It’s time that angry liberals stop calling every Republican a misogynist, a Nazi, or a white supremacist. On left-wing websites everywhere, these terms are being dispensed like gumballs from a machine. If we really want to take back the country, we have to deal with issues. Name-calling may make us feel good, but it’s not going to change the country. Buckling down and working for your ideas may not succeed, either, for the three branches of government are all moving rightward. But political action has a better chance of succeeding than does slander.
My opinion of Coyne has gone up a notch. But it remains relatively low. Here are my Coyne entries.
This old phrase, coined by Patrick J. Buchanan and deployed by Spiro T. Agnew, needs to be dusted off and re-deployed against the petty leftist crapweasels who will pick at everything Trump does or says.What a sorry lot of sore losers!
And the Left continues to melt down over the election result.
A curious exercise in hyperventilation from the pen of Andrew Sullivan. Here are a couple of gasps:
In the U.S., the [populist] movement — built on anti-political politics, economic disruption, and anti-immigration fears — had something else, far more lethal, in its bag of tricks: a supremely talented demagogue who created an authoritarian cult with unapologetically neo-fascist rhetoric.
Anti-political politics? That's like saying that proponents of limited government are anti-government. To oppose the politics of the Left is not to oppose politics unless the only politics is the politics of the Left -- which is not the case.
Anti-immigration fears? Andy is as mendacious as Hillary. Few conservatives, populist or not, oppose immigration. Conservatives oppose illegal immigration and an immigration policy that does not discriminate between those who share our values and are willing to assimilate, and those who do not and are not. Conservatives hold that immigration must have a net positive benefit for our nation.
That Sullivan elides the distinction between illegal and legal immigration shows that he is intellectually dishonest.
And then there is the endlessly deployed leftist tactic of reducing the political opponent's view to a mere product of emotion, in this case fear. Probably the only effective response to this shabby tactic is to reply in kind. "Look, Sullivan, you are just a hate-America leftist scumbag who wants to undermine the rule of law."
By the way, Trump understands that it does no good to respond to a leftist with a learned disquisition (not that Trump could produce one); he understands with his gut that punching back is far more effective. He understands that the leftist thug will ignore your careful and polite arguments and go right back to name-calling: racist, sexist, homophobe, Islamophobe, bigot, deplorable . . . .
This is now Trump’s America. He controls everything from here on forward. He has won this campaign in such a decisive fashion that he owes no one anything. He has destroyed the GOP and remade it in his image.
This is delusional. How delusional? An army of proctologists in a month of Sundays could not bring Sully's head into the unsullied light of day.
Trump controls everything? False: the Left controls almost all mainstream media outlets, the courts, public education K-12, the universities, and many of the churches. (Think of all the leftist termites in the Catholic Church.)
He won in a decisive fashion? False: he lost the popular vote, a fact the liberal-left crybullies trumpet repeatedly.
He has destroyed the GOP? False: The GOP retained both houses of Congress. The truth is that he destroyed the Dems and the legacy of Obama.
Sully's rant does not get better as it proceeds, as you may verify for yourself.
M.B. of Alexandria, VA writes:
You said: "Trump controls everything? False: the Left controls almost all mainstream media outlets, the courts, public education K-12, the universities, and many of the churches. (Think of all the leftist termites in the Catholic Church.) "
You could add: the federal bureaucracy, most charitable foundations (Rockefeller, Ford, Soros etc), and, not least, the human resources (HR) departments of most corporations, which are now heavily staffed with ideological diversicrats.
Excellent points which I shouldn't have omitted, especially the one about the HR departments of most corporations. Why can't leftists see the extent of leftist control of the culture? Well, why is the fish unaware of the medium that sustains it?
The Clintons. Invective courtesy of Judge Jeanine Pirro. Last night on Hannity. Modeled on Hillary's "basket of deplorables." Invective has its place in the armamentarium of the conservative. Lying crooks cannot be engaged on the plane of reason via calm conversation. Conservatives need to learn how to punch back.
