In the left of center echo chamber which is my Facebook page, I am often asked to sign petitions and take polls. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. They have become so ubiquitous they are like street panhandlers – even if you give to one, there will be another one a few seconds later, and, whether the resource is money or time, you just can’t give to everybody.
Also, there is some doubt in my mind as to their effectiveness. Sign if you agree that we should have solar panels and windmills everywhere. Sign if you want everybody to have a home. Sign if you want to end cancer. It doesn’t matter how many times you submit your information (because you’re not actually ‘signing’ in the old sense, with an illegible cursive scrawl – we have keyboards), the spread of solar panels and windmills is not going to speed up perceptibly, there will continue to be homeless people and cancer remains uncured, although I suspect that’s largely due to the pharmaceutical industry.
Anyway, I just came across one that I didn’t respond to. It was an online poll (I think people can just create these by themselves, which makes them sort of meaningless). The question was “Should James Alex Fields be considered a terrorist” and, knowing my Facebook friends, I’m sure they expect 90%+ to say yes.
But that bothers me. Sure, he is a low life son of a bitch. He killed a woman, and tried to kill many more. He is a racist, Nazi dickhead and I hope he spends the rest of his worthless, anti-social life in prison.
But, does it really matter if we call him a terrorist? Does psychopathic Nazi shithead not have a similar effect? It reminds me very much of Republicans after Ben Ghazi or, in fact, through most of Obama’s administration, screaming that Hillary (or Obama was not saying the word ‘terrorist’ enough.
The point is, he killed somebody. That’s really bad, and the law should significantly punish him for it. It doesn’t matter whether his motive was to create terror, or to run people over because they were blocking the road, or what. The crime is the crime. Killing.