When Justice Antonin Scalia was found alone and dead in his own room, conspiracy theorists on the political Right exploded with accusations he was assassinated. Some pointed a finger at President Obama, claiming it was a Leftist plot to replace Scalia on the Supreme Court with a centrist or left-leaning judge.
Republican politicians immediately screamed that they would never even dream of approving anyone nominated by President Obama.
In the face of all this immediate and politicized reaction to the death of Scalia, right-wing pundits cried “foul” at liberals for celebrating the man’s death. Matt Walsh on TheBlaze.com cried crocodile tears into his turtle soup at the notion that Scalia’s legend was being questioned so quickly. “Within minutes of the man’s death — and this, by the way, is a man with a wife, nine kids and dozens of grandkids — progressives erupted with applause and jubilation all over social media.”
I was one of those Lefties who took a swipe at Scalia. I believe his arrogance and narrow-mindedness superseded the life of the man.
And, how could one help but react politically when the immediate response (within minutes of Scalia’s death) from Mitch McConnell and the constipated Congress/Senate was to spew political diarrhea across the web.
Even Howard Kurtz at Fox News was a bit disgusted by the quick responses from both sides to Scalia’s death. “As a matter of political optics, I don’t know why McConnell didn’t wait until the president came up with a name. Then the Republicans could have come up with reasons why they opposed that nominee, instead of looking obstructionist by saying they’d block anyone for Scalia’s seat.”
But that reaction has a lot to do with beliefs in a conspiracy. That would be the supposed liberal conspiracy to turn the government into a massive controlling force over people’s lives. Never mind the fact that Republicans spend so much time passing laws to control a woman’s vagina and uterus, or that same-sex marriage, which by Constitutional law is entirely just, is a favorite hate meme for the Right.
Meanwhile liberals obsess over a conservative conspiracy to hand over America’s wealth and control to corporations and the privatization of public services. Of course, there is considerable evidence of a massive transfer of wealth from the middle class to the super rich. But that’s just a coincidence, right?
Neither of these ideological contentions is entirely true. But that doesn’t stop men like Alex Jones from claiming that the political left had put out a hit on Antonin Scalia. “I wish it was natural causes,” Jones said of Scalia’s death which was determined to have been caused by a heart attack. “But my gut tells me no. If this is an assassination, it signifies that they’re dropping the hammer. That’s the canary in the coalmine.”
A hard left
If Scalia were indeed murdered, it would likely be the first such partisan hit on a conservative American political figure. Gerald Ford survived two separate attempts at assassination, and Ronald Reagan, just one. The collateral damage from the attempt on Reagan’s life led to the conversion of James Brady to an adamant gun control advocate.
But when we go a little further back in American history, the successful assassinations of political figures begins to add up quickly. We have Martin Luther King, Jr., whose life was taken by an assassin in the late 1960s. Before that, it was Malcom X. And before that, Bobby Kennedy.
And of course, there is the ultimate American assassination, that of President John F. Kennedy. The events of that day are shrouded in highly suspect machinations of his body’s transfer and treatment during the flight back to Washington. There is little likelihood there was only one shooter that day in Dallas. The controversial editing of the Zapruder film points many fingers at a conspiracy to change the story of Kennedy’s assassination to a chance shooting by a lone gunmen. But all of sane America knows that’s a lie. There was a murder, and there was a coverup. And we should ascertain that everyone from the CIA to the mob had some hand in it.
The lone gunman fantasy was the conspiracy shoved down America’s throats. And the coincidence of Bobby Kennedy’s later assassination, and Martin Luther King, Jr. too. All these add up a directed attempt to slaughter political opponents at any cost.
We know that Scalia wasn’t murdered, but that won’t stop nutjobs from making the claims that he was. It’s a convenient political strategy to accuse your opponent of doing the very things at which your own party has obviously attempted and succeeded.
The real conspiracy here is that the sudden reaction on both sides to Scalia’s death is the product of a life and death form of aggressive gamesmanship. And the thing that is not a conspiracy is that ready access to guns and their murderous intent is typically responsible for threats on the life of politicals on the Right and Left.
But it’s not always the case. The political right essentially assassinated Jesus 2000 years ago. The conspiracy to have him captured and tried before Pontius Pilate was calculated with murderous intent. Those political conservatives running the faith did not want competition from some radical, liberal country preacher. So they conspired to have him killed. It’s what the Right always does when it is losing the political battle. Dead men can’t prophesy against them.
Scalia died peacefully from old age and failing health. That’s actually the best way to go. The Left might have wished him dead, it’s true. But it did not actually do the deed. One truly wonders whether that was the case with two Kennedys and a King, Jr. Those bullets did not find their way to those men on their own. If the Left is killing people these days, they have a lot of catching up to do.