The New Clarion

The New Clarion header image 2

Wrapping Up

January 12th, 2011 by Myrhaf · 20 Comments · Culture, Politics

The argument from the left that harsh political rhetoric led to the violence in Arizona has been so roundly rebuked that I expect the MSM to drop it and move on to their next campaign. Charles Krauthammer wrote a good piece disposing of this dishonest nonsense.

Michael Medved, with whom I often disagree, made an interesting observation on his show, that these smears are aimed at recapturing women voters to the Democrat side. They have not been appealing to strictly logical thinkers among either sex, but hoping to establish a vague emotional connection linking murderous violence to the right. Those who are swayed by feelings without subjecting them to reason will be fooled — but then, those people will always fall victim to demagoguery.

Here are a few last thoughts on the issue.

1. It looks like the left is still very much afraid of Sarah Palin, the Tea Party Movement and talk radio. These forces hurt them in the 2010 election, and must be destroyed by any means necessary. No lie is beneath the left in this war.

(By the way, so far in this post I have used the words campaign, aimed and war. It’s impossible to write about politics without using violent imagery and war metaphors.)

2. Although the left’s smears come from cynical, Alinsky-like tactics meant to delegitimize their opponents, I think leftists believe what they say. When they lie they think they have a moral right to lie.

As the party of modern philosophy, the left has no confidence in the power of reason to know reality. Radical subjectivism teaches them that there is no truth, only competing narratives. Words are nothing but weapons to be used either by the greedy capitalists in pursuit of profit or by the disinterested philosopher-kings of the left who just want to help their fellow man. When you hold these premises, lies come easily and with smug self-righteousness.

3. It’s not working.

Most Americans, 57 percent, believe the tragic shooting in Arizona isn’t connected to politics. That’s the result of a new CBS News poll which found only 32 percent of respondents aid the harsh political tone had something to do with the shooting.

In the new media world of talk radio and the internet, the left is having a hard time selling their “narrative.” Who knows, someday they might give up character assassination, smears, lies and demagoguery because those tactics have grown so stale they earn nothing but yawns and laughter. At that point they will have two options: an honest debate of ideas or violent revolution. They’re not that desperate yet.

20 Comments so far ↓

  • LukeM

    I don’t know. Thirty-two percent seems like a coup for a complete non sequitur.

  • LukeM

    Comments at NYT and HuffPost seem to have mostly moved on to gun control instead of speech control now. Some people want to get rid of the Second Amendment. I wonder if they have 32 percent yet.

  • Mike


    I noticed that too. Gail Collins did a one-sided hit piece on Glocks in the wake of the shooting. It is abundantly clear that neither she nor most of those commenting on the article have ever held a gun in their lives, or possibly even seen one in person except possibly holstered on the belt of a passing cop.

    In Edward Cline’s “Sparrowhawk” series, (no spoilers), the liberty-minded keep caches of arms for the conflict they knew would come sooner or later. Those who expect that sort of thing nowadays are using terms like “ballistic wampum.” In a collapsed society, defensive assets become as good, or better, than currency. If the worst should happen, faced with thirst, starvation, and constantly on the run from rapine gangs of barbarian thugs, I wonder how many leftists would gladly embrace ballistic wampum and discard their irrational nose-holding with regard to firearms.

    Guns and ammo are never going away, the best efforts of the left notwithstanding. The only question left will be how much blood will be shed when they push their chips all-in on the issue.

  • kelleyn

    these smears are aimed at recapturing women voters to the Democrat side

    Insulting my intelligence, yeah, that will work. Especially considering that’s why I ditched the Left in the first place.

  • madmax

    that these smears are aimed at recapturing women voters to the Democrat side

    The Bio-Conservatives have been noting this for a few years now. But the recent elections seems to have showcased a pattern. Blacks and Hispanics vote overwhelmingly for Democrats, as do homosexuals and single, white women. Obama’s popularity is now being propped up by non-whites in conjunction with white liberal women although it does seem that white women become more conservative after they marry and have children (which is one reason why some Conservatives are saying that there should be pro-family tax incentives).

    Also, it seems that white liberal women loath Conservative women and demonize them without mercy. Think of Tina Fey and how she demonizes Sara Palin as the essence of evil mixed with stupidity. (This is one reason why I do not like when Objectivists take immature swipes at Palin like the way that Diana Hsieh does – it resembles too closely the tactics and mannerism of the Left.)

    All of the female Republican political candidates lost in the midterms because white women, especially single white women, did not vote for them. There are interesting theoris as to why this is the case but it is the case – white liberal women do not vote for Conservative women. Interestingly enough, it seems that single white women voted for handsome Conservative males like Rubio. Again there are some interesting theories put forth to explain this.

    The upshot of this is that it has many Conservatives talking that the only way to save the country is to win back some of the white female voters. The Left knows this too and that is why they will do everything to frighten white women about Conservatives. *Nothing* will cause blacks, Hispanics or gays to vote against the Left (barring philosophic revolution and possibly an actual revolution).

    At that point they will have two options: an honest debate of ideas or violent revolution.

    I don’t know how a civil war with the Left can be avoided at this point.

  • Myrhaf

    The left could fade away into irrelevance. I don’t think an armed civil war is much of a possibility. All the good shots are on the second amendment side.

    On the subject of Sarah Palin, I’m surrounded by liberal women here in California. They all have a intense, visceral reaction to her. If you want to get them going, just say “Sarah Palin” and the girls will take it from there.

