We are regularly forced to endure a new left-wing manufactured, media-supercharged hysteria.
The latest is the tsunami of horror in reaction to Donald Trump's gross and juvenile comments made in private 11 years ago.
The tsunami of condemnation of his remarks is quintessential left-wing hysteria. That more than a few Republicans and conservatives have joined in is a testament to the power of mass media and hysteria to influence normally sensible people.
This is hysteria first and foremost because the comments were made in private. I would say the same thing if crass comments made by Hillary Clinton in private conversation had been recorded. In fact, I did. In 2000, in a Wall Street Journal column, I defended Hillary Clinton against charges that she was an anti-Semite. That year it was reported that Clinton had called Paul Fray, the manager of her husband's failed 1974 congressional campaign, a "f---ing Jew bastard."
Even the left-wing newspaper, the Guardian, reported that three people -- two witnesses and Fray -- confirmed the report.
Nevertheless, I wrote in the Journal, "I wish to defend Mrs. Clinton. I do so as a practicing Jew and a Republican. ... We must cease this moral idiocy of judging people by stray private comments."
We've known all along that Trump is crude and Clintonian in his sexual appetite, although not as bad as Bill in terms of deeds; but the Wikileaks data dump brought something new and objectively far more important to our attention. It is another revelation of Hillary's greed, mendacity, secretiveness, and lust for power. We get a whiff of her doctrine of 'two truths' one for the insiders, the other for public consumption. There is her assault on national sovereignty with her call for a borderless world. This supercilious stealth ideologue who has enriched herself in government 'service' absolutely must be stopped, and there is only one man who can do it. Jeb! never was up to the job.
What's worse, a P-grabber or a gun grabber? The former operates on occasion and in private in the 'noble' tradition of Jack Kennedy, Ted Kennedy, and Bill Clinton. The latter would violate sacred American rights for all and forever. Don't believe Hillary's lies about supporting the Second Amendment. She lies whenever it is useful for advancing herself and her destructive agenda. In that order.
And then there is the utter hypocrisy of liberals who, having presided over when not promoting the injection of moral toxins into our culture, moralize about Trump's admittedly disgusting and puerile locker-room talk. Heather MacDonald gets it right in Trumped-Up Outrage. As does Margot Anderson who points out that Dems have no problem with the objectification of females if they are small enough. Rebecca Tetti offers this important insight:
These people who celebrate porn and abortion and make heroic figures out of small-souled, sex-deluded creatures such as Bill Maher and Lena Dunham and Sandra Fluke and lionize sick predator men like the Kennedys and Bill Clinton are not merely being hypocrites or playing politics when they denounce Trump. They are deliberately engaging in The Lie: the corruption of meaning itself. They aren’t outraged because they’re decent. They’re using our decency as a pawn in their quest for political power.
The insight is that the Left uses our decency, which they don't believe in, against us, mendaciously feigning moral outrage at what doesn't outrage them at all. (Cf. Saul Alinsky's RULE 4: “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”)
And then there are the milquetoast pseudo-conservatives who have withdrawn their support from Trump out of fear of losing their position, power, perquisites, and pelf. That other 'P-word,' to use Megyn Kelly's demure expression, seems rightly applicable to them. The motivations of Senator McCain and the boys are transparent enough.
Just as we ought not tolerate intolerance, especially the murderous intolerance of radical Muslims, we ought not try to appease the intolerant. Appeasement is never the way to genuine peace. The New York Time's call for Benedict XVI to apologize for quoting the remarks of a Byzantine emperor is a particularly abject example of appeasement. This was some time ago, but it is important not to forget the past in the manner of a tweeting twit whose brain is fit only to flit.
One should not miss the double-standard in play. The Pope is held to a very high standard: he must not employ any words, not even in oratio obliqua, that could be perceived as offensive by any Muslim who might be hanging around a theology conference in Germany, words uttered in a talk that is only tangentially about Islam, but Muslims can say anything they want about Jews and Christians no matter how vile. The tolerant must tiptoe around the rabidly intolerant lest they give offense.
At the root of appeasement and the tip-toe of the soon-to-be dhimmi: fear.
My analysis of Pope Benedict's Regensburg speech is here.
If white moderates deserve blame for their inaction against Jim Crow, then perhaps moderate Muslims today can be faulted for failing to combat a culture of jihad.
