Friday, June 16, 2017

The Party of Love Learns How to Hate

How did the party of love get mired in hatred? How did the party that has been selling compassion and empathy become consumed with rage over those who did not share its noble sentiments? How did the party that stood proud against extremism become a hotbed of extremist thoughts and extremist actions?

Liberality used to involve tolerance, especially for those who voiced different opinions.  Now, leftists promote intolerance for those who are not sufficiently tolerant and who have not pledged allegiance to the gods of groupthink.  

In a phrase often misattributed to Voltaire, Emily Beatrice Hall wrote that even if she disagreed with your thought she would defend to the death your right to say it. Nowadays, people who consider themselves to be champions of the first amendment have carved-out exceptions and have rendered everything that they do not agree with hate speech—to be proscribed by any means necessary. 

And then, the party that prides itself on its superior mental health and emotional serenity, the party of therapy, now indulges in an orgy of vitriol and vilification… as though extreme emotions were a sign of moral superiority. Could it be that all that therapy was really designed to make you into a mindless fanatic led around by the most vulgar passions? That would certainly be one hell of a surprise.

We are a few months into the Trump presidency and already the wheels are coming off the national carriage. In the past few days, numerous writers have tried to capture the national mood. Here are a few of the best.

Peggy Noonan described the media climate well this morning in the Wall Street Journal:

The media climate now, in both news and entertainment, is too often of a goading, insinuating resentment, a grinding, agitating antipathy. You don’t need another recitation of the events of just the past month or so. A comic posed with a gruesome bloody facsimile of President Trump’s head. New York’s rightly revered Shakespeare in the Park put on a “Julius Caesar” in which the assassinated leader is made to look like the president. A CNN host—amazingly, of a show on religion—sent out a tweet calling the president a “piece of s—” who is “a stain on the presidency.” An MSNBC anchor wondered, on the air, whether the president wishes to “provoke” a terrorist attack for political gain. Earlier Stephen Colbert, well known as a good man, a gentleman, said of the president, in a rant: “The only thing your mouth is good for is being Vladimir Putin’s c— holster.” Those are but five dots in a larger, darker pointillist painting. You can think of more.

As mentioned yesterday on this blog, the media elites who spew this poison take pride in their courage.

Noonan continues:

By indulging their and their audience’s rage, they spread the rage. They celebrate themselves as brave for this. They stood up to the man, they spoke truth to power. But what courage, really, does that take? Their audiences love it. Their base loves it, their demo loves it, their bosses love it. Their numbers go up. They get a better contract. This isn’t brave.

Of course, they blame it on Trump, because, in truth, he did not elevate the tone of the national debate:

And it’s no good, no excuse, to say Trump did it first, he lowered the tone, it’s his fault. Your response to his low character is to lower your own character? He talks bad so you do? You let him destabilize you like this? You are making a testimony to his power.

So many of our media figures need at this point to be reminded: You belong to something. It’s called: us.

Do your part, take it down a some notches, cool it. We have responsibilities to each other.

And then, Camille Paglia, having apparently banned— for politically incorrect beliefs and for offenses against leftist dogma-- from the leftist media offered her views in an interview in the Weekly Standard(via Maggie’s Farm). She attempted to capture and to analyze the political climate:

In an abject failure of leadership that may be one of the most disgraceful episodes in the history of the modern Democratic party, Chuck Schumer, who had risen to become the Senate Democratic leader after the retirement of Harry Reid, asserted absolutely no moral authority as the party spun out of control in a nationwide orgy of rage and spite. Nor were there statesmanlike words of caution and restraint from two seasoned politicians whom I have admired for decades and believe should have run for president long ago—Senator Dianne Feinstein and Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi. How do Democrats imagine they can ever expand their electoral support if they go on and on in this self-destructive way, impugning half the nation as vile racists and homophobes?
And also:

 Many highly educated, upper-middle-class Democrats regard themselves as exemplars of "compassion" (which they have elevated into a supreme political principle) and yet they routinely assail Trump voters as ignorant, callous hate-mongers. These elite Democrats occupy an amorphous meta-realm of subjective emotion, theoretical abstractions, and refined language.

