Mass Shooting: The Mirror of Moral Pessimism of The Nation

February 27, 2018
President Donald J. Trump meets with state and local officials to discuss school safety | February 22, 2018 (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

What was it that President Trump promised, intended, was elected to reverse? The collapse of the winning optimism, the industrial prowess, the productive spirit of America. Let's stop starting wars, he said, and rebuild our nation, industry, infrastructure, economy, put "our footsteps on distant worlds." His target, whether he precisely called it this or not, was the deepening pessimism of an America which had once led mankind into space.

For those intentions, the President himself became the target, of those who insist on America-always-at-war, and America back in great power confrontation with China and Russia rather than in great power cooperation for peace and economic progress.

For the neo-Conservatives ascendant during the Bush and Obama Presidencies, and for unfortunate millions of Americans, the United States has become a nation for which "winning" means only being the best at identifying adversary "regimes", "tribes" or peoples and killing them, along with the odd terrorist group these wars spin off.

In the course of this identification — or creation — of adversaries and preparations to kill them, both neo-Conservative and liberal establishments attribute their own practices to those "adversaries" — a "mirror trap." The astonishing recent report of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) which stated that China is preparing for pre-emptive cruise missile strikes on Washington and assassinations of U.S. leaders while invading Taiwan, is typical of the "new Cold War" hysteria. China's very long history shows no such actions; the United States' last 50 years is full of them, and they have multiplied in the last 20. China's Global Times rightly answered the CSIS outrage by naming it "U.S. frightened by its own mirror image."

Mass public shootings of Americans themselves by Americans, mirror that cultural and moral pessimism.

Americans should be frightened by the image of the mass shooters in the mirror: imagining themselves snipers and special forces, ridding themselves of imagined enemies, always with suicide the ultimate goal. All but one of the 25 worst mass shootings in America's history have occurred since 1980. The 1950s and 1960s — with gun laws unreformed, but with the strong pull of scientific and economic optimism and a nation exporting atomic power and looking toward space — saw just six such public shooting outbreaks in 20 years.

In 1999, when the "Columbine massacre" occurred (despite a national assault-weapons ban), EIR Founder Lyndon LaRouche wrote that Littleton, Colorado, had suffered "an omen for our time.... How does one corrupt innocent children into becoming psychotic-like killers? The quick answer to that question, is: Dehumanize the image of man.... It is no oversimplification to say, that once that first step, dehumanizing the image of man, is accomplished, the axiomatic basis has been established, to make war, and killing, merely a childish game..."

And how does one now restore the image of man in the universe, and of a nation helping other nations in development of "the common aims of mankind"? "Winning" actually means "win-win." Commit to the Belt and Road Initiative of great infrastructure projects in collaboration with China and 60 other nations. Launch back into space exploration, as in the Apollo Project, with the other spacefaring nations. See to America's economy before it is hit by another financial crash, by imposing Glass-Steagall on Wall Street and generating development credit as Alexander Hamilton did it.

LaRouche's "four new laws to save the nation" spell this out, and offer the basis for mobilization to use this year's elections for good.

But the 50 years since President Kennedy was killed have been a growing nightmare for America. To return to what it means to be human — the real subject of his 1999 reflection on Columbine — is the fundamental thing.