Monday, January 10, 2011

Demonizing the Other

I normally don't address domestic politics, but I do address the left-wing bias in the press and domestic terrorism. So the Giffords assassination attempt seems at least somewhat in my lane.

The Left and their media brethren have been eager to portray the killer who tried to murder Representative Giffords (and succeeding in killing a number of other people, including a young child) as a Tea Party storm trooper of the right. I guess the "No Labels" movement memo didn't get to everyone on their side. Sadly, he seems to be nuts and if you have to label him, anti-Semitic and left wing seems far more appropriate than Tea Partier. No matter that Giffords doesn't seem that liberal and so would be unlikely to be the focus of an actual right-wing killer. But there is a long history of the media-enabled left wing to portray conservatives as violent extremists regardless of the lack of evidence while urging perspective and sensitivity if a jihadi seems to have killed.

Indeed, it seems that some on the left side of the aisle are almost disappointed that Representative Giffords will likely survive and recover, denying them a martyr to the cause.

I'm not interested in blaming the left wing for the shooting at the Giffords event, even though the killer is clearly not right wing. Political discourse is necessary, and attempts to blame violence on conservative speech that has been given a clear pass by the media and the Left in the past when done by liberals is disgusting.

It is the liberal bias of our media that is the blame for the different treatment of each side's similar use of rhetoric to inspire the troops. Let me gather my massive knowledge of psychology gained from my history and political science degrees, and my long history of living and working in liberal environments, to support this theory.

One, there are clearly liberals who kill and conservatives who kill. The question isn't why each kills--ultimately each is an individual free to make their choices in life (unless certifiably nuts). Normal people can understand that when your president says, as President Obama did, in regard to political opponents, that "if they bring a knife, you bring a gun," that this is a figure of speech and not an incitement to violence. And if someone who is liberal happens to shoot someone shortly thereafter, those on the left will not jump to tar all liberals by that individual's action. They are liberals and so they know liberals, and they understand that one of them did not act out of the beliefs of all liberals. They know that because they are angry, too, but would not kill out of that anger. Nor would their friends and political allies. It is not normal. It is an aberration.

But if a conservative (or someone who can be portrayed as a conservative) commits a political crime, it is easy for the liberal media to believe it is but the tip of a vast iceberg of similar latent violence that they've always suspected is ready to burst forth in violence. Conservatives are alien. Liberals don't know many conservatives. They aren't exposed to the ideas of conservatives in anything other than bumper sticker-level detail. Conservatives are "the other" who can easily be imagined as capable of the worst evil. So if a conservative commits violence (or they just jump to this conclusion, as the Giffords case illustrates, in the latest of these eager assumptions), nobody in the media considers that the killer is an individual who does not represent conservative thought. No, for our liberal media, violence is a natural evolution of the other side's political views. If they say "bring a gun" to a debate, put up the metal detectors at the entrance.

We're a long way from the Left's refrain during the Iraq War debates that dissent is the highest form of patriotism.

Can't we just start and stop at the point where we all mourn the loss of life and the attempt to kill a representative of the people in Congress? Aren't these things bad enough without trying to score political points and turn these victims into weapons to demonize the other side which had nothing to do with the shootings?

Who am I kidding? This crime will be used for left-wing fundraising for the next two years. You know it will.

UPDATE: Some other thoughts--not blind accusations--about the false charges of Tea Party guilt.

UPDATE: One more. Is Kos guilty of her shooting? Giffords was identified by him as a target because she is a moderate Democrat and not up to the purity standards of the Left. And what of the other examples in the article?

Obviously, I am not making that connection. Sane people aren't driven to murder by figures of speech. And if we ban it, pretending that it will prevent nuts from killing, a lot of politicians, political fundraisers, and media people will be out of a job. My God, had it been in place in 2000, eight years of material for the anti-Bush fanatics would have been placed out of bounds.

Seeing how the left side of the aisle has been so eager to pin the blame for this mass murder on the Tea Party (after failing to get their other smears to stick) is disgusting. I'm thinking the No Labels crowd needs to change their mailing list to target these people and their collective guilt game, and not the people on the right who the No Labelers believe are meanly labeling their opponents as socialists and big spenders