Of course, the left abhors violence. To the roots of its being it despises those who would fling civil discourse on a bonfire of inanities. And yet, the left has become the nation’s leading purveyor of political violence. Who could have imagined such a thing?

John Hineraker explains it on the Powerline blog (via Maggie’sFarm);

It is fair to say that violence has been incited by the leading cultural voices of the Left, who every evening on television call President Trump a Nazi, a fascist, a racist, a misogynist and a traitor; who denounce him in similar terms in every entertainment awards show; who were calling for his impeachment before he was inaugurated; who condone rioters who, wearing black masks, smash store windows with bricks and assault Republicans; who make it impossible for a conservative to give a speech on a college campus; who say, every day, that Republicans are trying to make everyone sick and destroy the planet; who display the president’s severed head as a trophy and enact his assassination in Central Park; and so on ad infinitum.

Comparisons, Shakespeare once said, are odorous. Attempts at drawing a moral equivalence between leftist and rightist calls to violence have fallen flat… especially in a climate where the left has been producing more than its fair share of domestic terrorists:

They can bridle all they want, but when has a Republican proudly displayed the severed, bloody head of Nancy Pelosi? Or Chuck Schumer? Or Barack Obama? When have Republicans thrown bricks through store windows or assaulted Democrats on the street? When have Republicans rioted to prevent Democrats from speaking on college campuses? When have Republicans accused Nancy Pelosi or Chuck Schumer of treason? When have Republicans sent provocateurs into Democratic presidential rallies to start fights? When have Republicans urged “Resistance” against a Democratic president who they claim is a Nazi?

Obviously, those who are fighting in what they call the Resistance are living in a time warp. The French Resistance was a domestic insurgency, led by people whose identities were unknown. As everyone knows, the Resistance enjoyed very little real success in the campaign against the collaborationist Vichy government. If France had had to rely on the Resistance its national language would today be German. 

Moreover, in a political culture that rests on the notion of the loyal opposition, the French resistance was the model of the disloyal opposition. Hinderaker writes:

What do the Democrats mean by “Resistance”? Obviously, they mean to evoke the resistance against Nazi Germany by the French and others. Seriously? Are they completely demented? Perhaps they are. But the French Resistance, the Norwegian Resistance, et al., didn’t rely on pamphlets and op-eds. They used firearms. Is it really a surprise that one avid Democrat took up arms to Resist on his party’s behalf? And how likely is it that more Democrats will Resist with firearms?


Ares Olympus said...

It seems like "The dark side of empathy" explains all.

Jesus tried to correct that moral failings of empathy 2000 years ago, but somehow we didn't get that inconvenient message.

Matthew 5:43-48
43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,
45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
46 If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?
47 And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?
48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Even the tax collector needs our love! But Jesus also told Christians to give away all their possessions and follow him and obvious that's not the America way.
23 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.
24 Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

Still, Jesus never told anyone to become a Democrat to be generous with someone else's riches, never said that I'm sure.

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

The party of victims who are now violent criminals. But they also believe the violent criminals are victims, so it's circular.

"And how likely is it that more Democrats will Resist with firearms?"

Well, the Democrats are the party of gun control. Can't imagine why Republicans might be interested in CPLs.

Sam L. said...

WAITAMINUTE! Chuck Schumer has, or is supposed to have, "moral authority"?? I think not.

"Of course, the left abhors violence. To the roots of its being it despises those who would fling civil discourse on a bonfire of inanities. And yet, the left has become the nation’s leading purveyor of political violence. Who could have imagined such a thing?"

OOH, OOH! Mr. Kot-tair!! I would! Because they lie.

Anonymous said...

Black rifles matter

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said...

And the digital vomitorium Salon gets the issue right again:

Get yourself a CPL if your state allows it. You just might need it. Your right to keep and bear arms is yours, so long as the politicians know you value it.

David Foster said...

I have a new post up: Craziness, Conformity, Cowardice, and Cruelty

Sam L. said...

The learned to hate, you said. Yes, and long ago. See the SPLC.

Ares Olympus said...

Ignatius Acton Chesterton OCD said... The party of victims who are now violent criminals. But they also believe the violent criminals are victims, so it's circular.

