I’m never going to forget, or forgive, the Left’s stomach-churning effort to turn the Tucson shootings into a political attack on me, and people who share my beliefs. They should be ashamed of themselves, forever.
The memory of that insane “Climate of Hate” garbage should be kept alive, as permanent evidence of the left wing’s descent into fascism and the most brutal variety of hate-based identity politics.
Not many of the liberal writers who pushed that slander were ever held to account for it. Editorial standards at major newspapers simply evaporated to accommodate screeds blaming everything from Sarah Palin’s political map, to Rush Limbaugh’s radio show, to everyone who didn’t vote for Barack Obama for Jared Loughner’s crime. This wasn’t just an overnight media embarrassment – it started before the bodies were even cold, and it went on for months. It didn’t stop even when President Obama made a very mild, non-specific observation at a major speech that people should respect each other’s viewpoints a bit more, or at least stop blaming one another for inspiring violence.
Of course, Obama didn’t name any names, or call his own side out for what they had done – he made it sound as if people from every side of the political spectrum were blaming their opponents for driving Loughner to murder, and everyone should take an equally deep breath. That’s one reason his oratory didn’t make much difference. His supporters just thought, well of course he isn’t talking about us, and banged out the next hate-slathered tirade blaming small-government conservatives for the Tucson shooting.
Today we find ourselves with a man clearly of the Left, Vester Lee Flanagan II, who explicitly justified his hideous crimes as political acts. If the manifesto he supposedly submitted to ABC News is genuine – and I don’t believe, at the time of this writing, its authenticity has been seriously challenged – he portrayed himself as a soldier in a “race war,” said he was lashing out because he had been “attacked for being a gay, black man,” and claimed to have marked his bullets with the initials of the Charleston church shooting victims.
Thus does yet another vicious idiot miss the true lesson of Charleston, which is that a black congregation welcomed a freaky-looking white kid into their prayer service, where he lurked for an hour before opening fire. The brightness of their deeds should not be obscured by the darkness of his.
I will not blame any group of people, large or small, for Flanagan’s actions, because I am not a leftist. I will not treat people as drones in a hive. I have the same disagreements with radical “community organizers” and race hustlers that I did a week ago. I am not interested in silencing them by accusing them of complicity in a twisted and evil man’s murderous deeds. This “Climate of Hate” crap from the Left is all about suppressing free speech and crushing dissent. I believe conservatives must be vigorous defenders of free speech, because it is so obviously under assault.You’re not a very enthusiastic defender of free speech if your message to the opposition is, “Shut up before you inspire another murder.”
It is the Left that believes victory lies not in persuasion and competition, but through imposing conformity and outlawing dissent. They think “winning an argument” means silencing your opponents. We should leave those tactics to them.
But we must also be clear, and ceaselessly remind the many Americans who are not ideologically committed, that the Left does embrace those tactics. I don’t think it’s possible to make that case by politely refusing to indulge base political impulses and silently setting a noble example. We get no credit for it. They’re not shamed in the least. They think we’re foolish to lace up our kid gloves while they keep slamming their knees into our groins. The political rules of engagement in America haven’t changed: liberals can be as nasty and hateful as they please, then hand each other awards for being high-minded and civil.
Only a few days ago, Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) accused Republican Governor and presidential candidate Scott Walker of “tightening the noose, literally” around the necks of African-Americans. She adamantly refuses to apologize for making the comment. In fact, she accused him of “racial polarization”… in the same breath that she admitted, “maybe he doesn’t say things that are objectionable.”
On this very morning, as angry demands for civility in decorously reporting the Flanagan murders without a spot of responsibility for left-wing rhetoric are made, Hillary Clinton is busy comparing the Republican presidential candidates to ISIS:
Clinton says she expects “extreme views” on women’s rights from “terrorist groups,” but not “Republicans who want to be President.”
— Dan Merica (@danmericaCNN) August 27, 2015
In other words, it’s the same old Climate of Hate fascism the likes of Paul Krugman were pushing the morning after Tucson: dissent from liberal orthodoxy is morally equivalent to stringing people up from trees. This is a blatant assertion that obedience and capitulation to left-wing power fantasies is mandatory. No disagreement is permitted. Even if you’re a polite, pleasant fellow who never says a bad word, you’ll be diagnosed with Klan-style “racism” or ISIS-style “sexism” and literally shipped off to a gulag. (How do you like that word “literally” now, Rep. Moore?)
