So far, I've written mostly about religion here. But I just ran across this example of what political belief can lead folks to do, another aspect of belief that I am quite interested in.
It seems that fiveDemocratic Party activists in Wisconsin have been charged with criminal damage to property for the slashing of tires on 25 of about 100 vehicles Republican Party activists had rented in order to get poll watchers and voters to the polls last November on Election Day. You can see the whole story, as reported by CNN, here. One of those charged is the son of a congresswoman and another is the son of the former acting mayor of Milwaukee.
In a way, it seems like a silly prank. Those who carried it out probably saw it that way, as a silly little action that would have the result of advancing the interests of their party and their candidates. But that's exactly how some of the principals in the Watergate scandal saw their activities as well, and that little prank nearly tore the United States apart. So it isn't just a prank; it's an offensive act. I'm a registered Democrat, and my first reaction to seeing that story is that those folks should be ridden out of the party on a rail, preferrably tarred and feathered. Which is why I am so interested in what made them do such a thing. They had to know that it was not only illegal but unethical. Yet they went ahead and did it. Just like a lot of people go ahead and do things they know will not reflect positively on themselves and the institutions they represent.
So, did they act out of belief, or just out of rank stupidity? Unfortunately, there is a good chance that they did it out of belief in their cause.