The Left Cannot Help Itself: Rocky Mountain Low

 

The red faction of the red-green alliance just cannot help itself. Even with the cautionary tale of the Paul Wellstone funeral, the left could not be decent for a day. School officials allowed the Brady gun-grabber group to organize a supposed vigil, without informing the student body and parents that they had done so. The Brady Campaign invited Senator Michael (I want to be president) Bennet (D-CO Silicon Valley), and U.S. Representative Jason Crow (D-CO-6 Silicon Valley). It started as the left expected, and then went sideways for them. The reaction of students and parents suggest a rebellion against their political and cultural overlords, and may yield results in the year ahead.

Kudos to MSN and USA Today for telling the truth in “Students walk out of Colorado school shooting vigil, saying their trauma was being politicized:”

The event Wednesday was primarily billed as a vigil to honor Kendrick Castillo, who was fatally shot in a rampage by two students at the STEM school here. Speakers at the school’s packed gymnasium, however, were mostly politicians and advocates pressing Congress for more restrictive gun laws.

After about 30 minutes, hundreds of students from the STEM School stormed out yelling “this is not for us,” “political stunt” and “we are people, not a statement.”

…Wednesday night, the traumatized shooting survivors who exited the rally thrust lighted cellphones into the air and chanted “mental health, mental health,” as their hands and voices shook in the cold rain. Angry students pushed and screamed at journalists, demanding to see photos they had taken.

Jason Crow is a freshman member of Congress and in a district that could be flipped back in 2020:

Crow defeated Republican incumbent Mike Coffman to win election to the United States House of Representatives in 2018.

Yet, he could not help himself. The crazy has set in. The masks have not just slipped, they have been proudly thrown away. Now the good people of Colorado, and every other state, can see clearly and choose accordingly.

What we know of the attack:

The attack was started by two people, one an 18-year-old male and the other a juvenile who police first thought was male. It later turned out that the second attacker was a 16-year-old girl who was transitioning from female to male identity:

Court records listed the defendant as Maya McKinney, but a defense attorney said his client uses male pronouns and is named Alec. The sheriff’s office initially identified him as a boy and later said the suspect was a girl.

The would-be mass-killers struck in two locations. The attack was stopped in each location by brave men. The heroes were a Marine veteran, working as armed security, and three students, one of whom gave his life for others.

The armed guard did not come in gun blazing, rather he confronted one of the attackers, who surrendered rather than committing suicide by cop. As USA Today reported on the Colorado school shooting:

[T]he guard, a former sheriff’s deputy and Marine who saw combat, ran to the sound of gunshots and took custody of the youth at gunpoint.

The other half of the attack was stopped by three unarmed students. Kendrick Castillo, age 18 and ready to graduate, charged the shooter. While the killer cut him down, he bought the time and triggered action by two other students, one of whom had already signed up to become a Marine. They subdued the killer, one of them taking two bullets in the process.

Here is what we know of the fallen hero, Kendrick Castillo, as his father, John Castillo told NBC News:

He also told NBC that he talked with Kendrick about what to do in a school shooting, advising him “you don’t have to be the hero.”

But his son, who wanted to study electrical engineering in college, insisted he would act. “You raised me this way. You raised me to be a good person. That’s what I’m doing,'” Castillo recalled.

So, the attackers were not the only ones with a plan. Kendrick Castillo had fixed in his mind what he would do if there was a shooter in his school. Having this fixed in his mind in advance, when the critical moment came, he charged. That made all the difference. That was what any sane and decent person would focus on in a gathering of the student body.

But the left is neither sane nor decent anymore. Or, rather, they are taken by their own morality and logic, which is now in open conflict with the population they wish to fundamentally transform. Like moths to a flame, they cannot help rushing to the aftermath of a shooting with gun-grabber demands. They cannot, more generally, grant that there might be a public space and time that is civil, rather than political.

A Tale of Two Funerals:

Weeks before the 2002 election, Senator Paul Wellstone, the long-time Minnesota Democrat, died in a plane crash. Walter Mondale stepped in to try to save the seat for his party. There was a memorial event, in a 20,000 seat venue, that turned into a partisan political rally. As Salon reported on the Wellstone memorial service:

Tonight’s event is officially a memorial service. The lighting inside the arena is eerily appropriate: The big incandescent bulbs on the arced ceiling have been turned off, leaving the upper decks in darkness while the dais below is illuminated by stage lights suspended above the court. The contrast creates the impression of a vast ghostly assembly. It’s as though the dead have come to honor the living, when in truth the living have come to honor the dead.

