pounded the pavements looking for work in 1933 whilst my Mom nearly starved in the snow,

    Whose uncle led seriously crazy Asian Americans against a German position at the top of a mountain in 1945 and was KIA,

    I have to say,

    That I do not relate very well to this sort of twenty something angst and in particular I wish my kid’s band would stop striking nihilistic poses and play something you can dance to.

    I understand that you may have gotten a raw deal. Life is very hard for most people of the world. My kid demonstrated the failure of his teachers when he got 1560/1600 on the 1995 SAT, where the top score was 1600, but because he was like me in the 1960s, a rebel, nobody helped him at his school.

    When I encountered similar failure, my Mom urged me to study computers, so I did, found I liked programming, spent the next thirty years working hard, gettin’ no glory, messing around with the kids, buying Ford Escorts, living all over the USA. Blew my credit shipping the kids to me after the divorce.

    I find it hard to believe that there’s NOTHING a person can do out there.

    Let me tell you a story. It’s not a very moral one.

    As a young geeky guy who resembled young Bill Gates, I went into the Artist’s Snack Shop on Michigan next to the university where I worked as a programmer, and in walked this fit, stunning blonde in the “hot pants” style of 1972.

    I thought, wow, why do I never get a girl like that.

    So she sits down opposite me, looks me in the eye, and smiles, doin’ things with her tongue (this was 1972, the age of disco, when people were kinda wild).

    I was like unnnhhhhg and so I talked to her. She had just arrived from Los Angeles to help set up the first modern gym in Chicago with her friends.

    We had a relationship but broke up. Occasionally I surf the Internet to find her. She’s probably a granny in Santa Monica.

    One thing she said was very wise. It was, don’t expect anything, just set goals and try to accomplish them. She was cool enough and brave enough to take a risk in Chicago, and, if she saw a cute boy, to give him the eye.

    See, what I figure is, is that taking the SAT or GED, filling out a job application at McDonald’s, or sticking with junior college, is just as difficult as doing something really stupid such as shooting people. In many communities, people DON’T WANT you to get rowdy and do something constructive.

    If your parents are nerdy and unpopular, you will also be unpopular. My Dad hated sports because the Nazis who killed his brother were big on sports, and so he wouldn’t take my kid brother to Little League Tryouts. My kid brother was a good athlete but if your Mom takes you to the tryout,
    you won’t get picked.

    It is disruptive to be constructive. Heck, I showed up and taught kids (having changed my profession after thirty years in software) 6 days a week for five years without guidance or support from a private firm that was just using those kids and their parents to make a quick buck. And then they terminated me with one hour notice.

    When I asked why, they said there was no reason and no problem with my performance. They simply wanted to try another model of teaching, with Asians teaching English; this is becoming more popular. And unlike a firm in America, they simply don’t want to pay severance; here in China, especially in the mainland, employers will often try to screw you out of your last month any way the can.

    This is unfair. But every time I pass Spider man on the flyover, a Chinese guy who had a slight birth defect, whose parents broke both his legs and dumped him on the street because of that defect, I give him money. This reminds me of the fact that as Buddha said, Life is Suffering.

    Younger folks have been exposed to my generation’s BS, that you can have it all like on the Family Channel, nice car, vacations in Europe, for a long time. Whereas my friend Kenny O’Donnell had a Mom but no Dad and lived right next to the “colored” section of town. His Dad had died in the war. We actually felt poor kids were kind of cool, this is where you get “Fonzi” if you happen to know that character.

    And that is my geezer advice.

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