(And, as of Spring 2019, this blog is also an accidental Iron Man shrine. Oops!)

Friday, June 16, 2017

Rant: Stop with the False Equivalencies

No, "everyone" does not need to simmer down.

No, the right does not "do it too." Not as extensively and not with the same viciousness.

No, Sarah Palin's crosshairs map was not an invitation to shoot Gabby Giffords.  Everyone who is not an imbecile understands that it was a call to vote Giffords out of her office using a metaphor that was and is thoroughly typical of American political parlance. And while we're at it, cease the autistic screeching about the occasional Obama effigy. Though that is indeed an example of violent imagery targeted at a sitting president, such effigies were never hoisted by conservatives of note and were never condoned by the same.

The right was intemperate at times in its opposition to Obama. There was a lot of nonsense floating around that suggested he was not born in the U.S. and was secretly a Muslim. (Personally, I think he's just a practical atheist wearing a Christian skin suit, but that's neither here nor there.) There was talk of his being a tyrant -- and a traitor to boot. (Whereas I think he's just a hideously misguided red diaper baby who, yes, abused his power on several occasions through a lack of understanding of our Constitution.) And yes, in certain dark corners of the internet, there were trolls wishing for his assassination.

But overall, the Tea Party Movement and its offshoots, for all their flaws, were peaceful. I don't recall any incident in which a Tea Party protest devolved into a destructive riot. On the contrary, when Tea Partiers demonstrated against Obamacare and excessive taxation in general, they left their rally grounds cleaner than they found them. The vast, vast majority of these folks didn't seek out Obama supporters to harass or cudgel for disagreeing with the Tea Party's aims, and they didn't make excuses for anyone who did misbehave.

The same cannot be said about the left. While there are many on that side of the aisle (like the center-left liberals I follow on YouTube) who absolutely abhor political violence, there are also many who don't -- and the members of that faction are not as marginalized as their analogs on the right. In fact, the thuggery of Antifa and BLM protestors has been repeatedly rationalized by leftwing writers with sizable audiences.

The rightwing blogosphere has never seriously entertained the idea that it's okay to punch commies who've done nothing but espouse their lunatic views.

I have never seen a rightwing group flood a college lecture hall to shout down a speaker the right doesn't like. I've certainly never seen a rightwing group set a campus on fire to prevent a leftwing speech or teach-in from going forward.

I've never seen a rightwing celebrity pose in a photo shoot with a mock-up of a leftwing politician's severed head.

I've never seen conservatives endorse the harassment of ordinary leftwing Americans who are just trying to go about their business. No rightwinger has ever videoed himself screaming and hollering at a total stranger for displaying a Clinton campaign sign on a front lawn - or selling an LGBT flag in a discount shop - because he was confident his fellow rightwingers would think his tantrum was "awesome."

Rightwingers don't hit leftwingers first. They respond.

There is a difference between the left and the right -- a very real difference. The two sides are not equally at fault for our (currently) cold civil war, and to claim otherwise is utter foolishness.

Update: It's just come over the wire now that two Trump supporters have rushed the stage at the Shakespeare in the Park rendition of Julius Caesar in New York City. So, okay -- rightwingers now have one attempt to use the heckler's veto on their record. I think my general argument still stands, however. We're still looking at a difference in degree large enough to be considered a difference in kind.

Further Update: Please don't make a liar out of me, conservatives. I understand that you are frustrated by the asymmetry I described in the original post above. I understand that you're sick of being held to high standards while the left is getting away with bloody murder. I am too! But it's still wrong to try to silence the other side to "give them a taste of their own medicine." Surely we can think of a more creative way to inflict pain for bad behavior that does not involve jettisoning our principles. Please, for the love of God and free speech, use your imagination.

Update III: Yeah, what Nicki said.

18 comments:

  1. The Left are using "Mein Kampf" as their playbook, as they have been since OTraitor directly quoted passages out of it in his campaign speeches during the 2008 Presidential campaign. That is the biggest difference between the Left and the right: The Left CALL us "Nazis," whereas they themselves, for all intents and purposes, ARE Nazis.

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  2. In calling for an end to false equivalencies, you've suggested a false equivalency: Obama was a traitor. And he was a foreign muslim.

    No, Obama was definitely a muslim. It was no secret. And there's no proof he was born in any particular place. All the evidence of his birthplace burned up in a fire, and then the registrar who would have access to those records died in a plane crash. So, probably nothing to see there.

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  3. "Whereas I think he's just a hideously misguided red diaper baby who, yes, abused his power on several occasions through a lack of understanding of our Constitution."

    I have this memory (no doubt false) of Obama being touted as a "Constitutional scholar".

    The above quote of your text implies that Obama wouldn't have done X if he realized that X was not allowed by the Constitution.

    I believe that Obama would do anything that he thought he could get away with, Constitution be damned.

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    1. Mark Flacy, "...Obama would do anything that he thought he could get away with, Constitution be damned". His understanding of the Constitution was PRECISELY what he needed to be equipped to destroy it, while smiling to the cameras. Truly, a "Master Manipulator", just like the Totalitarians before him.

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  4. I have to take issue with you description of the protesters (Jack & Laura from Canadian Rebel Media) of the Julius Caesar as using the "heckler's veto".

    The definition of heckler's veto is 'In the free speech context, a heckler's veto comprises either of two situations in which a person who disagrees with a speaker's message is able to unilaterally trigger events that result in the speaker being silenced.'

    The play was not silenced, it was not stopped, it was interrupted, briefly. All Jack and Laura managed to do was make themselves look like asses.

    If I stand up in a crowded movie theater and yell this movie is garbage and all you people are morons, I have not silenced the movie or gotten it shut down. I only interrupted it, and made myself look stupid. So no heckler's veto.

