For all of three days, there was a spark of hope for a return to civility, Erick Erickson’s appearance on “Meet the Press” saw him state that “as society becomes more secular and religion fades, more people are finding their salvation and their morals in their politics.” Several high-ranking Democrats came out against Maxine Waters’ demand to a crowd that they harass every member of the Trump cabinet they see, and for a moment there was a glimpse of civility.
Then reality set in. The Left began to justify their behavior by saying, as one Bloomberg writer did “anyone who thinks the parties are even remotely equivalent on this score is treating Trump as if he doesn’t count. And anyone who thinks the parties are roughly equivalent if you remove Trump from the equation should take Kevin Drum’s advice and spend more time critically monitoring Republican-aligned media.” In doing so, absolving the left-wing media of their now two-year old habit, forgiving the violent or otherwise disgusting rhetoric of prominent left wingers. To be very clear, there are some problems on the right-wing media as well, most all of them named “Sean Hannity” and related to his vulgar Trump obsession. However, I remain utterly convinced that the side of the aisle that is prone to meltdowns that inspired articles like “The Rise of the Violent Left”, and accepted the work of Antifa up until they became classified as a domestic terrorist group has, if anything, a more tenuous claim to the moral high ground.
Erickson’s point, which has gotten lost in the miasma that has come with the retirement of Justice Kennedy, was that things are going to get worse if people keep listing their grievances against the other. As with the free speech argument in this country, both sides are more in favor of the other guy calming down and being polite as much as their in favor of their own hatred, violent tendencies and free speech.
Americans have forgotten how to think and are now concerned with only their feelings, and they always, always fear the worst. With the retirement of Anthony Kennedy, it became a talking point that Roe v. Wade was at risk. While many abortion activists have made the claim that such is the goal, the idea that Roe would be overturned on a whim is about as likely as the end of gay marriage, which Trump was also “defintely” going to bring about. Obgerfell was going to be overturned by executive order, or some other means. And yet, just yesterday, we marked 3 years since Obgerfell legalized gay marriage across the country and it has never been a major issue. This is before we were supposed to be at nuclear war with, Russia, Syria, North Korea and China. Each country at various points, sometimes simultaneously. Trump pulling out of the Paris Accords, nixing the individual mandate in Obamacare, the tax cuts, lack of gun control, and the death of net neutrality were each supposed to kill millions or end the internet.
I know what’s coming, “well, aren’t you concerned with an outright gun ban? That’ll never happen. Nobody’s coming for your guns.” Except that’s not true. Nancy Pelosi was hoping for a slippery slope into a gun ban. Some leftists have now stated flat out they want all the guns. Hilary Clinton and every other prominent Democrat running for office in the last few years has wanted an assault weapons ban and if that doesn’t convince you, I could just point to California, Maryland (which does have an assault weapons ban), Illinois, and New York. “All we want are background checks” turned into magazine capacity limits, storage laws, bans on carrying weapons, self-defense, and in the case of New Jersey, backdoor gun control surrounding the so-called “smart gun”, the Armatix iP1. There has not been such a legislative surge against abortion in the same span, save for the one or two laws in Texas. There is evidence in multiple states, and in the yearly assault weapons bans in Congress that many are infact aiming for a gun ban. Where’s this surge against Roe?
This lack of civility is based solely in the fact that Americans, particularly the millenials more inclined to be these hyperbolic activists, have been taught to feel, but not to think. To take what they are told as gospel truth, and that they are never wrong. They’ve been sheltered from how evil and indifferent the world really is, and are now having trouble coming to grips with this fact. More importantly, the individual has been made so weak, and the problem is more complex and intractable than any young mind is prepared for, that the only thing we can apparently think of is to gather on a street corner, block traffic and shout platitudes at anyone unfortunate enough to be within earshot of this zombified gathering. Oddly, as social media makes evident, this kind of insanity has permeated people older than 30 as well. It’s amazing how many have truly bought into the Nazi/white supremacists angle the media has applied to absolutely every Trump supporter (or more accurately, every non-Hillary supporter).
