Guerrillas in the Midst

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If you’ve taken a look at the political climate lately, you know it’s uglier than Rosie O’Donnell’s leaked nudes. We’ve gotten to the point where expressing an opposing opinion on any topic can be a dangerous proposition with what political opponents are advocating and/or condoning. We’re not talking about tearing down yard signs or TPing a house. We’re talking doxing, death threats, and even physical violence. Put another way, we’ve entered the period of guerrilla politics.

To be fair, politics isn’t a subject for the weak at heart, but in the past there was always an underlying assumption the two sides only wanted the best for the country, just differed on the way to get there, and could respect the other side’s position even if it countered their own. It’s safe to say that assumption is no longer in play, as political operatives are more concerned with otherizing their opponents than finding common ground.

Although both sides participate in guerrilla politics from time to time, the Left has mastered it. Take Joaquin Castro’s recent decision to post the names and workplaces of businessowners who donated to President Donald Trump on Twitter. Yes, this information was public knowledge as required by election law, but Castro’s purpose for posting it had only a little do to with informing the public of where businessowners stood on the President. The intent was to call out these people for “supporting a racist” (in Castro’s opinion) and trying to shame these people into rethinking their support.

After a few death threats, cases of mistaken identity, and bad news coverage, Castro’s idea backfired on him, making him look like he deserved to be one of the back of the pack contenders for the 2020 Democrat nomination for President. Good thing for him he was already there or it might have been even more embarrassing. Even though the information is public, it was combined with an unspoken accusation: the people and businesses on this list are racists because they support Donald Trump, who is a racist. If the Left would have stopped with a boycott of these establishments, that’s one thing, but it didn’t stop there. The minute death threats started to be uttered, the minute the employees of these establishments started fearing for their lives, that’s when it went from being acceptable to unacceptable behavior.

Of course, try telling Castro and the Left that. They are all about “name and shame” when it comes to Trump supporters. Of course, when it’s Antifa, name and shame goes the way of Castro’s chances of seeing the inside of the White House on anything but a guided tour. As much of a double standard this appears to be, it’s not quite one because being a Trump supporter in and of itself isn’t illegal, but assault is. But if the Left gets their way, being a Trump supporter would be grounds for expulsion from society. And soon, their sights may be on anyone else who disagrees with them, all in the name of ideological purity.

This kind of thinking is folly at best, dangerous at worse. The natural instinct is to give as good as we receive, but that’s not going to work here. In its current state, the Left is wiling to do anything to ruin people who don’t tow the line. If they can’t intimidate you emotionally, they’ll do it physically. They are acting out of pure emotion, which means they may not respond to reason. That limits what we can do in response. If we push back, it escalates the situation and forces the Left to push back harder. If we don’t say or do anything, the Left wins by default and they continue to run roughshod. There has to be something in between these two undesirable results.

And there is, but it will require a little bit of strategic thinking. Comedian Dennis Miller came up with a solution in 2014: keep your politics close to your vest, especially these days. Don’t engage the Left, don’t stick your neck out in political discussions unless you’re ready to deal with the worst possible responses, and think about what you say and do on social media, in public, and in private discussions. But there are two things you can do that will strike a blow for freedom.

Vote, and encourage others to vote.

Until the Left figures out how to spy on how you vote (and don’t take this as a challenge, Leftists), you still retain the privacy at the polling place. When it’s you and your ballot, you still have the power to think for yourselves and act in whatever way you feel will make the country better. Even if you don’t agree with Trump, this constant bullying by the Left won’t get better until they realize the power they think they hold is through force and not persuasion or reason. They are motivated by greed, hatred, envy, and any number of other negative emotions that will lead either to another not-so-civil war or to them eventually burning themselves out. The former will be a bloody end that will not be a happy ending for this country. The latter is the long game, but it is the one that will ensure we can still hold onto the tatters our country has become and maybe, just maybe, we can mend it.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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To be honest, the Internet is as safe as a meth lab housed in a nitroglycerin factory on the San Andreas Fault. Although I’m exaggerating for (hopefully) humorous effect, you don’t want to be too careless with your personal information online because there are unethical slimeballs out there who will use that information against you in any way they can. Although, I hear that Nigerian prince is a real cool guy.

