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January 12, 2011
Ahhh... Remember When The Left Thought Making Political Threats Was Pretty Darn Kewl?
Ah, the air was heavy with sweetest dew, and we were younger then, and the earth was too, the planet in full blush of early bloom.
Yes, I am old enough to remember those halcyon days, whatever halcyon means, I'm sure it means something good, when protesters could wave signs saying "KILL BUSH" and "I'M HERE TO KILL BUSH" and our media, so exquisitely sensitive towards any potential incitement, was altogether too distracted by the music of the wind playing in the flowers to notice.
But those were innocent days, when no one could ever get hurt or die, or at least no one of any particular political merit.
Look, all kidding aside, I want nothing worse for Barack Obama than an unexpected retirement in early January 2013; and in fact I want no politician harmed by political violence. (Or anyone, for that matter.)
I was greatly upset by the Tucson shooting, and not just for the lives lost, but for the degradation of America; that's why I ultimately headlined the post "Fallujah, USA," over reader objections. I don't want to live in that kind of tin-pot short-fuse banana non-Republic were people express their political opinions at pointblank-to-close range.
But the media let the left get away with murder -- or, more accurately, incitement to murder -- for eight long years and now they want to piously instruct us that we can't say socialist anymore?
Here's my rule, which is workable, because it's bright-line and nonpartisan: You cannot urge political violence, nor can you strongly imply that maybe some political violence would be a good thing.
That means all of these filth carrying "KILL BUSH" signs should have been arrested and tried, and the media should have pointed this out, because embarrassing a political movement is the only way to incite it to patrol its ranks for excesses.
But the media didn't, because they're in the tank for the left. Fine. That doesn't mean that we have to allow or accept such incitements now, from either side, but until the media confesses its own crime they do get to play referee or judge.
So urgings towards violence, and deliberately violent imagery, are out.
Here's what in: Socialist. It's allowed. I said so. The left says "You can't say that because it upsets people too much and that might provoke some into violence," and it's at this point I have to say, "Tough shit. Life is chancy."
The most important political debate, had over the past 160 years, is about socialism, whether we go towards it or away from it, and it's absurd to posit we can no longer reference a worldwide 160-year-old political dispute because of worries that someone might get hurt.
Is the word an incitement? So it is. As they say, All ideas are incitements. That's the point of them. And you cannot sand down the edges of every idea into a safe, non-pokey rounded top and pad everyone in rubber suits. The word has too much value to suppress, for anyone's safety.
You know who agrees? The Democrats, the left, and the media, who threw around the left's version of "socialist" -- "fascist," "Nazi" -- all my life and never once seemed especially concerned that if someone took them seriously, that if someone really did think this or that person was a fascist or Nazi and therefore steering this country to fascism or Naziism, then that person might become animated enough to kill someone.
They toss out the word "murderer" like it's going out of style -- virtually everyone on the right is a "murderer," eventually. They never seem to consider that if someone takes them seriously, and believes actual murderers are setting this country's policies, that would require people to rise up violently against said murderers, wouldn't it?
Is that an incitement, then? Of course it is. The left's only defense is that no one takes them seriously, but that's not true. See the Discovery Channel Gunman, for example. Some people are so crazy and stupid they do take the left seriously.
They seem comfortable with the risks associated with this sort of strident political name-calling. I join them in that -- I am comfortable in this risk as well. It's a risk that has to be accepted.
Now, I don't like that the left constantly tosses out inciting words like "Nazi" and "fascist." I scold them for that, I buffoonize them for that. But I don't say they can't say those words, or that those words will lead to murder (even though they could!) Because I accept the idea of free speech enough to know that I have to accept the hateful rhetoric of the left.
As long as it's merely hateful, and merely tends towards incitement, and does not expressly, explicitly incite.
So that's the deal, left: Shut the fuck up and accept that "socialist" is a legitimate term to throw at you (because you are, in fact, socialist or at least socialist-curious) and stop whining about it just like we on the right do not whine about you using the word "fascist" to describe everything from Star Wars to over-baked chicken at Popeye's. You have your dirty words, we have ours. Fucking deal with it already.
Here's what you also have to deal with-- martial metaphors. Like the kind Howie Kurtz scolds Sarah Palin about right before he notes she's "escalated her war with the press." After you, Alphonse. If the media can scrub all martial metaphors out of its usage for three straight months, I will then convince it even can be done; until then, I assume it can't. So if the media wants to make some point on this score -- lead by example.
It'll be tough. The day National Journal fretted about Palin's evil martial metaphors they had a dozen of them, and that was just in the headlines. But the media is so smart and educated 'n stuff I'm sure they can figure out how to do this, and then that will provide a good example for we rubes to follow.
And that's it. Yes, no inciting language. No inciting imagery. I agree 100%. I don't need to be convinced because I always was convinced.
Question for the media and Democrats: Were you always convinced? Or is this a revelation of more recent vintage?
And if it is a revelation of recent vintage: Then who exactly are you, who discovered this was a problem just over two years ago, to lecture me, who's been talking about it for ten fucking years?
And none of this is about incitement to violence. What it's about is incitement to political action, and the left doesn't like the words we're using because they're effective and therefore wants us to neuter our language and use less effective words.
Again: Fuck Yourself.
On the point of political incitement, absolutely, I'm there, 100%.
On the point of attempting to mau-mau Michelle Bachman for using the sort-of-really-good line "I want you armed and dangerous with facts about climate change"? Give me a break. That's golden. You don't like it just because you don't like her. If any lefty came up with that line, you'd be applauding it. And you're just claiming that's "inciting" because, unfortunately, she hasn't really incited anything, except people to vote against you.
Enough of the goddamn lies and enough of the stupid Matrix of Loughnerian fantasy.
I even extend this rule to the world "revolution," when people mean it in the literal sense. (Or are being cutesy and intending both meanings, and trying to slide one past me under the "you don't know which I meant" non-rule.)
So I'm actually in a decent position here. My hands are clean, and I do spend time -- and get into fights with some commenters who go over the line -- about incitement.
Point is, I do believe that incitement 1) is dangerous and 2) is of very low expressive value anyway because who the fuck wants to read the 1000ndth comment by an emotionally-unstable jackass talking about how what wonders he can work with his mighty penis-substitute rifle?
So I'm a bear on this issue.
Is the media? The media now deigning to lecture me about this?
If there is a climate of hate -- let's stipulate for one second that there is, just for the purposes of this question -- what did the media do about this before January 2009? Or do they claim it only happened after Obama was inaugurated?
'Cuz Zombie's got lots of photos -- photos the MFM suppressed and would not run, for fear of embarrassing the left and jeopardizing their precious liberal Democrats' political fortunes -- that says they're liars if they make that claim.
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