It’s a safe argument to make that most of the people claiming “Nazi” every third word don’t have any idea the magnitude of what they are saying. Two-thirds of millenials, for instance, have no idea what Aushcwitz is. Do they even understand the policies of Adolf Hitler? I’d argue they do not. “Nazi” is just the only historical context that the public school system has given them. There is little talk of the Great Leap Forward, Stalin’s Purge or anything of that nature in public school, “Nazi” is all we know. What “Nazi” is now, “racist” was when Obama was in office. An incredibly serious accusation and personal insult, meant to deflect from a very pathetic and weak understanding of one’s own view.
Put it this way: Either everyone you’ve ever known, for any length of time at all, that didn’t vote for Hillary, has been a secret white supremacist/Nazi sympathizer who hates the poor, gays, black people and women, or you’ve been manipulated, and there may also have been policy differences (in an election, I know. Perish the thought!) that guided them toward Trump. Occam’s Razor is still a thing. Hillary Clinton wasn’t a saint, or a very good candidate for Republicans to vote for.
There is now more violent rhetoric, and outright political violence in the country than there has been since at least the 60s, One-third of Americans in a recent Rasmussen poll fear that a civil war was brewing, and that’s the note I’d like to close on.
Think this through, people are afraid of a civil war, even though all of the authoritarian fever dreams of the #resistance have failed to materialize, unemployment is down, crime continues its historic decline and nothing that was supposed to kill us has done so. But no, we must fight this caricature of a man who is, despite all evidence to the contrary, simultaneously and alternatively a President who is also a tyrant/Russian puppet/Nazi and a threat to the rights of anyone who isn’t white. This is what will tear the fabric of America asunder, a misunderstanding of a threat, based on hyperbole, repeated because we don’t have any other point of reference for evil (in this world, somehow), and have failed to see humanity in the opposition, and instead ascribe the worst aspects of the candidate to all those who support him or don’t support our causes.
The only other reason I can find for this willful hyperbole, that doesn’t factor in the manipulation of a frenetic and intellectually dishonest media, is that this generation is hungry for something “big” to happen in its time. We haven’t fought the Nazis, Islamic extremism is not as major a threat to the US as it appeared to be on 9/11. We haven’t even had much of a Cold War as much as we’d like to think the relations with Russia seem to indicate. All that’s left is to “fight” for the poor and marginalized. Which we do by taking away their agency and claim to speak for them ourselves.
We have it so good in this country that we’ve been able to invent microagressions, come out with new gender identities faster than Nintendo does Pokemon, police speech to an insane degree and demand that any entity (pick one, I’m sure someone’s angry about something with them) must bow to the will of a bunch of people who have clout because “We the People” exist and our existence means something. “We the People”, by the way, is another historical cliché, sapped of all its meaning, power and context because it’s the only point of reference for an entire generation of public school victims for what rebels say. Anyway, on any particular day, those who have it so good that they are so easily made to be so very angry declare that the government, whose massive, unending expansion they have supported for 20 years at least, works for us goddamnit, and our elected officials are required to listen to our collective of angry, passionate…poorly educated, irrational, emotionally driven, potentially violent, gang of “concerned citizens”.
And anyone who doesn’t listen to us, of course, is a Nazi tyrant racist.
This….this is what’s going to start a civil war. A desire for “something big” to happen in our generation, based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the words “oppression”, “Nazi”, “tyrant”, “authoritarian”, and “hate speech” And for a brief three days, there was hope that civility would return, and we’re right back to where we started.
I’m not afraid of a civil war, by the way, just an incredibly violent mound of stupid, or at the very least, highly malleable people who don’t know what they’re actually fighting for, don’t understand that the their actions only contribute to the problem, and may get them killed because self-defense is legal in 75-80% of the country.
Such is the cost of having it so good that one needs other people to speak for, and protect from the worst future that they have also declared inevitable. That is, of course, unless they swoop in to save them like the heroes we all know them to be. They are this generation’s MLK. So named because that’s the only activist any of us public school products know about.