Some elements of the press have been quick to marginalize alleged Tucson triggerman Jared Lee Loughner as merely a twisted mental case, but some of his muddled rhetoric echoes the political views of the far-right, anti-tax Sovereign Citizen Movement.
Loughner’s obsession with grammar, and his seemingly nonsensical math and talk about paying debts with money not backed by gold and silver seem like the rantings of a young man who is losing his mind. Perhaps so. But they’re also the talking points of the Sovereign Citizens, who believe they aren’t required to pay income taxes on their earnings. They also believe that the Constitution essentially exempts them from following federal law.
That might seem strange, but in my travels around Nevada I’ve spoken with a number of “patriots” whose Libertarian philosophy contains many of the same beliefs and federal government bugaboos.
Sovereign Citizens don’t just have meetings. They occasionally make headlines. They have been responsible for shooting a doctor who provided abortions as well as a couple members of Arkansas law enforcement. You may also count among their cult heroes the late Oklahoma City bomber and mass murderer Timothy McVey.