I would add, however, that while Jim Crow has been eliminated, the same cannot be said for the culture of jihad. I should think that this is an important difference. And I would delete the weak-kneed 'perhaps' from the apodosis of the above conditional.
What Case does in his article is expose the double standard involved when one seeks to explain the now-ended racial terror against blacks in the U. S. in terms of a racist culture but fails to explain the ongoing and increasing religious terror wreaked upon the West by Muslim terrorists in terms of a jihadi culture.
As I have said many a time, little would be left of the Left were its members made bereft of their double standards. There are so many of them I was forced to begin a separate category named, appropriately enough, Double Standards.
It is standard operating procedure for leftists to shout down their opponents, throw pies in their faces, and otherwise disrupt their events. Thuggery is a leftist trademark. But when there is the least bit of push-back, these contemptible cry bullies shout 'fascism'! The double standard once again.
The riot planned and executed by the Left at the canceled Donald Trump campaign rally in Chicago on Friday was just the latest in a long series of mob disturbances manufactured by radicals to advance their political agendas.
Even so, it is a particularly poisonous assault on the American body politic that imperils the nation's most important free institution – the ballot.
"The meticulously orchestrated #Chicago assault on our free election process is as unAmerican as it gets," tweeted actor James Woods. "It is a dangerous precedent."
This so-called protest, and the disruptions at subsequent Trump events over the weekend, were not spontaneous, organic demonstrations. The usual culprits were involved behind the scenes. The George Soros-funded organizers of the riot at the University of Illinois at Chicago relied on the same fascistic tactics the Left has been perfecting for decades – including claiming to be peaceful and pro-democracy even as they use violence to disrupt the democratic process.
Activists associated with MoveOn, Black Lives Matter, and Occupy Wall Street, all of which have been embraced by Democrats and funded by radical speculator George Soros, participated in shutting down the Trump campaign event. Soros recently also launched a $15 million voter-mobilization effort against Trump in Colorado, Florida, and Nevada through a new super PAC called Immigrant Voters Win. The title is a characteristic misdirection since Trump supports immigration that is legal. It’s the invasion of illegals who have not been vetted and are filling America’s welfare rolls and jails that is the problem.
Among the extremist groups involved in disrupting the Trump rally in Chicago were the revolutionary communist organization ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism), National Council of La Raza (“the Race”), and the Illinois Coalition of Immigrant and Rights Reform. President Obama's unrepentant terrorist collaborator Bill Ayers, who was one of the leaders of Days of Rage the precursor riot at the Democratic convention in Chicago in 1968, also showed up to stir the pot.
Dr. Ben Carson, the pediatric neurosurgeon who is running for president, is now in trouble with the politically correct for referring to Syrian terrorists as rabid dogs. The comparison is perfectly apt, and only a fool or a liberal could take offense at it. A Syrian terrorist is not 'rabid' in that he is Syrian; he is 'rabid' in that he is a terrorist.
Note the double standard involved here. Carson compares Muslim terrorists to rabid dogs. But Muslims refer to ALL Jews as the sons and daughters of pigs and monkeys. Where is the outrage of the squishy-headed libs and lefties over this, something that is objectively offensive?
But as I have said many times before, there would be nothing left of a Left made bereft of its double standards.
Imagine a German restaurant so named. Blood and Soil. My astute readers needn't be reminded of the provenience of this phrase. "Best blood sausage in the East Valley!" Or MOM's Diner of Mesa. "Fine Aryan cuisine served up right by members of the militia of Montana." Would you be offended? I just made up those examples.
But this is a real example: La Raza Steak and Ribs, a Mexican joint in Apache Junction, Arizona. When I mentioned this to a friend, he replied, "That would be like naming a German restaurant Die Rasse, The Race."
Once again, the double standard. So once again I ask: what would be left of the Left were leftists disembarrassed of every single one of their double standards?
The use of La Raza in the private sector as part of the name of a business is offensive, but tolerable. But it is a different story when state sponsorship is involved.
It is arguable that there ought not be any state sponsorship of divisive symbols such as the Confederate flag. But, as Victor Davis Hanson points out in an important column,
There are plenty of other overt racialist symbols that separate Americans. One is the prominent use of La Raza, “The Race” — seen most prominently in the National Council of La Raza, an ethnic lobbying organization that has been and is currently a recipient of federal funds. The National Council of La Raza should be free to use any title it wishes, but it should not expect the federal government to subsidize its separatist nomenclature.