…The touching recollections are followed by sharply political speeches urging Wellstone’s supporters to channel their grief into electoral victory. The crowd repeatedly stands, stomps, and whoops. The roars escalate each time Walter Mondale, the former vice president who will replace Wellstone on the ballot, appears on the giant screens suspended above the stage. “Fritz! Fritz!” the assembly chants.

Minnesota was repulsed. They rejected Walter Mondale and elected a Republican, Norm Coleman. The voters had been favoring the dominant party candidate, and there should have been a good-will or sympathy vote. That goodwill and sympathy were presumed upon by people who could not distinguish between the civic and the political, and the shock likely changed the outcome of the 2002 Senate race in Minnesota:

At the time of his death, Wellstone was slightly ahead in the polls. After Mondale was chosen as the DFL candidate, he led 51% to 45% in a poll taken a few days before the election. Early on Election Day, Mondale was leading, but by nightfall Coleman pulled ahead, winning by 2.2 percentage points.

In 2018, a beloved popular singer, Aretha Franklin, died. Her very public funeral service in Detroit attracted cultural and political leaders, solidly leftist. It went sideways, as Al Sharpton used Aretha Franklin’s funeral to attack President Trump:

“Now I want y’all to help me correct President Trump to teach him what [respect] means,” he joked, much to the crowd’s delight. “And I say that because when word went out that Ms. Franklin passed, Trump said, ‘she used to work for me.’ No, she used to perform for you. She worked for us.”

Franklin died August 16 at age 76 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. Upon news of her death, Mr. Trump extended condolences to Franklin’s family and noted that the iconic singer worked for him “on numerous occasions” when she was contracted to perform at his hotels.

Perhaps because the Democrats retook the House, in the usual first-term mid-term correction, this was seen as a good move. Perhaps the California puppet-masters, who were very public, after the fact, in their campaign to flip Colorado from sage-brush conservative to hard secularist leftist, pulled the strings. Perhaps Senator Bennet and Congressman Crow are true believers.

Whatever the case, the voters are on notice and will render their judgment in 2020. Will they continue to buy the facade of “pragmatic progressivism,” or decide the pragmatism only extended to getting the left’s boot on the necks of Christians and gun owners? Will there a second “sagebrush” rebellion, this time against Silicon Valley social values and the red-green alliance?

Published in Politics
This post was promoted to the Main Feed by a Ricochet Editor at the recommendation of Ricochet members. Like this post? Want to comment? Join Ricochet’s growing community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

There are 24 comments.

  1. Thatcher

    Monsters.

    • #1
    • May 9, 2019, at 5:21 PM PDT
    • 6 likes
  2. Member

    I was pleasantly surprised earlier today to hear that so many students had walked out of the politicized vigil, and specifically cited its politicization. Maybe at least some students are realizing that people who conspicuously say they’re “for the students” aren’t really for the students. The students may be realizing that they are nothing more than props (or pawns) in the games of other people. 

    • #2
    • May 9, 2019, at 5:23 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  3. Member

    *Sigh* They really can’t help themselves.

    • #3
    • May 9, 2019, at 5:28 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  4. Member

    As long as the message gets to voting-age adults….

    • #4
    • May 9, 2019, at 5:59 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  5. Lincoln

    If you look at the left’s reaction to last year’s two major school shootings, in Broward County, Fla., and Galveston County, Tx., you saw a major difference in how each was dealt with, based on what they saw as the local population’s political beliefs.

    Florida may have gone for Trump in 2016, but Broward is considered one of the deepest Blue parts of the state, and something of a safe zone for liberals. So after the deaths at Stoneman Douglas, the national media flooded into the area, and along with Democratic politicians like Sheriff Israel, immediately set about framing the narrative as the need for more gun control laws, while downplaying the critical mistakes the Broward Sheriff’s Department made (flaws that were uncovered by the Miami Herald and other area media, which weren’t committed to the narrative in the way the national media outlets like CNN were). But you didn’t see the same type of attempt to flood the zone and shape the narrative actions later in the year with the Santa Fe High School shooting. There was some, but in a county Donald Trump won by 25 percent over Hillary Clinton, gun control advocates didn’t want to wade in out of fear there would be push-back….

    …which is what happened Wednesday night in Colorado. But with a liberal governor and a liberal senator running for president, those who set up the vigil in order to exploit the STEM High School students thought they were going into a situation more akin to Stoneman Douglas than Santa Fe High School, and that the teens would go along with the spin in David Hogg-like fashion. The students forcing them to back off, and making the case for better mental health oversight (HIPPA reforms would go way further than gun restrictions in dealing with the problem), shut the progressives up at least for a day. But some in the media didn’t report last night’s event, and given who the shooters were, the whole incident will be memory holed by the weekend.

    • #5
    • May 9, 2019, at 6:17 PM PDT
    • 12 likes
  6. Member

    Clifford A. Brown:

    He also told NBC that he talked with Kendrick about what to do in a school shooting, advising him “you don’t have to be the hero.”

    But his son, who wanted to study electrical engineering in college, insisted he would act. “You raised me this way. You raised me to be a good person. That’s what I’m doing,’” Castillo recalled.

    God bless that kid. God bless that father that raised a son who would stand. I cannot imagine the aching hole in the father’s heart, now. May he know surcease in the months and years to come.

    • #6
    • May 9, 2019, at 7:04 PM PDT
    • 21 likes
  7. Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Steven Hayward, over on Power Line, has posted on the subject, asking if we are seeing an “inflection point on school shootings.”

    A 12-year-old boy was prepared to “go down fighting” with an aluminum baseball bat if the shooters got into his classroom.

    • #7
    • May 9, 2019, at 9:41 PM PDT
    • 11 likes
  8. Coolidge

    It’s been almost impossible to have a rational discussion about firearms for the last 20 years or so – since the Clinton assault weapons ban ended. Anti-gunners wallow in their ignorance; any attempt to point out the fruitlessness of most gun control measures is met with derision. I posted a thread a while back about anti-gunners accusing 2nd amendment advocates of “gunsplaining”; loosely defined as pointing out errors of detail in gun control advocacy positions.

    We had some discussion a while back about “virtue signaling”. I’d say gun control generally is a very good example of virtue signaling in that even advocates know it won’t work but that’s beside the point. Being on the right side of history (as its arc bends) is way more important than actually fixing the problem.

    These kids stepping up and refusing to be co-opted is an unexpected and wonderful development, particularly after what happened after the Parkland shootings. 

    • #8
    • May 10, 2019, at 4:25 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  9. Member

    ” We feel really bad about what happened to your son but if you haven’t had the funeral yet, we were wondering if we could just borrow the corpse for a few hours? We got this big political rally / photo op and that might give us a little more credibility.”

    • #9
    • May 10, 2019, at 5:05 AM PDT
    • 13 likes
  10. Contributor

    Excellent post, Clifford. We see the Left repeatedly putting politics above everything else, and although it is disgusting and repulsive, they continue to educate the public about how soulless and narcissistic they really are. I despise these actions, and yet a part of me says, educate on. The truth may set us all free.

    • #10
    • May 10, 2019, at 5:57 AM PDT
    • 8 likes
  11. Thatcher

    I was glad to see the walkout. I read some chanted “Mental health” on the way out, which indicates a few know what the real problem is.

    • #11
    • May 10, 2019, at 6:10 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  12. Lincoln

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    It’s been almost impossible to have a rational discussion about firearms for the last 20 years or so – since the Clinton assault weapons ban ended. Anti-gunners wallow in their ignorance; any attempt to point out the fruitlessness of most gun control measures is met with derision. I posted a thread a while back about anti-gunners accusing 2nd amendment advocates of “gunsplaining”; loosely defined as pointing out errors of detail in gun control advocacy positions.

    We had some discussion a while back about “virtue signaling”. I’d say gun control generally is a very good example of virtue signaling in that even advocates know it won’t work but that’s beside the point. Being on the right side of history (as its arc bends) is way more important than actually fixing the problem.

    These kids stepping up and refusing to be co-opted is an unexpected and wonderful development, particularly after what happened after the Parkland shootings.

    I think you have to probably divide the gun grabbers into the naive followers, who actually think it’s going to solve the problem, the virtue-signalers, who know it won’t work, but want to show everyone they care while annoying their political enemies, and the third group of ultimate power-lusters, whose end goal has nothing to do with making things safer and everything to do with the idea of having no armed opposition around when — in their minds — they finally seize full control over the government and can then force everyone to do things the way they want them to.

    Those are the ones who saw last-week’s put-down of the opposition in Venezuela because Chavez had previously banned the public from owning guns as a feature to emulate, and not a bug.

    • #12
    • May 10, 2019, at 6:14 AM PDT
    • 13 likes
  13. Member

    Clifford A. Brown: Kendrick Castillo had fixed in his mind what he would do if there was a shooter in his school. Having this fixed in his mind in advance, when the critical moment came, he charged. That made all the difference. That was what any sane and decent person would focus on in a gathering of the student body.

    A true hero

    • #13
    • May 10, 2019, at 6:20 AM PDT
    • 12 likes
  14. Member

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown: Kendrick Castillo had fixed in his mind what he would do if there was a shooter in his school. Having this fixed in his mind in advance, when the critical moment came, he charged. That made all the difference. That was what any sane and decent person would focus on in a gathering of the student body.

    A true hero

    There’s hope for the next generation.

    My daughter’s comment: “We tell these kids that they’ll be dead in 12 years from climate change, that America isn’t worth defending, that everything is crap, and then when they shoot up a school, we’re surprised?”

    • #14
    • May 10, 2019, at 7:44 AM PDT
    • 14 likes
  15. Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Excellent post, Clifford. We see the Left repeatedly putting politics above everything else, and although it is disgusting and repulsive, they continue to educate the public about how soulless and narcissistic they really are. I despise these actions, and yet a part of me says, educate on. The truth may set us all free.

    Yes. The reactions by the students and parents contradicts the left’s narrative of inevitability. Now, they need to follow through with a candidate to replace the leftist who the good people of the congressional district allowed to become their representative in Congress and on the world stage.

    • #15
    • May 10, 2019, at 12:39 PM PDT
    • 5 likes
  16. Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    l

    Tex929rr (View Comment):

    It’s been almost impossible to have a rational discussion about firearms for the last 20 years or so – since the Clinton assault weapons ban ended. Anti-gunners wallow in their ignorance; any attempt to point out the fruitlessness of most gun control measures is met with derision. I posted a thread a while back about anti-gunners accusing 2nd amendment advocates of “gunsplaining”; loosely defined as pointing out errors of detail in gun control advocacy positions.

    We had some discussion a while back about “virtue signaling”. I’d say gun control generally is a very good example of virtue signaling in that even advocates know it won’t work but that’s beside the point. Being on the right side of history (as its arc bends) is way more important than actually fixing the problem.

    These kids stepping up and refusing to be co-opted is an unexpected and wonderful development, particularly after what happened after the Parkland shootings.

    Yes, and I think @jon1979provides thoughtful context, distinguishing the local political and cultural environments between different school shootings.

    • #16
    • May 10, 2019, at 12:42 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  17. Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Vance Richards (View Comment):

    ” We feel really bad about what happened to your son but if you haven’t had the funeral yet, we were wondering if we could just borrow the corpse for a few hours? We got this big political rally / photo op and that might give us a little more credibility.”

    Jarring, isn’t it?

    • #17
    • May 10, 2019, at 12:43 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  18. Member

    The other things the left is too “stupid”, or maybe just too wrapped up in themselves, to understand are the concepts of graciousness and courtesy. The fact that a Republican might find something kind to say about the deceased at a funeral is not an endorsement of his political opinions or even an acknowledgement that he was correct. I’m thinking specifically of some comments made by Democrats after Wellstone’s service. 

    • #18
    • May 10, 2019, at 1:22 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  19. Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown Post author

    Django (View Comment):

    The other things the left is too “stupid”, or maybe just too wrapped up in themselves, to understand are the concepts of graciousness and courtesy. The fact that a Republican might find something kind to say about the deceased at a funeral is not an endorsement of his political opinions or even an acknowledgement that he was correct. I’m thinking specifically of some comments made by Democrats after Wellstone’s service.

    I think it is more than that. They reject graciousness and courtesy as tools of oppression and privilege. This is not new, and there once was a real point to be made. See the old protest song “It Isn’t Nice.” Now see a young white woman sing it in 2014, a young woman who seriously thinks it is acceptable to belong to a group calling itself The Last Internationale:

    Oh, yes, they did not just pick a “cool” or “woke” or “edgy” name:

    • #19
    • May 10, 2019, at 1:32 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  20. Member

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Steven Hayward, over on Power Line, has posted on the subject, asking if we are seeing an “inflection point on school shootings.”

    A 12-year-old boy was prepared to “go down fighting” with an aluminum baseball bat if the shooters got into his classroom.

    This just enrages me that teachers are unarmed and have to cower in the closet with a twelve year old ready to act. Where are the adults in the nation’s classrooms!! Twelve. years. old. 

    • #20
    • May 10, 2019, at 1:34 PM PDT
    • 7 likes
  21. Member

    Stad (View Comment):

    I was glad to see the walkout. I read some chanted “Mental health” on the way out, which indicates a few know what the real problem is.

    How dare they suggest a transgender person might have mental health issues! Transphobes. 

    • #21
    • May 10, 2019, at 1:35 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  22. Member

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Excellent post, Clifford. We see the Left repeatedly putting politics above everything else, and although it is disgusting and repulsive, they continue to educate the public about how soulless and narcissistic they really are. I despise these actions, and yet a part of me says, educate on. The truth may set us all free.

    Politicization of everything is inevitable in a Leftist world. If the government is all powerful and all controlling, then everything is politics and politics is everything.

    I try to point this out when a leftist complains about social divisiveness in politics, but they don’t seem to be able to recognize this inevitable feature of their preferred system.

    • #22
    • May 10, 2019, at 3:52 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  23. Member

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Django (View Comment):

    The other things the left is too “stupid”, or maybe just too wrapped up in themselves, to understand are the concepts of graciousness and courtesy. The fact that a Republican might find something kind to say about the deceased at a funeral is not an endorsement of his political opinions or even an acknowledgement that he was correct. I’m thinking specifically of some comments made by Democrats after Wellstone’s service.

    I think it is more than that. They reject graciousness and courtesy as tools of oppression and privilege. This is not new, and there once was a real point to be made. See the old protest song “It Isn’t Nice.” Now see a young white woman sing it in 2014, a young woman who seriously thinks it is acceptable to belong to a group calling itself The Last Internationale:

    Oh, yes, they did not just pick a “cool” or “woke” or “edgy” name:

    I hadn’t thought of it that way. Interesting point and valid if one is an exploited laborer, and yes, those people do exist. In my mis-spent youth, I spent some time walking a picket line and organizing a specific group of people, and for those I met, I don’t regret it. Still, I think there is a difference between those largely lacking in formal education and forced to do what is mostly unskilled labor for low wages and those who attended Wellstone’s funeral. Those people at his funeral were, from what I saw, mostly America’s privileged. They took advantage of the forum to make political statement as was done also, if I remember correctly, at the funeral of Coretta Scott King. When we have to depend on Bill Clinton to remind people to show the proper decorum, it becomes clear that leftists are just sphinctered caudal orifices. The only charitable interpretation of their actions and words I can imagine is that they really believe they represent those exploited workers and are entitled to forget manners. I don’t buy it.

    • #23
    • May 10, 2019, at 3:52 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
  24. Coolidge

    Vance Richards (View Comment):
    So, the attackers were not the only ones with a plan. Kendrick Castillo had fixed in his mind what he would do if there was a shooter in his school. Having this fixed in his mind in advance, when the critical moment came, he charged. That made all the difference. That was what any sane and decent person would focus on in a gathering of the student body

    I have much pondered this. Living as I do in the People’s Republic of NJ (where carry permits are made of unobtanium, with a job that frequently takes me into darkest NYC, actual preparedness is not an option. So I’m always on the lookout for fire extinguishers… See also Jonathan T Gilliam’s book.

    • #24
    • May 11, 2019, at 1:09 PM PDT
    • 5 likes