Thursday, October 11, 2018

The Left Blames The Right For All Violence

Correction below

Just so you don't miss The New Neo's excellent take on the history of recent violence and rhetoric, which includes Mollie Hemingway's take on the Scalise shooting earlier. People still think Lee Harvey Oswald was a right-winger (because he was once a Marine?  Because he owned a gun?), blaming the assassination on "Dallas."

I try to avoid going entirely to one side, not seeing the faults of the right because I am focused on the left.  I am not succeeding much recently.  Find me a reason that doesn't involve a mentally ill person that the NYT can sorta kinda squint into describing as someone on the right.  These are serious dishonesties, repeated for years. I don't find it easy to get past such things as when Eric Holder says "we kick them," when Michael Moore says "our people have to fight," when Obama says "we bring a gun to a knife fight," when GOP candidates are stabbed, and there are numerous actual instances of violence and threatened violence. Sure, Breitbart is trying to include as many incidents to pad their number as they can.  Rand Paul's wife sleeping with a loaded gun near her bed isn't an act of violence or threat by anyone on the left.  Adding it to their total against leftists isn't accurate. OTOH, her husband was present when the shooter opened up on Scalise, and he was physically attacked at home for political reasons. It's important context.

For new readers, and to remind the regulars.  Violent extremists on the right are primarily defensive, darkly warning that if there's some kind of civil war "they'll be ready," or bragging that they are going to hole up on their back road with their guns and dare Obama and the gun-grabbers to come after them. I have met these people, and they are scary.  I have back roads in NH I avoid, and I keep expecting to read about them in some horrible incident.  But it's four decades later, and nothing.  They never came out after people. They just keep saying "stay away."

Violent extremists on the left are more aggressive.  They shoot out windows of Republican headquarters or Army recruiting centers.  They torch cars or set houses on fire.  The strap bombs to themselves and walk into places. They go to conservative rallies and get into people's faces and try to bait them into violence.  More recently, they commit violence against some in the hopes of inciting violence in a larger group. Until recently, they usually did not commit violence against people, only objects, plus threats against people. The eroded consistently during the Obama administration, and has gotten much worse now that they are out of power.

I don't think that Hillary Clinton is lying in the least when she thinks that she in particular and Democrats in general have been the patient, civil, peaceful ones who are coming to the end of their rope dealing with these violent conservatives. But it's projection. Thinking that and saying it forcefully in that of-course-we're-right tone is also true of some horrible people.  Stalin believed the Ukrainian peasants were disguising the harvest and hiding plentiful food in order to make him look bad. Hitler inflamed the actual fact that the Bolsheviks had killed ~ 3 million by tying that to the Jews, which was less than 10% correct. (Just enough. The threshold of partial truth that people will believe.) The Nazis really though they were on defense, pre-emptively striking against an enemy that would soon take them out.

I think another boundary of dangerousness has been crossed in the last few months. Environmentalists believe that there are tipping points for species, or for climate.  That might be so.  I have long suggested that there might also be tipping points for economic growth, or for cultural continuity, or for government control, or for general morality.  Let me add another.  There might be a tipping point for violence.

Perhaps it is far off.

Correction:  I did not mention the two big ticket items - various stripes of Muslim terrorists, and white separatists.  I think the left minimises the former and associates the latter with the right, but they don't fit as cleanly into the division I made above. I oversimplified.


Christopher B said...

Read a review on the Weeky Standard site of a book about violence in Congress in the Antebellum US. The same author wrote a similar book about the early Republic years. It was much more extensive than just the infamous caning of Senator Sumner, as well as being used as a political tool. One of her theses is that the newly formed Republicans standing up to the threats from Southern Democrats was one of the tipping points towards Civil War 1.0

james said...

I hope it is far off. Someone pointed out that a civil conflict would be more like the Spanish civil war than the original American one, since the quarreling parties are so geographically mixed.

Sam L. said...

So far as I have seen, the Left is not blaming Antifa violence on the right to the right.m They're just claiming it's "not violence" or "it's justified (by something)".

Assistant Village Idiot said...

@ Sam L - I think that is true. But claiming it is deserved is close to the same thing.

lelia said...

I have been told repeatedly that the conservatives "started it."

Assistant Village Idiot said...

One would have to believe that, I suppose. Just human nature to say the other guy must have started it. It is true that any of us can pick a point in time that makes us look like decent people just going about our lives until those Others started making trouble. Everyone will trace the line of causation back differently as well.

But it is not therefore an empty exercise. It is possible to see actual evidence of when one group escalated; when one group conveniently decided that their aggressive act was a pre-emptive strike against opponents who were just about to attack them.

I'll give one hint for free. Whenever someone makes the statement that they don't want to waste time or get bogged down in who started it, they want to work on how we can move forward from here, their group started it and feels they have gained some territory. They now want to start afresh in order to capture new territory, painting you as someone who doesn't want to compromise and get along.

And they aren't lying. They believe it.