I very much and always appreciate your work.
There’s no question that “vindictive morality,” or something very much like it, exists. Also remember that the call for “personal responsibility” was used as a slogan for the Reagan years as far back as 1978 (and the Reagans were influenced by many factors, from the Bible to Ayn Rand to astrology). So there is not only some overlap, but also a definitive gray area to consider.
Here and elsewhere the idea is presented that what is discussed has pushed people like Long towards his actions. And this may very well be the case. But we don’t know anything except the sketches from the media. Always we have to presume upon our own impulses towards “vindictive morality” because it has invaded our culture and is so rampant. That man’s guilt is unquestioned. His motivations are still somewhat in doubt and may well remain so for a very long time.
We tend to neglect those items which don’t make such headlines, but which are, perhaps, almost as significant in their own way. The two men who were recently arrested in Louisville, KY, in camouflage, with long rifles, preparing to gun down an unknown number of innocent, probably Black civilians; who walked away uncharged because of “open carry” laws. For example. The lawmakers around the country who call gender dysphoria a mental illness, or who are preparing to pass laws making it illegal to drink water or any other liquid while waiting to vote.
This is the price of distraction. And it serves a purpose to keep us from moving forward toward meeting the goals of “personal responsibility” that move beyond those defined by both the Reagans and anyone who would say it involves “minding one’s own business.”
If we only mind our own business, we are trapped forever in the vice of those who don’t.