Sunday, January 13, 2013

Hatesmanship: the statesmanship of the new left

Smear and sneer, blame and shame. These are the tools of the modern left.

I am alarmed to discover--courtesy of the leftists--that the NRA is responsible for the deaths of children. As a longtime voting member of that organization, I do not recall that we ever supported that. Our Eddie Eagle thing, a gun safety and awareness program for children and parents, and which includes schools and teachers, seeks the opposite outcome. More recently we are working on improving children's physical safety at school with a new look at building security, which includes armed guards.

I notice some anti-gun spokespeople, no more than half seriously I hope, publicly wishing for my death. Kill the NRA! I find this awkward to answer. If they mean it they are deranged; if they don't they are overwrought. I am a citizen supporting a constitutional right. Here we have people saying I ought to be shot on account of it.

But that's politics in the age of Alinsky: Conservatives can be accused of anything, no matter how tenuous or libelous the charge, and it will be repeated over and over. The leftist faithful will pick it up without much thinking and chant along. The press will not call out the false accusers.

Even those not calling me a child killer or talking about killing me are somewhat careless of the facts. My side has a well reasoned defense to offer for our views, but you wouldn't know that from the media coverage--giving us a fair hearing would interfere with the narrative of the left. See the outright nastiness of Piers Morgan, Soledad O'brien and some others in the examples I give below. There is no desire for dialog, only the attempt to shame those with whom they disagree--on emotional grounds. They never get as far as discussing the factual grounds. No, the intent here is only to demonize, to ridicule and to blame.

Calumny as a political tactic has its limits, but perhaps I should not say, in public, just when and why the process of demonizing people breaks down and begins to backfire. I want the left to keep it up, because I really think they do not understand why using smears to further the cause is not right and not expedient either. They appear to think like so: If a lie furthers the cause, what could be wrong with it? Let them find out the hard way.

I see why they're carrying on this way, of course. Political smears become a way of dismissing rational arguments offered by the opposition. One repeats the smear instead of reasoning against what the other side has to say. That avoids the disagreeable process of listening to those you disagree with. It avoids raising the question that, in some cases, must be avoided at all costs: Could it be that the other side is actually right?

Put another way, our new leftists want no voices heard but theirs, on matters they feel strongly about. The strength of their feelings is their justification, apparently--I can't think of another. The net effect of their emotionalism is that they think it proper to shout people down, bully them and try to shame them into shutting up. The purpose of that is naked enough: it is to quell discussion, stifle debate and overrule disagreement.

Who do these people think they are? And who do they think they are talking to? We of the other side from theirs on this matter are, at least on the broad average, honest, responsible, thoughtful and we have on our side a clear basis to say what we do--in the Constitution, in the framers' writings, in history and tradition, in law and precedent, in everyday experience and common sense. Who are they to tell us to shut up?

The libs are ganging up in a concerted effort to derail and take charge of what was supposed to be a broad national dialog on guns and violence. A dialog where one side speaks is a monologue. Shutting out law abiding gun owners and their advocacy groups is not a discussion. It is simply a grab for power, hoping that emotion will carry the day if reason is silenced.

I may have missed some examples in the hall of fame that follows, but I have found quite a few.

From the De Moines Register
Declare the NRA a terrorist organization and make membership illegal. Hey! We did it to the Communist Party, and the NRA has led to the deaths of more of us than American Commies ever did. (I would also raze the organization’s headquarters, clear the rubble and salt the earth, but that’s optional.) Make ownership of unlicensed assault rifles a felony. If some people refused to give up their guns, that “prying the guns from their cold, dead hands” thing works for me.

Sneering Soledad

Piers, welcome to America. You aren't king here either.

The always reliable New York Times editorial page offered:
No one seriously believed the N.R.A. when it said it would contribute something “meaningful” to the discussion about gun violence. The organization’s very existence is predicated on the nation being torn in half over guns. Still, we were stunned by Mr. LaPierre’s mendacious, delusional, almost deranged rant.

The Washington Post does its part for recycling:
The National Rifle Association represents the values of corporations that make firearms and sell ammunition, and its CEO, Wayne LaPierre, is acting true to form.

Well well, there we are: the often recycled meme about evil corporations, commonly heard from those who dislike capitalism and know nothing about how it works. The meme can be brought out on any occasion to blame capitalism for anything at all. Evil corporations are killing us all with their hamburgers--oops, guns--and they get away with it because of their lobbyists. Note that both links in the above paragraph point to anti-gun advocacy sites. The first points to a page entitled "Blood Money: How the Gun Industry Bankrolls the NRA." The second goes to a veiled hit piece on Wayne LaPierre.

How's that again, perfesser?

Eric Loomis, PhD, an academic, took to Twitter to request Wayne LaPierre's head on a stick, said it "looks like the National Rifle Association has murdered some more children" and asks if the NRA can be treated as a terrorist organization. See it all at the above link.

Best selling prose

Writer Joyce Carol Oates likewise signed on at Twitter, calling the Newtown tragedy "Another NRA-sponsored massacre for Christmas 2012." She asks, "If sizable numbers of NRA members become gun-victims themselves, maybe hope for legislation of firearms?" You can see these and her other remarks at the link.

The NRA watches its own press coverage

The NRA put together this little compendium of the archly superior and denigrating media commentary Wayne received for proposing armed guards in schools. You also hear from the other side. Which sounds more like rational public dialog to you?

You can't make this stuff up

Now, after all this hysterical demonization, false accusation, general fatuity and occasional profanity, it appears that what the NRA is proposing is getting some important traction in Washington. From the Hot Air Blog:

White House may back armed guards in schools after all
Interesting, if only because of the near-unanimous derision that resulted when the NRA’s Wayne LaPierre proposed the idea a week after the Newtown shooting.  Critics hooted at LaPierre’s detachment from reality before they realized that Bill Clinton had demanded and received the same funding — through the COPS program.  We’ll get back to Clinton in a moment, but first let’s take a look at Barbara Boxer’s sudden adoption of the NRA proposal...
(Check out the rest of the article at Hot Air.)

If you would like to join the NRA, you can for a limited time get a $10 discount on your dues if you use this link:  The NRA is the nation's oldest rights advocacy organization and the leading voice for gun safety.

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