James Pinkerton, Newsday columnist and Fox News contributor, picks up on James Lewis' coverage of the English Department at Virginia Tech, and its possible influence on the hatreds of Cho. From his Newsday column:
Lewis is on to something here. But in the end, this sociopathic act of mass killing can't be blamed on the political left, just as it can't blamed on the right.
Why? Because Cho was obviously disturbed in a way that transcends any ideological category. And so the search for meaning, for explanation, must travel past politics into the deepest recesses of a blackened human heart to a place where we confront an unfashionable but enduring reality - the existence of evil.
Speaking for myself, not Lewis, I am not certain there is much substantive difference between the two men. Most assuredly, Cho came to VT with mental problems, and most certainly he opened himself to evil, allowing those eternal forces to act through him.
But which evil ideas? They come in all varieties, and seek all kinds of objects, from obsessive hatred of Jews, an ancient favorite, to obsessive hatred of fornicators, polluters, or pornographers. From what we can tell (and that is not so much), Cho hated a lot of targets, and adopted a pose of rebellion influenced by a lethal mix of hormones and ideology.
In a different context, one in which victimology was not seen as a justification for violent rebellion (Che lives!), who knows what channels Cho's derangement might have taken? Not all mentally ill people turn violent, and it is at least possible that the environment sends important signals conditioning the behavior of the insane.