Monday, October 8, 2018

We have nothing whatsoever in common


I've been thinking about the explosion of anger, vitriol, profanity - and, yes, grief - from the far-left, progressive wing of US politics over the confirmation of Justice Kavanaugh's appountment to the Supreme Court, and his swearing in over the weekend.  This tweet from Caitie McCaffrey, whom I understand is a senior employee at Microsoft's Azure, may as well speak for all of them.




(I note that Ms. McCaffrey's Twitter account has been changed to private status, so that only "confirmed followers" can read it.  Why is it that so many of these extremists think they can avoid the consequences of their words and actions by doing that?  It's become almost a knee-jerk reflex among certain circles.  To me, it smacks of dishonesty - but then, I was raised never to say anything of which I'd be ashamed, or which I'd later rue.  I haven't always kept to that standard, but it's stood me in good stead over the years.  Perhaps progressive extremists should try it sometime?)

There's no avoiding the conclusion that such people have almost nothing in common with me, and those who think like me.  I'm prepared to make every accommodation I can to get along with other people.  In the words (mis)attributed to Voltaire, "I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it".  However, what was said in Ms. McCaffrey's tweet was a tissue of lies.  "Gender traitors"?  "Accomplices to sexual assault"?  "Deaths of women"?  Does she actually know - let alone believe - what she was saying?  The only excuse I can think of for her vitriolic hyperbole is that she's so upset, she's no longer able to think straight.  If that tweet is an example of her actually thinking straight, God help her - literally.

Can free speech be extended to open, out-and-out lies that have no foundation in fact?  Should we be expected to extend credence and tolerance to mendacity?  I can't think that Voltaire would have approved of that.  The trouble is, of course, that the very definition of "truth" has been so upended that it's almost impossible to arrive at a generally accepted meaning for the term.  To me, truth is factually accurate, verifiable, testable and measurable.  Political discourse (such as it is) seldom qualifies for that label.  When it comes to fundamental truths at the root of society, such as those outlined in the Preamble to the US Declaration of Independence, they are adopted as the founding principles of that society, and enshrined at the root of its laws.  To challenge them is to challenge the society based upon them.  Nowadays, particularly among politicians and activists, who is so rooted in and grounded on their nation's political foundation that it is secure in his or her hands? Who would cheerfully overthrow every historical aspect of their society, in order to remake it according to the dictates of political correctness and expediency?

That perspective has invaded popular entertainment (see, for example, the Star Wars brouhaha).  It's dominating social media, to such an extent that dissenting voices are frequently silenced without explanation or alternative outlet.  It's become a deliberate attempt to silence all opposition - and that's why it's so dangerous.  It cannot brook opposition.  It must win all the time, every time, its proponents believe.  Opposition is treason.  Dissent is hostile.  Even questioning political correctness is unethical.

I was prepared to at least try to have a rational discussion with such people, but they've made it absolutely impossible, because for them discussion must inevitably lead to the triumph of their point of view.  No other outcome is acceptable.  They don't debate, they seek to demolish.  They don't listen, they scream all the louder to drown you out.  I have nothing in common with them, and I think most people of character and fundamental honor and decency can say the same.

We're perilously close to a situation where we'll no longer be able to resolve our differences at the ballot box, because mutual accommodation will no longer be possible.  If that happens . . . look for the next Fort Sumter on the horizon.  It won't take long to arrive.

Peter

13 comments:

willy kanos said...

There used to be standard terms for people like Ms. McCaffrey. Several come to mind but here are a couple: Unhinged, Spoiled, and Mentally Ill.

Uncle Lar said...

For eight long years President Obama packed the courts with liberal leaning judges, not just the Supreme Court, but all the lower courts as well. So when the Democrats could not get legislation through to further their socialist agenda they could always gin up a court case, put it in front of a sympathetic judge, and change laws from the judicial bench.
Hillary was supposed to win, it was written in stone, all the polls agreed, and she would be the perfect continuation of the overthrow of the US government by progressive socialism.
So they kicked back and waited for the inevitable victory. Certainly there was cheating and voter fraud, but essentially pro forma because Hillary could not lose.
Then Hillary did lose and their entire world came crashing down.
Trump could not win, all the experts said so, but he did so somehow he must have stolen the election.
This they believe in their hearts so any resistance no matter how vile is in their minds justified.
The Kavanaugh hearings were just the opening volley.
Having failed yet again in spite of using every dirty trick in their playbook the left are enraged.
Since harassment of government officials and their families has not worked, and scorn levied upon them by "important" celebrities has been ignored, I fear that it's only a matter of time before the extreme fringe resort to real life threatening violence.

takirks said...

