Chris Dorner is dead, and that is probably for the best. There is no knowing what pushed the ex-police officer into madness, but whatever it was had clearly pushed him so far that he would allow his murderous rampage to end only with his death.
There remains a madness in our society, however, which will be harder to eradicate. As Dorner was cold-bloodedly killing four of his fellow human beings he was being cheered on by his many admirers at Facebook, Twitter, and other internet sites, with many urging that he continue to “fight the power,” while numerous cars through the state of California wore adorned with exhortations to “go, Chris, go.” Almost all of the media politely declined to expose the political ideology that Dorner had explicitly stated in a rambling manifesto as the rationale for his crimes, and even in the most respectable broadcast circles some supposedly intellectual sources seemed to almost celebrate the murder spree. Such enthusiastic apologetics for evil are as difficult to comprehend as the evil itself.
Part of the explanation can be found in that rambling manifesto, which offers a self-serving and self-pitying account of Dorner’s firing from the Los Angeles police department along with simmering racial animosities, superficial statements of support for such liberal causes as tighter gun control, and strangely chummy shout-outs to such favorite political and media figures as President Barack Obama, news commentator Chris Matthews, and the famously drug-addled television actor Charlie Sheen. Many people can sympathize with someone who has lost a job under any circumstances, the Los Angeles police have apparently earned an unfavorable reputation among many of the citizens they are sworn to serve, race relations remain a problem everywhere, and it seems that most of California shares Dorner’s preferences in politicians and has the same false familiarity with the celebrities.
The fact that Dorner reacted to his firing by going on a killing spree obviously vindicates the department’s action, though, and his crimes against entirely innocent victims did so little to bolster race relations or advance any other liberal cause that most news outlets deemed them not worth mentioning.
Had Dorner chosen to espouse conservative causes and praise the likes of House Speaker John Boehner, Rush Limbaugh, and Clint Eastwood it would have been a prominent part of the story for most reporters, but to the extent that his political views were made known they were treated with a respect not usually afforded to the ramblings of serial killers. A panel discussion on the Cable News Network featured Columbia University professor Mark Lamont Hill likening Dorner’s murders to “’Django Unchained’ in real life,” an allusion to a currently popular movie about a former slave killing slave-holders, Buzzfeed Sports editor Jack Moore finding it resembling “a Denzel Washington movie,” and all but one agreeing that Dorner had helpfully drawn attention to police brutality and other issues. None thought to question a popular culture that peddles such mindless violence as entertainment, nor note the irony of an anti-gun crusader protesting police brutality by shooting people, nor express any real sympathy for the four human beings who had been sacrificed for the cause.
The estimable Andrew Klavan argues that such violence is inherent in leftism, which can only impose its well-intentioned dictates on free individuals by such means, and we believe he has a point. Some people in Eric Rudolph’s backwoods home cheered him on in the late ‘90s when he went on a murderous bombing spree motivated by extreme conservative views, but the mainstream of conservatism was pleased when he was brought to justice by the notoriously right-wing Attorney General John Ashcroft, and Timothy McVeigh committed the deadliest act of domestic terrorism after taking a logical conservative critique of big government to an illogical extremist conclusion, but we recall nothing but denunciations coming from the conservative press. Left-wing violence, from the eco-terrorism of the Unibomber to the have wreaked at every multi-national gathering by black-masked anarchists to the old-fashioned thuggery of the union movement, are always more likely to go unmentioned or excused.
The madness that afflicted Chris Dorner is not unique to any political philosophy, but the madness that celebrates it is mostly found on the left.
— Bud Norman