When the war of ideologies goes online, political operatives have a number of tools at their disposal, one of which is a called doxing. We’ll get into the definition of it here in a bit, but the reason it’s become a hot topic recently is because of a Huffington Post writer named Luke O’Brien. O’Brien did a story about a Twitter user named Amy Mekelburg who has tweeted some anti-Muslim sentiments and has been retweeted by President Donald Trump. O’Brien’s story exposed Mekelburg, but also opened up her family to additional harassment. And this occurred because Mekelburg left identifying information online for people to follow.

Leftists cheered this, stating racists have no right to privacy and should be exposed. Others expressed outrage at those who took it upon themselves to bring Mekelburg’s private actions into the public square and expose her family to various punishments for actions they didn’t directly take.

In order to understand the Leftist mindset on doxing, let’s start by defining the term, shall we?

doxing

What the Left thinks it means – exposing conservatives for saying and doing things that should be called out and discouraged

What it actually means – invading someone’s privacy for purely ideological reasons

One of the key elements of Leftist ideology is the ends justify the means. If they can find a way to destroy an enemy, even if it goes against their public platform, they will do it. It’s just a matter of how and when. And when it comes to doxing, Leftists have no qualms doing it to conservatives because of another key element of Leftist ideology: those who do not conform are the enemy.

Nice folks, those Leftists.

In the Mekelburg situation, the Left has argued she doxed herself, which is entirely plausible and most likely happened. If O’Brien wrote a piece limited solely to her, we can debate the merits and flaws of the approach. However, that didn’t happen. O’Brien went to her husband’s employer for a comment, which caused her husband to get fired and a business owned by members of her family (who have openly said they don’t agree with her, by the way) to get harassed. Collateral damage because Mekelburg said something the Left didn’t agree with.

And while we’re here, what did Mekelburg say? Among other things, she made disparaging comments about Muslim prophet Mohammed, linked to people like Sean Hannity, and told people to follow noted white supremacists. The first two are enough for Leftists to get their collectivist panties in a wad, but the third gave them all the excuse they needed to target her…and her family. Obviously, they must agree with her. After all, they have the same last name!

And, as with most things Leftists believe, their position is hypocritical on a number of fronts, the most glaring one being the Left’s professed love of privacy. This may smack of “whataboutism”, but I have to say it: the Left has more problem with a woman expressing an opposite and Constitutionally protected opinion than it has with a woman killing an unborn baby in the womb. Call me crazy (because, trust me, plenty have), but isn’t that a bit…well…stupid?

I don’t condone what Mekelburg says, but she has a right to say it, thanks to the First Amendment. Which brings us to another area of Leftist hypocrisy, by the way. The Left will cry about freedom of speech being threatened whenever Donald Trump calls CNN fake news (I have another name for them that’s far harsher), but they also want to limit the speech of conservatives and libertarians because they’re afraid those groups will tell the truth.

And to round out this trifecta of trickery, the Left engages in guilt by association when it suits them, as it did in this case. Yet, who are the first ones to scold us for assuming terrorists are Muslims because “not all Muslims are terrorists”? Leftists, who by a complete coincidence always assume mass shooters are white men. (And, unlike them, the people who assume terrorists are Muslim tend to be right more often than wrong.)

And let me make myself perfectly clear here. Doxing done by anyone is morally wrong and, in my humble opinion, is a form of terrorism designed to control targets into either hiding or conforming to the ”right” opinion. And, to take it a step further, anyone who is responsible for circulating a person’s information online and/or uses it to harass innocent people is just as bad as the doxers themselves. No gray area, no letting it slide, no mulligans. If you dox or help spread the information, you are scum. Thank you for playing.

That brings us back to O’Brien. I’m sure he thought he was doing the right thing, but he should have taken more than a nanosecond to think about the implications of and fallout from taking the actions he did before submitting even a pitch to his editors. The fact it doesn’t appear he took that step is a stain on his integrity and yet another blot on an already-Mount Everest-sized mountain covering the media today. As the saying goes, two wrongs don’t make a right, and O’Brien and Mekelburg are as wrong as they can be.