Other things being equal, one should not mock, deride, or engage in any sort of unprovoked verbal or pictorial assault on people or the beliefs they cherish. So if Muslims were as benign as Christians or Buddhists, I would object on moral grounds to the depiction and mockery of the man Muslims call the Prophet despite the legality of so doing. But things are not equal. Radical Islam is the main threat to civilized values in the world today. Deny that, and you are delusional as Sam Harris says. The radicals are testing us and provoking us. We must respond with mockery and derision at a bare minimum. The 'Use it or lose it' principle applies not only to one's body, but to one's rights as well. For the defense of liberty, the enemies of our rights must be in our sights, figuratively at least, and this includes radical Islam's leftist enablers.
Hillary, for example, who won't even call it what it is.
Pussy Bow is elliptical for 'Pussy Cat Bow,' the latter a well-established term in the world of women's fashion. Melania Trump sported one at the second debate. Was she out to implant some sly suggestion? I have no idea. But it occurred to me this morning that boy tie boys such as George Will also sport pussy cat bows. (As you know, pussy cats are both male and female.) And given the currency of 'pussy' in the politics of the day, it seems entirely appropriate to refer to the signature sartorial affectation of effete yap-and-scribble do-nothing quislings like Will as a pussy bow.
George Will is a good example of how Trump Derangement Syndrome can lead to cognitive meltdown.
A reader doesn't get the point of my earlier entry:
Dennis Miller: "Melissa Harris-Perry is a waste of a good hyphen."
So let me explain it. Miller is a brilliant conservative comedian who appears regularly on The O'Reilly Factor. If you catch every one of Miller's allusions and can follow his rap you are very sharp indeed. He has contempt for flaming leftists like Harris-Perry. Realizing that the Left's Alinskyite tactics need to be turned against them, and that mockery and derision can be very effective political weapons, he took a nasty but brilliant jab at her in the above-quoted line.
What makes the jab comical is Miller's willful confusion of the use and mention of expressions, one class of which is the proper name. One USES the name 'Melissa Harris-Perry' to refer to the person in question. This person, the bearer of the name, is not a name or any type of expression. The person in question eats and drinks and fulminates; no name eats and drinks and fulminates. But if I point out that 'Melissa Harris-Perry' is a hyphenated expression, I MENTION the expression; I am talking about it, not about its referent or bearer. When I say that the name is hyphenated I say something obviously true; if I say or imply that the woman in question is hyphenated, then I say or imply something that is either necessarily false or else incoherent (because involving a Rylean category mistake) and thus lacking a truth value. Either way I am not saying anything true let alone obviously true.
But what makes Miller's jab funny? What in general makes a joke funny? This question belongs to the philosophy of humor, and I can tell you that it is no joke. (That itself is a joke, a meta-joke.) There are three or four going theories of humor. One of them, the Incongruity Theory, fits many instances of humor. Suppose you ask me what time it is and I reply: You mean now? If I say this in the right way you will laugh. (If you don't, then, like Achmed the Terrorist, I kill you!) Now what make the joke funny? It is an instance of incongruity, but I will leave the details for you to work out. And the same goes for the joke in parentheses.
It is the same with the Miller joke. Everybody understands implicitly that a name is not the same as its bearer, that some names are hyphenated, and that no human being is hyphenated. Normal people understand facts like these even if they have never explicitly formulated them. What Miller does to achieve his comic effect is to violate this implicit understanding. It is the incongruity of Miller's jab with our normal implicit understanding that generates the humorousness of the situation.
But WHY should it have this effect? Why should incongruity be perceived by us as funny? Perhaps I can get away with saying that this is just the way things are. Explanations must end somewhere.
Am I a pedant or what?
But I am not done.
There is also a moral question. Isn't there something morally shabby about mocking a person's name and making jokes at his expense? Some years back I was taken aback when Michael Reagan referred to George Stephanopolous on the air as George Step-on-all-of-us. A gratuitous cheap-shot, I thought.
But given how willfully stupid and destructive Harris-Perry is, and given that politics is war by another name, is there not a case for using the Left's Alinksyite tactics against them? (Is this a rhetorical question or am I really asking? I'm not sure myself.)