  • Andrew Dalton

    I think that a lot of the knee-jerk hatred of Sarah Palin by casual leftists is a social signal, to prove to the “right” people that one thinks (if you can call it that) in the “right” way. Angelo Codevilla mentions this phenomenon in an article that got a fair amount of attention last year:

    I dislike Sarah Palin, but I don’t think that she is worth denouncing unless she becomes a candidate in the 2012 GOP presidential primary. Until then, we have bigger fish to fry.

  • TW

    “I don’t know. Thirty-two percent seems like a coup for a complete non sequitur.”

    It does indeed, which is what really has me so appalled by this situation. The cognitive dissonance and denial around this issue are amazing. I read an interview today (I think it was on the Christian Science Monitor website, if memory serves) with one of Laughner’s school mates, who described *at length* him as not having strong political opinions that one could identify as left or right, as having bizarre, distorted thoughts and actions, etc.

    I was interested to see what the reader comments at the bottom of the article would be like. Well, this school mate could have saved his breath. Not one iota of difference from the people who obsess about Palin et al. They were unmoved by mere first-hand testimony of what this guy was like.

    So, sigh . . . the stupidity is invincible.

  • Inspector

    Myrhaf, I had to laugh at your description of saying “Sarah Palin” to a room full of California women.

    Yeah, I mean, I don’t care for Sarah Palin, but more in the “I’ve got this one friend at work who often says embarrassingly wrong things” way than the Adam-Sandler’s-Mom-In-The-Waterboy “That-Woman-Is-The-Devil” way.

    (everything’s the devil with you, mom)

  • Neil Parille

    The hatred of Sarah Palin by women (and not only on the left) is one of the more curious things in recent memory. Perhaps it is only second to women’s support of Bill Clinton during his impeachment, even though his disgraceful, if not predatory conduct toward women was apparent. Compare that to the feminist outrage at Clarence Thomas who, at most, had a dirty mouth.

    One reason is jealousy about Palin’s good looks, but that can’t explain everything.

    -Neil Parille

  • Mark Peters

    Liberal women probably are envious of Palin’s looks (envy in general is common to liberals), but perhaps at some level they have the thought “No _real_ woman would believe what she believes!”?

    Combine that with the standard liberal “You don’t accept our views so you must be evil” attitude, and you get their over the top hatred of Palin?

    Sort of a “Bush derangement syndrome” as applied to a woman whom they see as not really a woman?

    -Mark Peters

  • Myrhaf

    I’m no fan of Sarah Palin. Her lack of intellectual weight and her religion are huge problems. She is overrated by both sides. I think quitting as governor finished her political career.

    I have this sneaking suspicion that she is serving as a lightning rod right now. She is taking the hits from the left, which is obsessed with her, and allowing the other GOP candidates to fly under the radar as they prepare and raise money to run for president in 2012.

  • Inspector

    I hope so. Like you said, she’s really got a lot of problems.

  • madmax

    I don’t think an armed civil war is much of a possibility. All the good shots are on the second amendment side.

    I think this is wrong. The Left is demonizing anyone who disagrees with them as the essence of pure evil. And I should add, they are demonizing anyone who disagrees with welfare-state politics as white racists. The Left’s demonization of white people as white people is something that is being completely ignored by Objectivists.

    The Left is fomenting a civil war.

  • Neil Parille

    Mr. Max,

    The hatred of the white for being white, to change what Ayn Rand said.

    -Neil Parille

  • Myrhaf

    The left can foment all they want, but if a leftist says, “To the barricades” and everyone coughs and looks the other way, what happens then?

  • madmax

    The left can foment all they want, but if a leftist says, “To the barricades” and everyone coughs and looks the other way, what happens then?

    Yes, the Left’s inherent pacifism is on our side. The thing is that I sense that the Alinskiite tactic is to wait for the moment when someone who is definitively associated with the Tea Party *does* commit an act of mass murder (and this is not a low probability) and then to get the government to essentially criminalize non-Leftist thought and activism. Rush Limbaugh actually made this point; that the Left has this all planned out and is just waiting for the right moment. I think he is right.

    But even then, it will be interesting to see if this would cause a civil war withing the government and especially the military as I don’t think the military would ever assist a Left-wing coup. There are many scenarios of how this could play out. But I get an eerie feeling that we are in a similar position to the run up to the Civil War. Something could trigger a mass uprising and things could get bad very quickly.

    We are living in dangerous times.

  • Myrhaf

    It’s not so much the left’s pacifism as its nihilism. Who wants to fight and die for a destructive cause full of envy? After the 20th century, how many Americans will rally around socialism?

    Jack Wakeland in TIA Daily makes your point that the left today is like the south in the years before the Civil War. Plantation owners knew they were losing momentum, and the war was a last ditch effort to maintain their way of life.

    If the Tea Party Movement and elections continue to go against the left, they might want a war to maintain the welfare status quo, but they don’t have a regional base like the south, and as you note they don’t have the military on their side.

  • Jim May

    The hatred of Sarah Palin by women (and not only on the left) is one of the more curious things in recent memory.

    No more curious than the attacks on conservative blacks, and for the same reasons: they “left the plantation” and stand as concrete refutations of certain pervasive Leftist myths.

    They know that they can’t win a battle of ideas; Palin, Thomas and other individuals are threats to their ability to maintain their control of the mere perceptual battle.

  • Jim May

    What I next expect, is the Cindy Sheehanization of Gabrielle Giffords. They will attempt to lionize her, to make of her and her experience a shield against ideas (and their more effective advocates) and a muffler of inconvenient debate. I’m hoping that Ms. Giffords prefers not to be used in that fashion.