If a coalition of what some leftists call knuckle-draggers (including rednecks, bigoted white working stiffs, those who "cling to their guns and Bibles," in the derisive words of Obama) were to slaughter flag burners, the leftists would howl in protest, pointing out (rightly) that flag burning counts as protected speech in these United States. They would not 'blame the victims' for having provoked or incited the knuckle-draggers. They would insist that flag burning is protected speech and take the reasonable view that murdering people for their (benighted) views is far, far worse than the desecration perpetrated by the protesters.
Mirabile dictu, however, lefties pull a 180 when it comes to the celebration of free speech practiced by people like Pamela Geller. Suddenly people who are exercising free speech rights are castigated for doing so, and warned about inciting violence.
What we have here is a classic double standard. One standard of evaluation is applied to flag burners, who tend to be on the Left, and a very different one is applied to Muhammad mockers, who tend to be conservatives. This double standard is particularly offensive, even more offensive that the usual lefty double standard, because flag burning and cartooning are very different.
Ought flag burning come under the rubric of protected speech? Logically prior question: Is it speech at all? What if I make some such rude gesture in your face as 'giving you the finger.' Is that speech? If it is, I would like to know what proposition it expresses. 'Fuck you!' does not express a proposition. Likewise for the corresponding gesture with the middle finger. And if some punk burns a flag, I would like to know what proposition the punk is expressing. The Founders were interested in protecting reasoned dissent, but the typical act of flag burning by the typical leftist punk does not rise to that level. To have reasoned or unreasoned dissent there has to be some proposition that one is dissenting from and some counter-proposition that one is advancing, and one's performance has to make more or less clear what those propositions are. Without going any further into this issue, let me just express my skepticism at arguments that try to subsume gestures and physical actions under speech.
Cartooning is very different. Cartoons have propositional content. The above cartoon expresses various propositions. It expresses the proposition that Muhammad is a war-like individual who is willing to put to the sword someone who merely draws his image. It also expresses the cartoonist's opinion that such a vile and backward view ought to be opposed.
If you fart, do you express a proposition? No doubt you ex-press foul gases from your gastrointestinal tract. Could it be that the stupidity of contemporary liberals derives from an incapacity to distinguish these two types of expression? Speech worth protecting is not gassing-off.
Finally, there is the irony that we conservatives are the new liberals. It is we who defend toleration and free speech, classical concerns of old-time liberals, while the 'liberals' of the present day have degenerated to the level of fascists of the Left.
What would be left of the Left were they made bereft of their double standards? There are so many of them. We need a list.
The Obama quote is that they “cling to guns or [not “and”] religion [not “Bibles”]”. As for the cartoon, it doesn’t express the proposition you relate in the body of the post. It, or something very close to it, is clearly the idea that the cartoonist has in mind, but that isn’t in the cartoon itself. If, however, one is allowed to draw the inference we all do from the cartoon, then it’s not obvious to me that one is also allowed to fill in the obvious connotations of one giving the middle finger or saying “F*** you!” or from the burning of the flag.
Dennis is right to correct my faulty quotation of Obama. See this short video clip. But while I did not reproduce Obama's words verbatim, I did convey their sense. After all, with 'religion' he was certainly not referring to Islam! Besides, 'cling to guns' and 'cling to Bibles' makes clear sense; it is less clear how one could 'cling' to religion. So you could say I was charitably presenting Obama's idea in better linguistic dress than he himself presented it. But Dennis is right: I should have checked the quotation.
Can a cartoon, by itself, express a proposition? No. So Dennis is technically correct. I almost made that point myself but thought it ill-advised to muddy my point with a technicality. Cartoons, in this respect, are like sentences. No sentence, even if in the indicative mood, by itself expresses a proposition. 'Peter smokes,' for example, is a declarative sentence. But it does not express a proposition unless it is assertively uttered by someone in a definite context that makes clear who the referent of 'Peter' is.
It is interesting to note that a mere tokening of the sentence type is not enough. Suppose I am teaching English. I utter the sentence 'Peter smokes' merely as an example of a declarative sentence. I have produced a token of the type, but I have not expressed a proposition.
