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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If you’ve been following this weekly column for a while, there are two things that become clear. One, there’s a legitimate reason I don’t get paid to do this. And, two, the Left loves to play around with the definition of words. And, boy, do I have an Inception-level entry for the Leftist Lexicon for you this week.

When you think of violence, what do you envision? Rioting? Arson? A typical day at UC Berkeley when someone to the right of Lenin decides to express an opinion? Well, according to the Left, you’re right and wrong. (I told you this was Inception-level. You might want to get a stiff drink before continuing. Or fifty.) You see, the Left both loves and hates violence depending on the circumstances, and have even included the purposeful misgendering of trans people as an act of violence.

Come to think of it, I might need a stiff drink or fifty.

Strap in, kids, and keep your drinks close.

violence

What the Left thinks it means – an act or thought that causes physical or emotional harm

What it really means – an act that causes actual physical harm

As you may have noticed, the Left’s definition of violence includes thoughts and emotions, not just actions. By extending the definition in this way, the Left is attempting to expand the intellectual battlefield to include an area where it can get a foothold. And when you give the Left an inch, they’ll whine until they get a mile. And then they’ll whine until they get two, and before you know it, they’ve overrun the property, the property value goes down, and you have to move to the suburbs to get some peace and quiet.

Let’s be clear here. Violence isn’t anything you can think or feel. It requires action that causes actual harm to someone or something. Calling a trans person by his/her wrong name doesn’t quite meet that standard. Making you feel bad isn’t the same as making you feel bad because you were hit in the head with a bike lock.

That brings us to the Left’s other opinion on violence: it’s totes cool as long as it’s done for the right reasons. Meaning, as long as the Left agrees with the violence being committed. That covers everything Antifa does because they’re fighting fascists or people they can call fascists. Funny how that works out, isn’t it? Meanwhile, any violence committed by the Right is a complete no-no. After all, they don’t agree with the Left, so their violence is totally bad, man.

We shouldn’t be surprised by this partisan double standard, considering it comes from the Left. They can justify anything, including illegal activity, by invoking the “it’s the right thing to do” argument. Need to justify abortion? It’s the right thing to do to prevent overpopulation! Diverting federal funds to needless programs with no actual benefits to the world? It’s the right thing to do to keep jobs in America or to advance scientific knowledge! So, when it comes to causing mayhem, property damage, and various injuries to others, the Left has their ready-made excuse handy. After all, isn’t it the right thing to do to punch a Nazi?

Not so much.

The problem with violence is it encourages more violence. Sure, Antifa can come with baseball bats, pipes, and any number of hand weapons, and it will work out for a time. However, there comes a time when the victims of violence may respond with violence. And given some of the particulars opposing Antifa, such as…oh, I don’t know…white nationalists/supremacists who already have a history of having more of a hair trigger than a .45 in an unkempt barber shop…well, let’s just say it’s only a matter of time before that violence winds up with a body count.

And let’s not forget there were Leftists saying there would be injuries on both sides after Donald Trump was elected. Yeah, it’s one thing to say it, but another thing to experience it. Antifa may think they’re Chuck Norris dressed in black and wearing masks, but once bullets start flying, I guarantee they’ll be closer to Chuck Todd than Chuck Norris.

The sad thing? It shouldn’t come to this. Violence, politically motivated or otherwise, should be a non-starter for anyone wishing to change the political landscape. You want change? Make a better argument, don’t make a fist and start swinging.

And redefining violence so non-violence is no different than what Antifa is doing doesn’t help matters any, either. What you’re doing is diminishing actual violence. When misgendering a trans person causes the same physical damage as a bike lock to the head, then we’ll talk. Until then, take a long look at what you’re advocating and see it through to its logical extreme. If you think violence is okay for purely partisan ends, you cannot complain when others use that same approach against you. Oh, I’m sure you will, but you won’t have a leg to stand on when you do.

And in this case, it may not just be figuratively speaking.

Leftist Lexicon Word of the Week

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When you think of Leftists, what do you think of? Latte sipping millennials tweeting hash tags and selfies to prove they’re down with the struggle? Aging hippies smelling of patchouli oil, pot smoke, and incense? Blue-suited progressives trying to push through legislation at the speed of arctic drift? Well, if you ask them today, they’ll say they’re patriots because they’re standing against Donald Trump’s tyranny.

Which begs the question of how they’re allowed to protest Trump if he’s so tyrannical. But I digress.

From sucker-punching Richard Spencer on camera to Shia LaBeouf screaming and stalking people who mocked him during an anti-Trump rally, the Left has found itself wrapped in the red, white, and blue (and in the case of Keith Olbermann, literally so). They are proud patriots once again!

But is what they’re doing in the name of our country patriotism? Let’s find out!

patriotism

What the Left believes it means – defending America from Donald Trump and his supporters

What it really means – loving your country enough to want to make it better

One of the greatest things about America is the fact we have so many different people with different backgrounds put together within our borders and most with a degree of freedom not seen anywhere else in the world. When these different people work together for a common goal, America is one big fondue pot. When these people are at odds with each other, our melting pot becomes a ticking time bomb.

Right now, after one of the most contentious and emotional Presidential elections in a long time, we are as far away from a melting pot as Michael Moore is from a Weight Watchers meeting. Friendships and family relationships are being strained over the political divisions in this country. Even people who don’t disagree too much on the basic stuff are getting skittish to express anything more than a funny cat meme on social media out of fear of offending someone else.

And now, we’re adding violence to the mix. That can’t end well, no matter how much you tell yourself it’s patriotic to “punch a Nazi.”

Make no mistake, America has a violent history. We’ve fought numerous wars here and abroad, costing millions of lives all for an ideal we seem to have forgotten, if we ever really knew it in the first place. Over the decade or so, we’ve been told how bad we are, how far we’ve fallen, and how we are nothing but a shadow of our former self. Hearing that year after year is bound to make even the most die hard patriot question what we really stand for anymore.

This is where the concept of patriotism comes into play. For some, it means loving our country, right or wrong. For others, it means loving our country and its ideals only when politically motivated. For others, it means loving our country while trying to make it better.

Right now, the Left is going with the second viewpoint. While Barack Obama was President, dissent was traitorous. Now that Donald Trump is President, dissent is the highest form of patriotism. But patriotism isn’t partisan by nature. If dissent is patriotic during a Democrat President, it’s also patriotic during a Republican President, and vice versa. No exceptions.

And to answer the Left’s favorite question at the moment, no, it’s not okay to punch a Nazi. For one, there aren’t any Nazis around these days. There was this little thing called World War II that pretty much made Nazis as extinct as Pauly Shore’s Oscar hopes. For another, we have a free marketplace of ideas in America. Some of those ideas are horrible, and Spencer’s ideas are. But where the Left wants to silence and violently react to those ideas, I want to let these ideas flow. Then, we can all see just who believes these bad ideas and mock them accordingly.

You think punching Richard Spencer is going to give him a chance of heart? If you do, you need to be held back a grade or 20. All you do is make him look like a victim and give him a reason to dig in even more. That doesn’t make you patriotic; that makes you an enabler.

You think shouting and stalking Trump supporters is going to make them reconsider their support? Think again. It’s only going to make them feel their support is justified. That doesn’t make you patriotic; that makes you a potential criminal.

And no matter how many times you invoke your alleged patriotism, you are no closer to being a patriot than when you started to realize how much you love this country. You are the very definition of the “sunshine patriot” Thomas Paine wrote about in 1776.

Let me know when you’re ready to love your country full time.