Before I say anything else, let me be explicit: what happened in Tuscon, Arizona over the weekend was a tragedy. Six people lost their lives for no reason whatsoever. As more information about the shooting and the would-be assassin comes to light, it becomes clear that this was not an issue of politics, but an issue of mental illness.
In fact, as one studies Jared Loughner, his past and his rants one thing becomes clear about his politics - they mirror the schizophrenia of the American system, where we want government safety nets and services to care for the most vulnerable among us, but we also want personal freedom to act and make decisions for ourselves.
Despite an unhealthy catalogue of anti-government rants that echo some of the criticisms of government programs coming from the American right, Loughner for some reason lists the Communist Manifesto among his favorite pieces of literature.
Though many of us politically passionate Americans sifted through the facts of the case looking for something, anything to pin the shooter up to one party or another - many liberals were convinced that Loughner was a Tea Party activist, while many conservatives tried to prop him up as an ultra-leftist due to the appearance of Marx and Engel's manifesto on his reading list.
As it turns out, there should be a lot of red faces on both sides of the political aisle today.
No, Loughner should be thought of as neither liberal nor conservative, Democratic nor Republican - he is insane and that is the end of it.
We can, however, gain some positive from this unspeakable tragedy by coming together as a nation should during such times, and working to rid our political dialgogue of the angry rhetoric that comes from individuals like Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachman and Glenn Beck. These voices and their words of hate have no place in civil society.