The model we're going to see won't be Fort Sumter after an official secession. Instead, it's going to be Argentina during the 1960s and 1970s, when the "urban guerrillas" provoked what became known as the "Dirty War". No value judgement on that conflict, as I'm entirely uninterested in it as a matter of morality, just that it is a model of a period in which one side of a society went mad, followed by another sides reaction to it.

The same syndrome is, I fear, about to ensue here in the US. You can see the Left starting to nut itself up to actually begin killing its perceived opponents, and I expect the first incidents to come here shortly, the way they're reacting--Probably in the wake of the next major election loss. Once that happens, well... Expect the counter-reaction to take place, and it's going to be an interesting one, being as there are a considerable number of sympathizers in government and elsewhere that want the Left to win.

Whole thing is almost certain to spin out of control, and the rest of us who remain sane are going to be caught up in the whirlwind. Don't be real surprised when the death squads on both sides start doing their thing, either--There's a significant fraction of the state security apparatus which is under the control of the Left, and I don't doubt but that there will be a lot of action from their side "under the color of law".

There is a chance that sanity will prevail, but I doubt it. There's too large a swathe of the country that's sympathetic to the Left, and wants to believe. They also want to round up any who disagree with them, and herd them into camps for re-education and eventual extermination. Don't be fooled when they start the process, either--It will be framed as rounding up criminal elements, but the reality is going to be that they will have criminalized dissent from their policies and goals. It'll be the Bundy Ranch situation, all over again.

We're in for some rough times, I think. If you live in a Left-dominated state, expect to experience things straight out of Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia, as a dissenter against their madness.

SiGraybeard said...

There's more than a few leftists saying their problem, the reason they didn't stop Kavanaugh, was that they weren't mean enough; that they need to be more confrontational. "No more mister nice guy"

Ask Congressman Scalise about that.

We are rapidly approaching the outbreak of violence. If that didn't already begin with shooting Congressman Scalise.

Joseph Brandon said...

It occurs to me that the lefties have now forgone all pretenses as far as being “moderate” for want of a better word. Their hatred of this country, it’s ideals and worse are now brazenly out in the open. It’s not a secret anymore. These are not just “Socialists”, but in fact treasonous scum that are out to destroy this country as we know it.

The funny part is if they succeed, they will be shcocked as the “Rulers” they install then go after them, just as Stalin, Hitler, Castro and Mao did because that is always the end result.

Unknown said...

On the narrow question of Voltaire, he was more than a bit of a swindler, and very much enjoyed publicly playing devil's advocate.

Old NFO said...

Sadly, I don't disagree. They do NOT want to even talk, they simply want power by any means available...

Sendarius said...

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. - Thomas Jefferson

Found at: https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/thomas_jefferson_157212

It seems that the Founding Fathers themselves held similar beliefs to you regarding truth. (cf "To me, truth is factually accurate, verifiable, testable and measurable." )

So much so that Jefferson himself pointed out that the fundamental bedrock of American liberty is predicated upon beliefs that are assumed to be truth.

Please note that I am NOT in opposition - I am simply reflecting that those great men are probably worthy of even greater esteem than they already receive (in most sensible quarters at least - I don't credit the latest efforts to minimise their worth, and remove their legacy).

HMS Defiant said...

Is it wrong of me to laugh?
Candide and Dr. Pangloss suffered the best of all possible worlds. Can we expect no less of true liberals?
When it comes down to the revolt of the elite, effette snobs of the liberal left.......
We have way way way more guns than they do.
Most of us served in the military and we have some idea how to shoot those guns to best effect.

Bring it.

McChuck said...

The Argentine "dirty war" is the best that we're going to get. We're more likely to look like Sarajevo or Rwanda.

Having this fight sooner rather than later is good for us. Our enemies import over a million foreigners into the country to fight for them every single year - and have for decades.

Steve Schultz said...

This person is exhibiting a Pavlovian response to her training. This is an excellent example of "dog whistle" reaction. I think this type of conditioning began when there were trigger warnings placed on movie trailers.

Steve

willy kanos said...

I envision the hostilities starting something like this: There will be a series of attacks on pride marches, abortion clinics, Democrat offices, etc. The attacks will be done by paid leftists attired in flannel shirts, MAGA hats, and carrying anti-leftist signs. People will be killed and injured. The left's history tells us that they are not opposed to losing a few of their side to reach their goal. The media will record the attacks and will go nuts, blaminf Trump. Then it will be on...

deborah harvey said...

i am with willy kanos.
there were elements who dressed as serbs to fuel the balkan war. not that any combatants were innocent but that is the way of evil. make sure that the innocent are blamed and make as much noise as possible to call attention to the crimes set up to look as though the good guys did it.