Here is a bit of evidence that Harris-Perry really is a a willfully stupid, destructive race-baiter. There is another in the first entry referenced below.
We are in the age of post-consensus politics. We Americans don't agree on much of anything any more. As our politics comes more and more to resemble warfare, the warrior comes more and more to replace the gentleman.
Here is the best description of a gentleman I have encountered:
The True Gentleman is the man whose conduct proceeds from good will and an acute sense of propriety, and whose self-control is equal to all emergencies; who does not make the poor man conscious of his poverty, the obscure man of his obscurity, or any man of his inferiority or deformity; who is himself humbled if necessity compels him to humble another; who does not flatter wealth, cringe before power, or boast of his own possessions or achievements; who speaks with frankness but always with sincerity and sympathy; whose deed follows his word; who thinks of the rights and feelings of others, rather than his own; and who appears well in any company, a man with whom honor is sacred and virtue safe. -- John Walter Wayland
By this definition, Trump is no gentleman; he is rather the anti-gentleman. But a gentleman among thugs is a loser. You cannot appeal to the higher nature of a thug; he has none. So you need someone who can repay the leftist in his own Alinskyite coin. You need a man who will get into the gutter and fight the leftist with his own weapons. You need a man who will not shrink from the politics of personal destruction preached by V. I. Lenin and used so effectively by his successors in the Democrat Party.
Herein an argument for Trump. I am beginning to think that he alone can defeat the evil Hillary. Ted Cruz is a brilliant man compared to whom Trump is a know-nothing when it comes to the law, the Constitution, and the affairs of state, and Cruz is a better man than Trump; but the Texan is a senator and thus part of the Republican establishment against which there is justified rebellion.
Personality-wise, too, Cruz is not that attractive to the average disgruntled voter. He is not enough of a regular guy. And being a better man than Trump he probably won't descend deep enough into the gutter to really annihilate Hillary as she so richly deserves. Trump can mobilize Joe Sixpack and Jane Lipstick. These types don't watch C-SPAN or read The Weekly Standard. They can't relate to the bow-tie brigade over at National Review. They are heartily sick and tired of the empty talk of the crapweasels* of the Republican establishment. They want action.
*I borrow this delightful bit of invective from the fiery Michelle Malkin.
The last few days I have spoken with a number of people about Donald Trump, almost all of them supporters. What surprises me is their refusal to admit the man's negatives. Their partisanship blinds them. And then there is the naive belief that, if elected, Trump will accomplish what he says he will. Given his bad judgment and school-boy mouthing off and glee at offending people, how will he work with Congress? Or will he try to do everything by executive order? There is this document called the Constitution. Or does he too believe in a 'living' Constitution?
Will I vote for Trump if nominated? Of course. Hillary must be defeated, and Trump has so mastered the politics of personal destruction, hitherto a specialty of leftists, that he has a good chance of defeating her.
So what's my point? My point is that we are very sick society if it should come down to a choice between a brazen hard-leftist liar like Hillary and a low life like Trump. I would like to see a bit of understanding by Trump's supporters of who it is they are supporting. That and a little less rah-rah partisanship. You don't think he is a low life? He fails the decency test. Max Lucado has his number:
I don't know Mr. Trump. But I've been chagrined at his antics. He ridiculed a war hero. He made mockery of a reporter's menstrual cycle. He made fun of a disabled reporter. He referred to the former first lady, Barbara Bush as "mommy," and belittled Jeb Bush for bringing her on the campaign trail. He routinely calls people "stupid," "loser," and "dummy." These were not off-line, backstage, overheard, not-to-be-repeated comments. They were publicly and intentionally tweeted, recorded, and presented.
Such insensitivities wouldn't even be acceptable even for a middle school student body election. But for the Oval Office? And to do so while brandishing a Bible and boasting of his Christian faith? I'm bewildered, both by his behavior and the public's support of it.
The stock explanation for his success is this: he has tapped into the anger of the American people. As one man said, "We are voting with our middle finger." Sounds more like a comment for a gang-fight than a presidential election. Anger-fueled reactions have caused trouble ever since Cain was angry at Abel.
