A message to conservatives howling about liberal protests leading to this week’s shooting: “Go fuck yourselves.” (More)
To hear conservatives tell it, they’re paragons of peace:
It is fair to say that violence has been incited by the leading cultural voices of the Left, who every evening on television call President Trump a Nazi, a fascist, a racist, a misogynist and a traitor; who denounce him in similar terms in every entertainment awards show; who were calling for his impeachment before he was inaugurated; who condone rioters who, wearing black masks, smash store windows with bricks and assault Republicans; who make it impossible for a conservative to give a speech on a college campus; who say, every day, that Republicans are trying to make everyone sick and destroy the planet; who display the president’s severed head as a trophy and enact his assassination in Central Park; and so on ad infinitum.
Because Republicans never called President Obama a Nazi, and Jonah Goldberg never wrote a book titled Liberal Fascism, and Dennis Prager hasn’t been howling for months about this being a “Second Civil War” and insisting “We are fighting fascism.”
Because there are no data linking white racism to support for the God-King, who didn’t begin his real estate career by discriminating against people of color and never said the Central Park Five should be kept in prison even if they were innocent and never claimed he could “grab ’em by the pussy” (and besides, “How does that demonstrate misogyny? How is that hatred of women?”), who never urged his supporters to beat up protesters and offered to pay their legal fees, who never pretended to gun down his opponents in the photo at the top of the page.
Because the God-King’s favorite conspiracy-monger never said President Obama was guilty of treason. Because elected Republicans never sympathized with a right-wing terrorist who crashed a plane into a federal office building, or right-wing terrorists who aimed sniper rifles at federal agents, or occupied a federal building for weeks.
None of that ever happened, so how dare we object to the GOP’s plan to strip health care from tens of millions of Americans so they can give tax breaks to their rich cronies? How dare we sound an alarm as Republicans try to gut the Paris Climate Accords and threaten our planet’s future? How dare we protest when police kill unarmed people of color? How dare college students march against hate speech?
And how dare liberal comedians hold up severed heads? After all, the God-King never fawned over a white guy who told President Obama to “suck on my machine gun” and President Obama was never lynched in effigy and there were never gun range targets of President Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders, including a rubber ‘Obama Zombie’ target that bled when shot.
So yeah, wingnuts who talk about “Second Amendment remedies” and say people need guns so they can “shoot tyrants” and insist that violent right-wing rhetoric has nothing to do with right-wing violence:
The environmental philosopher John Michael Greer, in a rather different context, has written about what he calls “problems and predicaments.” A problem, according to his framework, is something that can be solved; a predicament is a condition to which we must adapt. A broken handloom is a problem. The Industrial Revolution is a predicament (for the owner of the handloom).
In a country as large and diverse as ours – not only ethnically but culturally, religiously, geographically, and socioeconomically – it may be our predicament that there will always be someone, somewhere who, through a lens of poverty or despair or shamefully untreated mental illness, interprets heated political rhetoric as a call to pick up a gun.
This is exactly the kind of message that people – and particularly Americans – do not like to hear. It offends our can-do attitude, and it also suggests that our vast and multidimensional diversity makes politics messier, less manageable, and perhaps more volatile and dangerous. But sociology and political psychology are not interested in what we like or want. They present social dynamics to which we must adapt.
Right-wing violence is a “dynamic to which we must adapt.” But let one loony-left asshole shoot someone, and liberals must “tone down the rhetoric … the finger-pointing, just the tone and the angst and the anger directed at Donald Trump, his supporters.”
I mean, it’s not as if we just had an 18-month white male rage-fest. That never happened either.
So yes, here’s my message to conservatives howling about liberal rhetoric: “Go fuck yourselves.”
… which makes me guilty of “liberal contempt.” And go fuck that too.
Photo Credit: Getty Images