Alexandria, Virginia shooter James T. Hodgkinson was certainly angry about the direction of the country, but his vision of America was prosaic and predictable—ripped from the pages of the Huffington Post. Branding himself a member of the “99 percent,” he advocated higher taxes on the rich, according to letters he sent to a local newspaper. He opposed the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, wanted Democrats to filibuster the nomination of Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch, and supported the proposed Presidential Accountability Act, which extends conflict-of-interest laws for federal officials to the president and vice president, who are currently exempt. In other words, his was not the religious fervor of the jihadist seeking a caliphate, nor did he envision the sweeping historical dialectic of Das Kapital. His ideas weren’t even as dramatic as the cultural revolution imagined by the 1960s’ Yippie manifesto. Yet Hodgkinson was apparently willing to kill for higher marginal tax rates, stricter conflict-of-interest laws, and Obamacare. His was a terrorism constructed out of the narcissism of small differences.
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