The findings of a new study will seem particularly enlightening to many, given what has taken place in Europe and the United States recently regarding the uptick in political violence and terrorism.
The study claims that radical terrorists (is that an oxymoron?) tend to justify their acts of violence, no matter how heinous, because the ends justify the means, essentially.
As reported by the UK’s Daily Mail, researchers involved in the study acknowledged that to most people, moral actions are judged not only by a person’s intentions but also by the outcome of their actions. Terrorists — and, really, anyone consumed with so much hatred of someone or something or some ideal that it drives them to kill — are not so concerned with motives.
“This means they justify their own violent actions by focusing only on the end result, the researchers claim,” the paper reported.
Dr. Augustin Ibanez, a psychologist at Favaloro University in Buenos Aries, said this about his research team’s findings:
Extreme terrorists could be characterized by abnormal forms of moral cognition, arguably shaped by their particular cultural milieus. Specifically, if terrorists deem it morally appropriate to do whatever it takes in the pursuit of their aim, their moral judgments may be critically rooted in the success of action rather than the probity of its underlying intention.
So again, what he’s saying is that whatever actions are taken by a terrorist, the ends are the most important, not the means by which to achieve those ends.
That certainly seems applicable in the case of James T. Hodgkinson, the man who attempted to assassinate as many currently serving lawmakers as he could early on the morning of June 14, as they practiced for the annual congressional softball game between Democrats and Republicans.
Witnesses at the scene, including a GOP legislator, said the attack was deliberately aimed at Republicans; they noted that before the attack Hodgkinson, who was killed by Capitol Police at the scene, specifically asked if the players on the field were Democrats or Republicans.
Understand that terrorism in its purest form is a political tool aimed at forcing a desired political result. So could Hodgkinson, who was clearly motivated by politics, be considered a domestic terrorist? Was he justifying his means to achieve a desired end — the death of Republican lawmakers?
Undoubtedly the answer is yes. Reporting in the aftermath of his assassination attempts proved he was a radical who detested the GOP:
— He was an early Sanders supporter
— He displayed a palpable hatred for Trump
— He campaigned for Sanders
— He belonged to several anti-GOP groups, and once said he wanted to “terminate the Republican Party”
— He was upset over the election results (key point here)
— He often wrote letters to the editor of the local newspaper denouncing Republicans and GOP policies
— He voted for Democrats in the last several elections
It would be absurd to believe that Hodgkinson was not motivated by Left-wing politics to do what he did. It would be equally absurd to believe that he wasn’t at least partially inspired by Left-wing extremist Democrats in office and in the entertainment industry to act on his hatred, given all of their support for, and condoning of, violence directed at President Donald J. Trump, members of his party, and their agenda. (RELATED: Seething hatred of left-wing media drives shooter to target congressional Republicans in attempted mass shooting)
Clearly, the Argentine research has merit in that it correctly identifies the motivating factors for terrorists to commit acts of terrorism — the ends justify the means.
And Republican lawmakers get it. As reported by Fox News, some GOP lawmakers are blaming their political opponents for planting the seeds of violence with their dangerous and inflammatory language:
Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., specifically blamed “political rhetorical terrorism” – heated rhetoric on social media and in the news – for Wednesday’s shooting, in which House Majority Whip Steve Scalise and several others were wounded.
“This is the result, I believe, of political rhetorical terrorism. That has to stop,” he told “America’s Newsroom.”
“Political rhetoric has led to this violent type of activity that has got to stop in this country,” Davis said.
No question he’s right. It’s creating a climate for potential domestic terrorists to justify their heinous political acts.
J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.