I'm confused. Who is calling James Thomas Hodgkinson a victim?!

How is this any different than Robert Lewis Dear, Jr 20 months ago at a planned parenthood clinic shouting "No more baby parts!"?

It's just another old white man trained in mass-murder losing his grip on reality and trying to murder his scapegoats. That's the story when you filter out partisan rhetoric that may encourage violence.

But it's just another day, another mass shooting in the land of freedom.
From January 1 to June 14, there have been 154 shootings in which four or more people were injured or killed.

We're a land of fear where people carry guns to protect themselves, and end up being shot dead by police afraid of people carrying guns.

Or, maybe we're at a 50 year low on homicide with a record number of guns? And the most interesting reason why violence has declined might be a decrease of lead in the environment.
Lead is toxic, and it can affect the behavior of children who are exposed to the metal while their brains are still developing. After the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970, refiners were required to sell unleaded gasoline. Jessica Reyes, an economist at Amherst College, has argued that the children born after that law took effect breathed in less lead from car exhaust and that their brains were healthier as a result She has estimated that the removal of lead reduced violent crime by no less than 56 percent. Other researchers are skeptical that lead could have caused such a large decline in U.S. violence, but many agree that the Clean Air Act had some effect on crime.

Anonymous said...

AO: Yes, you are confused. Read what IAC said. The man's ideology was victimhoom. He believed and sold it to all who would listen. Wake up.

Ares Olympus said...

p.s. At least one voice on the right has decided that his past hateful rhetoric isn't making the world a better place.
“I have re-evaluated my approach,” he told Curtis Sliwa and Eboni Williams on 77 WABC radio in New York. He said he was a “street fighter” who used “certain harsh terms.”

He did not mention the terms, but he has called President Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel” and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton a “worthless bitch,” among other things.

But he said he plans to watch himself now. “At the tender age of 69, my wife has convinced me that I just can’t use those harsh terms. I cannot, and I will not”

His comments came one day after an attacker opened fire on Republicans practicing for a baseball game. Six people were injured ― including two members of Congress ― and the gunman was killed in the attack in Alexandria, Virginia.

“I’m going to take a deep breath, and I’m going to back it down, and if it gets fiery, if it gets hateful, I’m going away,” he said. “I’m not going to engage in that kind of hateful rhetoric anymore.”

Nugent said he wouldn’t make excuses for his “wild-ass comments” made while on stage but blamed it on the “adrenaline and intensity” when performing.

He said he would be “feisty” and “passionate,” but added, “I will avoid anything that can be interpreted as condoning or referencing violence.”

However, Nugent is now promising to turn down the volume on his rhetoric and called on others to do the same.

“Here’s the battle cry for America: zero violence.”

Let's hope this political shooting is a wake up call for everyone. At least it got everyone's attention that Dems and Reps can play baseball together in honest competition. Myself, I never heard of the baseball game before.

Anonymous said...

This comment doesn't make anything any better, AO. I don't believe what you write here.

David Foster said...

Re the article about Lead and "gun violence"....if one wanted to study the effect of lead poisoning on violent behavior, why on earth would one focus specifically on "gun violence" rather than on murders of all types? Does anyone really believe that high concentrations of lead would encourage killing with guns, but not with knives, stangulation, etc?

I sense intellectual dishonesty somewhere, whether it be the WP headline writer, the article writer, or the original researchers I'm not sure.

Ares Olympus said...

David Foster said... Re the article about Lead and "gun violence"....if one wanted to study the effect of lead poisoning on violent behavior, why on earth would one focus specifically on "gun violence" rather than on murders of all types?

Good point, certainly an open question. But it makes sense that killing is easier with a gun than other weapons. Overall lead exposure in kids lowers IQ. Lead-retarded people without guns might still be violent but likely fewer deaths. Similarly for alcohol of course.

My rule might be: if your IQ is too low to be in the army, its too low to have a constitutional right to own a gun. But I understand America is too liberally-minded for such common sense.

And of course the same wish has been suggested about voter-rights - if you're too stupid for the army, perhaps you should leave voting to others. And the courts rejected that as well. Still voting doesn't kill anyone directly.