The Left is busy politicizing the Virginia murders against conservatives right now. Once again, they started before the bodies were even cold, with creatures like Hillary Clinton jumping out to insist on more gun control laws… without feeling it necessary to make the slightest effort to explain how any of their new laws would have interfered with Flanagan’s vile act. Let me know when Clinton thinks people who file a lot of sexual and racial harassment claims should be stripped of their Second Amendment rights.
When anyone who can be even tenuously connected to the Right commits a violent act, we get the “Climate of Hate” screech from liberals. When an avowed left-winger and Obama supporter commits murder, it’s the NRA’s fault, because their beloved guns are imbued with hypnotic powers similar to Sauron’s One Ring, and can seduce good liberals to murder, nine milimeters at a time. This asinine assault on free speech and the integrity of decent American citizens cannot be repelled by merely ignoring it. We must never stop reminding the masses of how repulsive the Left really is.
We can begin by spotlighting their gun-control insanity, which is an aspect of their totalitarian mindset. That’s not because liberals harbor jackboot fantasies about disarmed citizens helpless before their will. It’s because gun control is one of many ways in which the Left teaches good, law-abiding people to feel like criminals. The point of the exercise – the reason liberals keep hammering away at gun control, shamelessly using every convenient murder victim as a political prop – is to make everyone who owns a gun, seriously thinks about buying a gun, or even stands up for the Second Amendment rights of others, feel like a cog in a murder machine, an unindicted co-conspirator in all that crime boiling through the streets of Democrat cities. Pushing that idea is as almost as useful to the Left as winning actual legislative gun-control victories would be. Collective power can only be expanded if the masses are taught to view themselves as people who need to be punished and controlled by their betters.
Does anyone feel a bit of whiplash watching this latest outburst of gun-control fulmination only days after liberal politicians and media figures saluted the heroes of the French high-speed train for taking down a jihadi before he could commit mass murder? The narrative in that case involved praising ordinary citizens for taking action when the authorities weren’t on the scene to protect them. But now we’re supposed to loathe the idea of equipping citizens for effective self-defense, and putting them on an equal footing with terrorists and crooks?
The battle of the French railway involved six courageous unarmed men, several of them with military training, taking down one armed perpetrator. One of the heroes was maimed with a box cutter; another took a bullet in the neck; and they all got lucky because the terrorist’s weapon reportedly jammed. How many of us have six capable and fearless men standing by to tackle armed predators? Why are we supposed to surrender our Constitutional rights to self-defense because Flanagan just proved how important they are, by filming his stalking and murder of unarmed victims and uploading it to social media?
I would like to call for everyone to avoid politicizing the Virginia murders… but it’s too late, because liberals politicized them while the police were still chasing the perp. Now they’re covering their flank with hyper-sensitive screams that every fact of the case they find politically inconvenient must be suppressed, downplayed, or at least stashed in the nether paragraphs of reports, not placed in the headlines… as their pet media would surely do, if there was any way to portray Flanagan as the exponent of a demographic or ideology the Left hates.
However, I’ll do my part to de-politicize this horrible story by declaring that no one else is responsible for Flanagan’s crime. No one should be silenced because he wrote approvingly of their rhetoric. No enthusiastic proponent of left-wing ideas should be made to feel like an accomplice to the killings. It’s not Barack Obama’s fault, nor did the victims bring it upon themselves. It’s not the NRA’s fault. A young woman who bought a gun for protection somewhere in America last week is not culpable. Neither is Rep. Gwen Moore, no matter how much divisive race-baiting rhetoric she slings. Vester Lee Flanagan II is responsible.
The people trying to use his victims as leverage for their power grabs are equally responsible for what they say. Those who sustain political narratives in the media by lavishing saturation coverage on some stories, while ignoring and downplaying others, are responsible for what they do. Champions of liberty are responsible for pointing all of this out, because if we don’t, we will eventually lose a game that has been rigged against us. We should never agree to discreetly forget about the tactics we refuse to employ, because we’re always one news cycle away from the same slime coming right back at our faces.
In this case, we don’t even have to wait for another news cycle, because the Left is right this moment politicizing this very murder. I won’t do it, but I won’t let them get away with it, either. We must spotlight their hypocrisy without indulging in it ourselves. It should be clear by now that this war, like every other, cannot be won through unilateral disarmament by the defenders, hoping with fingers crossed that the aggressors will follow the example.