Perhaps you noticed this too. President Obama refuses to use 'Islamic' in connection with the Islamic State or 'Muslim' in connection with Muslim terrorists. But he has no problem with pinning the deeds of crusaders and inquisitors on Christians. This is a double standard.
Surely, if no true Muslim beheads journalists or crucifies children, then no true Christian commits deeds of equal moral depravity.
A while back Obama made the surprising statement that "ISIL is not Islamic." What was the reasoning behind Obama's statement? Perhaps this:
1. All religions are good. 2. Islam is a religion. Ergo 3. Islam is good. 4. ISIL is not good. Ergo 5. ISIL is not Islamic.
But then, by parity of reasoning,
1. All religions are good. 2*. Christianity is a religion. Ergo 3*. Christianity is good. 4*. The Crusades/Inquisition were not good. Ergo 5*. The Crusades/Inquisition were not Christian.
But far worse than Obama's double standard is his profound historical ignorance which any number of commentators have exposed, John Hinderaker, for example.
Suppose there are two groups, the As and the Bs. Some of the As are really bad actors. And some of the Bs are as well. But most of the members of both groups are tolerably well-behaved. Suppose there is a third group, the Cs. Some of the Cs comment on the bad behavior of the bad actors among the As and the Bs. But they comment in two very different ways. These commenting Cs attribute the bad behavior of the bad actors among the As to their being As,while they attribute the bad behavior of the bad actors among the Bs, not to their being Bs, but to factors that have nothing to do with their being Bs. The commentators among the Cs can be said to apply a double standard in respect of the As and the Bs as regards the etiology of their bad behavior. They employ one standard of explanation for the As, a different one for the Bs.
That's the schema, presented schematically. Instances of the schema are not hard to locate.
Consider cops, Muslims, and lefties. (Some leftists will complain about 'leftie' which I admit is slightly derisive. But these same people do not hesitate to refer to conservatives as teabaggers, right-wing nutjobs, etc., terms which are not just slightly derisive. Here then is another double standard. "We can apply any epithet we like to you, but you must always show us respect!" But I digress.)
So you've got your cops, your Muslims, and your lefties. The behavior of bad cops -- and there are such without a doubt -- is said by many lefties to derive from something 'institutional' or 'systemic' such as 'systemic racism.' Cops are racists qua cops, if not by nature, then by their professional acculturation in 'racist Amerika.' But the bad behavior of some Muslims, such as committing mass murder by driving jumbo jets into trade towers, or slaughtering those, such as the Charlie Hebdo porno-punks, who 'diss' their prophet, does not derive from anything having to do with Muslims qua Muslims such as their adherence to Muslim beliefs. A spectacular example is the case of Nidal Malik Hasan, the 2009 Fort Hood shooter who killed 13 people and wounded many more. His deed was dismissed by the Obama Administration as 'work place violence' when it was quite clearly a terrorist act motivated by Islamist beliefs. Wikipedia:
Once, while presenting what was supposed to be a medical lecture to other psychiatrists, Hasan talked about Islam, and said that, according to the Koran, non-believers would be sent to hell, decapitated, set on fire, and have burning oil poured down their throats. A Muslim psychiatrist in the audience raised his hand, and challenged Hasan's claims. According to the Associated Press, Hasan's lecture also "justified suicide bombings." In the summer of 2009, after completion of his programs, he was transferred to Fort Hood.
So here we have a double standard, an unjustified double standard. (Are double standards by definition unjustified? This is something to explore.)
Of course, there is a lot more to be said on this delightful topic. For example, police brutality does not derive from the professional training that cops receive. They are not trained to hunt down and kill "unarmed black teenagers" who are harmlessly walking down the street or "children" on the way to the candy store. But Muslim terrorism does derive from Muslim teachings. Not all Muslims are terrorists, of courses, but the terrorism of those Muslims who are terrorists is not accidental to their being Muslims.
Note the difference between
A Muslim who is a terrorist is not a true Muslim
A cop who is corrupt is not a true cop.
The first sentence is a clear example of the the No True Scotsman Fallacy. The second is not. Why not? Well, there is nothing in the cop-role that requires that a person who plays that role be corrupt. Quite to the contrary. But there is something in the Muslim-role, or at least the Muslim-role as presented by many teachers of Islam, that requires that players of this role make jihad against the infidel.