In the wake of the George Tiller assassination and in the context of mainstream conservatives’ hissy fits upon the release of the Department of Homeland Security report about right-wing extremists, Steven Waldman, editor-in-chief of BeliefNet, has a thoughtful post about how conservatives ought to react to right-wing extremists. Key quote:
Conservatives should have said, “Here! Here! We applaud the efforts to clamp down on terrorism, crime and extremists.” After all, most conservatives have nothing to do with, and deplore, violent extremists. Instead, by saying the report was an attack on conservatism in general, the conservatives — not the government — blurred the lines between the violent extremes and the conservative mainstream. …
We’ll have to wait on the details on both cases but at first glance Roeder seems exactly the sort of person that the DHS warned about.
The report suggested that the bad economy and the election of a black president could stimulate more anger and activity from “violent anti-government groups.” Far from attacking anti-abortion activists in general, as many claimed, the report instead noted white supremacists’ “longstanding exploitation of social issues such as abortion.”