The horrific shooting that left ten people dead in a Buffalo supermarket on Saturday has triggered a familiar political routine. First, the media determined that the massacre fit their preferred narrative: A white racist targeted and killed black victims. Had the attack differed in these details, the media would have ignored it, as they did last November when a black racist drove his SUV into an early Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing six (white) people and injuring sixty-two others, and again last month when a black racist, who had posted prolifically about a looming race war and his hatred of white people, opened fire on a New York City subway train during rush hour, injuring twenty-nine people but fortunately killing none.
Once the media had determined that the Buffalo shooting fit their narrative, Democrat politicians hurried to exploit the tragedy for their own political purposes. President Joe Biden, who refused to visit the families of the victims in Waukesha because “any president going to visit a political community requires a lot of assets,” has already announced plans to visit the families of the victims in Buffalo. A trip to Waukesha would not have allowed Biden to score political points; a visit to Buffalo will. So Biden has put his assets to work.
The media have established the political narrative of the massacre by citing a “manifesto” that the shooter allegedly left behind. The existence of this manifesto, censored by most major platforms but still accessible to anyone with a little online know-how, has spurred the third stage of this political routine, in which partisans of all stripes scour the attacker’s public writings for evidence that their political opponents bear responsibility for the slaughter.
The media have already exploited the killing to attack conservatives, in particular Tucker Carlson, for embracing the so-called “great replacement conspiracy theory,” according to which Democrats use immigration policy to gain power. Since overhauling American immigration law in the 1960s, Democrats have in fact bragged about this strategy, and Joe Biden himself has embraced the alleged “conspiracy theory,” albeit with approval. Nevertheless, leftists will continue to cite the shooter’s comments about immigration to blame conservatives for the killing.
Conservatives, in turn, will cite different passages from the killer’s manifesto that seem to place him on the political Left. Asking himself, “Are you a conservative?” the shooter answers, “No.” Asking himself, “Are you a socialist?” he responds, “Depending on the definition.” “Are you right-wing? Are you left-wing?,” he asks. “Depending on the definition, sure.”
“When I was 12,” the killer recalls, “I was deep into communist ideology.” Score one for the Right. “From age 15 to 18, I consistently moved farther to the right.” Score one for the Left. “On the political compass,” he concludes, “I fall in the mild-moderate-authoritarian Left category.” Another point for the Right.
The shooter rejects Christianity. Point for the Right. He hopes that his attack will lead to renewed calls for gun control — another point, it seems, for the Right — but only so that conservatives will resist and defend the Second Amendment, so never mind, the point might actually go to the Left. The shooter embraces fascism and neo-Nazism. Who gets that point?
Democrats smear anyone to the Right of Rachel Maddow as a “Nazi.” Republicans call Hitler a leftist. The Left cites Hitler’s hatred of communism; the Right, his hatred of Christianity.
These insipid arguments reveal little about Hitler, the Buffalo shooter, or the left-right political spectrum, which served initially to distinguished between Christian monarchists and liberal revolutionaries in the National Assembly during the French Revolution and ever since has been misunderstood by simpletons and cynics to catalog all possible political perspectives. In fact, the shooter does not fit neatly on the Left or the Right. His typo-ridden manifesto does not suggest particularly sophisticated or systematic political thought. He may be nothing more than an idle, disturbed teenager who wanted to shoot up a grocery store. The shooter himself raises this prospect, attributing his radicalization to “extreme boredom…during the outbreak of covid.” Perhaps conservatives can cite this confession as one last pointless point against the Left.
None of it matters much to the conversation. Establishment media and politicians are not focusing on the Buffalo massacre because they care about the victims of violent crime, which they encourage, or the rise of domestic terrorism, which they fund, or black people, whom they exploit. The slaughter in Buffalo interests our corrupt ruling class for only one reason: the opportunity it affords them to seize more power by blaming the bloodshed on their enemies.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.