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October 08, 2003

Purveyors Of Hate And Division?

"[They are] purveyors of hate and division ... [they] leave the impression, by their very words, that violence is acceptable." - Bill Clinton

After watching the California returns last night, I figured two things would happen.

First, commentators unhappy with the results would start denigrating the voters for being stupid, easily swayed idiots.

But that's because you're a moron, easily distracted by sparkly lights and shiny objects. You were really voting to let small, inherently undemocratic groups run your state all the time, forever. The fact that you thought you were doing the former when in fact you were doing the latter suggests that you would have been more helpful in the governance of your state by hurling yourself off the Golden Gate Bridge and smacking into the bay below with a nice, bone-powdering swack. In addition to clearing out four million bottom-feeders from an already-overpopulated state, California might still have a government still nominally beholden to voters, instead of through special-interest control by mob rule proxy.

Next, though not immediately, that there would be a surge in the number of domestic terror incidents attributed to left-wing groups, especially if Bush wins re-election in 2004. The rhetoric of the Left has painted the current American leadership as Nazi-like if not Nazi in fact for a good while now. Pair that with the idea that that the mass of American voters are gullible sheep, and you've basically accepted the idea that American culture is irredeemable, that American culture is the enemy.

Three times now the Left has urged the American voter to rise up, over Florida, over Iraq, and now over California. Each time the failure of the body politic to heed the call has been extremely disappointing to those urging action. The longer this pattern holds, the more likely it is that the Left will cease to view the American voter as an ally, and instead come to view him as, at best, a round-heeled dimbulb, ready to fall for the next politician with a good line of patter, or at worst, an enemy.

Demonstrations have failed to advance the agenda of the Left. A more or less friendly media environment, even though it is not recognized as such, has failed to advance the agenda of the left. Elections have failed to advance the agenda of the left. What's left but violence? What alternatives are there to punishing the sheep for being sheep, to take a fierce joy in awakening them to their own ovine nature?

There's always the close re-examination and alteration of one's core principles, given that they been rejected time and again, but political movements don't trod that path with any regularity.

Now, there are those who will posit that harsh rhetoric from one side or another does not necessarily lead to acts of terrorism, but for the most part that idea exists on the right side of the political spectrum, not the left.

It was the left, after all, that blamed talk radio for the Oklahoma City bombing.

It is a fundamental belief of the Left that hate speech leads inevitably to violence. What then should we expect when the rhetoric of the Left veers towards disgust and hatred?

Posted by Bigwig at October 8, 2003 02:26 PM | TrackBack
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Couldn't help noticing that you left out the part where I specifically noted that my objection to the recall was not based on political orientation. Allow me to add it in for you:

"Note, please, that I have not once made reference to the political parties involved. As it happens, at this moment my interests and the interests of the Democratic party coincide on the matter, but I would be equally opposed to the recall if the sitting governor were a conservative Republican and the moneybags who paid to unseat him, and the partisans rounding up the signatures, were flaming Democrats. From my point of view this isn't about political positions, per se, it's about an unwillingness to respect the election process."

Posted by: John Scalzi at October 8, 2003 03:19 PM

If the left really is as Marxist as it seems, then yes, there will be violence, since a fundamental Marxist tenet is nothing is really of value and you Might as well make Right, (and if the sheep won't move, then, by Lenin, you've got to move 'em by any means necessary). If, on the other hand, the left is just a bunch of bored, bedwetting, latte-licking, Foucault-quoting poseurs, who are useful idiots but with no genuine Marxists prepared to use them, then there won't be violence but a gradual fading away of their number. They'll start getting into bridge, start seeing shrinks, or decide to watch more reruns of "Friends".

Posted by: Jim at October 8, 2003 03:34 PM

Jim, Jim, missed a GOLDEN opportunity to refer to Marx. It
should be 'withering away of their numbers' - you know 'the withering
away of the state' coming after the 'dictatorship of the
You're right they're not going to be violent..these people are generic
conservatives..Sept 10thers who wish the world hadn't changed and
blame 'that man in the white house' for all that discomforts them.
I think the confusing thing is that they have become rigidly
conservative but with a 'traditional' left wing ideology. Like those
latte swilling sixties rads in Berkeley who's attitudes have been
subtly altered by their $500K houses. I mean, why have any new thoughts
when you can be a good global citizen and just recycle all the old
ones? I think they will be just as successful as the Paleo
conservatives were at rolling back Roosevelt's income tax. Paleo
Liberals anyone?

Posted by: lgude at October 9, 2003 01:02 AM

Violence by leftists impatient with voter reluctance has been happening for years: Earth First's anti-logging depredations in the West Coast woods, Earth Liberation Front's property arsons, ALF and PETA's most strident assaults and vandalism, etc. Not just leftists do this-- anti-abortionists and the Oklahoma City bombers come to mind, but there's an explanation in common and it applies to more than merely being spurned by voters.

Cause-a-holic adherents of (they wish) mass movements tend to be "rescuers" committed to saving their chosen beneficiary classes of "victims" from supposed exploitation by some despised other class of humans. When their unwitting beneficiaries reject the rescue (or imagined fellow travelers do) the scorned rescuers regard them as ingrates, and spitefully shift their hate toward them.

Example: Elected local officials' instant and ugly rage at California voters who cut property taxes via Prop 13, where the "beneficiary" voters in effect hobbled their civic leaders' means to continue rescuing them from disadvantage. Threats to eliminate fire and police protection (ie, to let violence and destruction befall their constituent voters) were the most common and prominent of officialdom's early reactions.

Whether aimed at non-supportive voters or other non-believer nemesis parties, hatred of others in connection with pursuing a rescuing cause is the dysfunction in common. Violence that results is hate crime no less than is racially and anti-gay motivated violence.

Posted by: Calvoter at October 9, 2003 03:06 AM

My paranoid-jaded type thinking sez that the extreme Left, precisely because "they" do benefit the extreme Right as well as "they" do, that "they" are not really who "they" claim to be.

Posted by: lorelei at October 9, 2003 03:29 AM

Hi John,

I didn't assign you a political postion, or at least attempted not to. That's why I used
commentators unhappy with the results rather than commentators on the left.

But, given the sentiments, they are most likely to be agreed with by those on the left, which is what the rest of the essay was about.

Posted by: Bigwig at October 9, 2003 09:37 AM

Realizing that this thread is probably dead, I still need to add my $0.02. There is a certain level of default political violence and acting out in this society. A lot of it is just ripples from the 60's. However, there are several groups using other groups such as ELF as their "intake" points or farm teams. This is classic cadre building. The indicator that should be watched are the calls for "direct action" along with the "sheeple" arguments that the left is currently engaged in. The focus on external terrorism has left an "aperture sinestra" or an opening to the left for domestic terrorism.

Just some random rambles left over from a lifetime of study of political violence and too much time doing CI work.

Posted by: Hungry Valley at October 15, 2003 11:15 AM


Posted by: Meban at February 20, 2004 08:09 AM
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