    The rabid feminists who stood up and screeched while smearing their faces with supposed period blood during Milo Yiannopolous' speech at Rutgers, they did not silence him. The speech went on just the same, they only managed to make a spectacle of themselves. Again no heckler's veto.

    However Milo's speech at DePaul was shutdown using the heckler's veto. Not only did they storm the stage, the took the microphones and even threatened violence, because they unilaterally triggered events that result in the speaker being silenced because the speech could not go on.

    That does not mean what Jack & Laura did was right. They exercised their right to interrupt, and made themselves jerks and nobody has to respect them for doing it.

    What they did afterwards only reinforces my negative opinion of their motives. Their justifications were just so much SJW-like garbage, the whole incident seems more like a desperate grab for attention. But again it was not the heckler's veto.

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  5. You are missing the point. The accusations are designed to elicit the exact thing that they did here, an attempt at proving your virtue. The moment someone says something that could be construed as mean or racist, that becomes the issue. You then work diligently to accomplish what the left is trying to do; drive conservatives out of the public square.

    The tea party was successful not because they cleaned up the parks but because they cleaned up in Congress. They beat the Democrats, they essentially stopped the implementation of the Obama agenda.

    The left has moved the battleground away from where they cannot win. They have counted on the moderate right from shying away from conflict, and own the academia, the culture and much of the media. They will use violence if necessary to maintain those positions. And being nice is only ceding the ground.

    The theater interruptions have publicized that the left is entertaining themselves with assassination. On queue the moderate right decries the lack of manners of those who would dare bring those things to the attention of the wider public.

    Make those who would entertain themselves with assassination fantasies defend themselves. Listen carefully as they do so with vigor. Hear them describe how any means to meet their objective of power should be used. Then make sure anyone who would consider voting for them knows what type of people they are.

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  6. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  7. Unless I actually HEAR about some of these 'creative ways' to strike back, I will remain muted in my response in how the most frustrated on my side acts.

    Because incentives matter. Why would the Left 'share' civil rights as long as they enjoy full civil rights and their enemies do not?

    They need to pay a price for their attitude. Even massive electoral losses hasn't changed their stance. They show no shame and they justify EVERYTHING. If it gives them power, it is good.

    So WHEN you can come up with these awesome but never detailed potential plans, I will be on board. Otherwise, I will show the same lip service that the Deans and Mayor of Berkeley show for Free Speech for everyone.

    At some point, as someone who values their Free Speech Rights, we need to be willing to fight for them and not just wish they are gifted to us by the Left.

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  8. Sorry, turning the other cheek, going the extra mile, hasn't exactly worked out for us in the culture war. What it does is convince people on our side that they are alone; isolated in a sea of people - a majority - who despise them.

    The reason Trump won is that he would not play nice. He would not utter the banalities about crossing the aisle. He would not go along with the bi-partisan Ruling Class. It's why he's under attack from both the Left and the NeverTrump Right. For the latter its a style point. After a lifetime seeking acceptance from the people that hate them, the "Respectable Right" has learned to love Big Brother.

    They deserve each other.

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  9. So the Iran deal was simply misguided?

    It's hard so see what Obama did in that process as anything other than working as a representative of Iran.

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  10. For the last fifty years, political violence has been the almost exclusive purvey of the Left. All violence does is attract are more of the same (whack-jobs.) Justifying or apologizing for it is viewed in the same vein as those who commit the actual assault. You, the press, are inciting it.

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  11. Sorry, but I find the idea of a professor of Constitutional law having "a lack of understanding of our Constitution" to be a laugable notion. He knew--and still knows--the Constitution inside-and-out, exploiting every loop hole and the general ignorance--and laziness--of the populace to his advantage.

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    1. Obama was a lecturer, not a full professor. He also derided the whole point of the Constitution - limits on government authority - as being a mass of "negative rights" held by individuals - like freedom of association, or right to bear arms - rather than "positive rights" like a "right" to health care.

      This indicates not a misunderstanding, not ignorance, but a contempt for the Constitution as it exists and as it was designed. To hell with that, and to hell with him.

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  12. So the Puritans were to be condemned for standing up at bear baitings and declaring that everybody involved should be ashamed of themselves?
    Bullpucky.
    Some things deserve to be denounced.
    And smug public support of assassinating a political opponent is one of them.
    Doing so does not make us "just like the left".

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  13. Ridiculous. "Don't make me a liar."

    You play by your rules and you will not have a United States that you recognize when the next generation of radicals controls all the powerful cultural institutions that the Boomer leftists infiltrated. Increasingly, it is becoming clear that the Alt-Right are the only ones who actually get WTF is going on in the west.

    So you actually think this kind of piece is contributing to the fight? Honestly? If so, you are delusional. The left destroys lives at the drop of a hat for pure power political reasons (see Eich, Brendan--and too many others to count).

    You are a slow learner, but hopefully it won't require losing the country before the rest of the right figures out that this war is not going to be won by ballots alone. "Make them play by their own rules," a great activist once said.

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  14. The left's false equivalencies are analogous to a serial killer bitterly complaining that a mugger is just as evil because they are also violent.

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  15. The Laws of War are enforced, not in the courts, but through reprisals. A reprisal is an action that would be a war crime if it was not taken in reprisal for a war crime. Yes, civilized people can do everything the left does in reprisal and remain civilized people, something that the left has never been.
    May God help us and defend us from needing to spill blood to stop them, because we will even if they don't believe it.

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  16. Just to be clear:

    There is another false equivalency: That of when one is repeatedly slapped in the face, being equally culpable of unsolicited violence at slapping someone back.

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