We can only hope, and pray, for a return to decency. Perhaps Mr. Trump will better manage his antics. (Worthy of a prayer, for sure.) Or, perhaps the American public will remember the key role of the president is to be the face of America. When he speaks, he speaks for us. Whether we agree or disagree with the policies of the president, do we not hope that they behave in a way that is consistent with the status of the office?
The American Philosophical Association has issued a statement that condemns bullying and harrassment. Who could disagree? But the following paragraph needs a little more work:
Abusive speech directed at philosophers is not limited to responses by the public to published op-eds. A look at some of the anonymous philosophy blogs also reveals a host of examples of abusive speech by philosophers directed against other philosophers. Disagreement is fine and is not the issue. But bullying and ad hominem harassment of philosophers by other philosophers undermines civil disagreement and discourse and has no place in our community. [. . .]
Two points. Why the restriction to anonymous philosophy blogs? There is a decidedly non-anonymous gossip site run by a philosophy adjunct that has featured numerous unprovoked attacks on fellow philosophers. Here is a prime example.
Now let's say you have been attacked out of the blue by this fellow, and you respond in kind with mockery and contumely, to give him a taste of his own medicine. Should it not be pointed out that the same types of actions can be justified as defense that cannot be justified as attack?
Civility is a good old conservative virtue. But it has limits. Civility is for the civil, not for those whose hypocritical calls for civility serve to mask their aggression.
Thanks to 'progressives,' our 'progress' toward social and cultural collapse seems not be proceeding at a constant speed, but to be accelerating. But perhaps a better metaphor from the lexicon of physics is jerking. After all, our 'progress' is jerkwad-driven. No need to name names. You know who they are.
From your college physics you may recall that the first derivative of position with respect to time is velocity, while the second derivative is acceleration. Lesser known is the third derivative: jerk. (I am not joking; look it up.) If acceleration is the rate of change of velocity, jerk, also known as jolt, is the rate of change of acceleration.
If you were studying something in college, and not majoring in, say, Grievance Studies, then you probably know that all three, velocity, acceleration, and jerk are vectors, not scalars. Each has a magnitude and a direction. This is why a satellite orbiting the earth is constantly changing its velocity despite its constant speed.
The 'progressive' jerk too has its direction: the end of civilization as we know it.
Michael Medved uncorked a good one yesterday when he referred to the ACLU as the American Criminal Liars Union.
That's pretty harsh, but then the ACLU has shown itself on numerous occasions to be a contemptible bunch of leftist shysters.
What justifies the use of invective? The fact that we are in a war. Why are we in a war? Because there is no longer the common ground upon which to resolve differences. And what has brought us to this pass? The fact that so-called 'liberals' are becoming more and more extreme.
Last night on The O'Reilly Factor, the sharpest comedian out there uncorked the following:
He makes Narcissus look like he invented self-effacement.
In battling the Left, it is not enough to have facts, logic, and moral decency on one's side; one must turn their own Alinsky tactics against them by the use of mockery, derision, contumely, and all the weapons of invective to make them look stupid, contemptible, and uncool. For the young especially, the cool counts for far more than the cogent. This is why the quintessentially cool Miller is so effective. People of sense could see from the outset that the adjunct law professor and community organizer, associate of former terrorist Bill Ayers and the 'reverend' Jeremiah Wright, raised on leftist claptrap and bereft of experience and knowledge of the world, would prove to be a disaster as president -- as he has so proven, and as even Leon Panetta the other night all but admitted. But Obama came across as a cool dude and that endeared him to foolish voters.
Civility is a prized conservative virtue, and one wishes that such tactics would not be necessary. But for leftists politics is war, and it is the foolish conservative who fails to see this and persists in imagining it to be a gentlemanly debate on common ground over shared interests. Civility is for the civil, not for its enemies.
Some time ago I heard Miller quip, in reference to Melissa Harris-Perry, that
She is a waste of a good hyphen.
A nasty thing to say, no doubt, but not as nasty as the slanderous and delusional things she had to say about the supposedly racist overtones of the word 'Obamacare.'
Conservatives should not allow themselves to be hobbled by their own civility and high standards. As one of my aphorisms has it: