David DePape and the Reek of Desperation

The facts and the time-line are not at all as clear as they should be by now (a lot of this doesn’t make sense, but I will wait for a more detailed and rational account of the incident before delving into that aspect of the case), but, based on media accounts, the man who broke into the Pelosi estate and attacked Mr. Pelosi looks to be a paradigm instantiation of Eric Hoffer’s “true believer.” David DePape’s beliefs, however apparently fervently held in any give moment, swung widely from far-left to far-right. The woman with whom he had children essentially described a schizophrenic.

David DePape is accused of attacking Paul Pelosi with a hammer in the Pelosi estate

I have not pursued a deep dive into DePape’s social media output (it will be hard to do with platforms (including this one) censoring his postings. From a cursory glance, however, I can see that his mix of opinions are being woven by the media into an alleged comprehensive worldview not only designed to make DePape appear MAGA, and thus a continuation of January 6, but to tie criticisms of power and others things (such as vaccines) to fringe thought as part of a continuing campaign to paint any criticism of power and profit as paranoia. This is not to say DePape’s thoughts aren’t delusional. At the same time, severely impaired individuals are capable of holding perfectly reasonable views.

From the Los Angeles Times: “DePape followed a number of conservative creators online, including Tim Pool, Glenn Beck, DailyWire+ and the Epoch Times.” So? These outlets are neither far-right nor paranoid. “He also followed an account on YouTube called Black Pilled and reposted several of its videos on his blog.” The LA Times then goes on to twist the meaning of black pill ideology to align with right-of-center libertarian critique of the corporate state. It is not possible that reporters over at the LA Times do not understand such things.

The effort by the Democratic Party and the corporate news to characterize this as MAGA violence in the eleventh hour of a historic election reeks of desperation. Five years ago, a left-wing activist (a Bernie Sanders devotee) opened fire on Republicans practicing for a charity baseball game, critically wounding Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana. (Remember that? It may feel vague in your brain because it didn’t get a lot of coverage.) Are we going to blame the Scalise shooting on the over-the-top rhetoric progressives routinely spew regarding conservatives, you know, that they’re “fascists,” “racist,” and “white supremacists”?

People are responsible for their actions. Those who criticize political figures and ideologies are not responsible for violence carried out by other people. This is a country of 330-plus million people. There are going to be mentally-disturbed individuals who do things like this. Fortunately, they are rare. And while progressives bite their nails over their revered leaders being threatened by marginal individuals, they ignore the reality of the murder and other forms of serious violence that occur daily in progressive big cities across the Northeast, violence that disproportionately takes the lives of the very subjects they claim to prioritize in their policies.

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Andrew Austin

Andrew Austin is on the faculty of Democracy and Justice Studies and Sociology at the University of Wisconsin—Green Bay. He has published numerous articles, essays, and reviews in books, encyclopedia, journals, and newspapers.

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