On the second night of the first round of Democrat primary debates, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) accused former Vice-President Joe Biden (D) of being a racist for having opposed mandatory busing in the 1970’s and of speaking of the “civility” that existed even with two of the United States Senate’s most vigorous segregationists – Sen. James Eastland (D-MS) and Herman Talmadge (D-GA). Normally, I might feel sorry for Mr. Biden who has a long history of supporting civil right, but he routinely plays the race card on others – usually conservatives – including President Donald Trump. Afterward Ms. Harris was joined by Sen. Bernie Sanders (Socialist (VT) and in a backhanded way by Sens. Corey Booker (D-NJ) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA).
Last weekend, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) was accused for racism because she dared to disagree with four women of color regarding a vote on providing humanitarian aid to those crossing our southern border illegally. The four women were Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA). (They have named themselves “The Squad” – isn’t that cute?) At any rate Ms. Pelosi was responding to a question about the outsized influence that “the Squad” has on Democrat policy by noting that when they opposed the bill financing the aid (noted above) they got precisely four votes – their own. Apparently having the temerity to point out the lack of support for “the Squad” was racist. But before you feel sorry for Ms. Pelosi please note she turned around anD labeled Mr. Trump a racist for daring to criticize these same four women.
And finally, Megan Rapinoe, the American soccer superstar who just led her team to a repeat championship in the World Cup, has labeled Mr. Trump as homophobic for some untold reason. When challenged on Monday, she said Mr. Trump’s message was exclusionary – apparently a sin in the eyes of the beholder.
I still can’t understand why the people above don’t just do the “full Monty” on Mr. Trump like Mr. Sanders does who routinely ticks off that Mr. Trump is racist, sexist, homophobic, misogynistic, xenophobic and probably doesn’t like either kale or quinoa. And therein lies the point.
The Democrats have adopted the post-Modernism credo that truth is relative and that accusations are sufficient to nullify the credibility of those who oppose your views. It is a natural progression from the politics of personal destruction practiced by former President Bill Clinton’s in which his handlers sought to negate accusations of sexual impropriety by Mr. Clinton by sullying the reputations of his accusers – Paula Jones, Jaunita Broderick, Kathleen Willey, and Monica Lewinsky – as “trailer trash, bimbos, sluts and stalkers.”
As these polemic devices have become more frequent, the policy debates have become less informative. Facts, logic, history and morality are abandoned in favor of accusations, guilt by association, and profiling. How easy is it to dismiss a person’s opinion by labeling him a racist, or a homophobe, or a sexist? And more importantly, how difficult is it to defend against such accusations? A denial is insufficient and yet a denial is usually although that one has. The accuser doesn’t have to prove the accusation – she simply needs to make it. A perfect example is the dust up involving Ms. Pelosi responding to a question about whether Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and her “squad” are driving the Democrat agenda. Ms. Pelosi responded with a fact – Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and her squad did not garner a single vote (other than their own) in favor of their position opposing a bill to provide assistance to those entering the country illegally on our Southern border. But they were four women, they were four women of color, and thus the accusation that Ms. Pelosi’s comments were racist. Ms. Pelosi did not single them out as women, did not single them out as persons of color, or even that they were among the most ill informed members of Congress. She made a factual statement as to proof that they are not driving the Democrat agenda in the House. But the accusation has stuck with the mainstream media who revel in this type of shallow thinking and histrionics because it fits their own means and methods. The accusation was easy the denial was insufficient and the proof was ignored.
In an October 2018 column I noted:
Post-Modernism is a movement that began in academic circles as a means to explain away the consistent failures of communism/socialism since their founding. It is populated by former communists and socialists who have reigned in academia without accountability. It has been adopted by so-called activists who are still trying to understand why others succeed where they have failed – this is their excuse.
It is a form of nihilism which rejects everything that brought Western civilization out of the Dark Ages – advancements in art, science, industry, government, engineering, technology, medicine, etc. It has made its way out of academia and into the streets where mob violence (e.g. Antifa, Occupy Wall Street, Earth Liberation Front, the Eugene anarchists) has become its raison d’être and jabberwocky its explanation. And from there it has been adopted by the new Far Left liberal/progressive wing of the Democrat Party and was in full display during the Senate confirmation of Supreme Court nominee and now Justice Brett Cavanaugh.
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In the post-Modernist world there is no absolute truth. That means that anything is true if you believe it to be true. Or nothing is true because you have not embraced it as “your truth.” In either instance, the conclusions are rather benign until you step into a society where others take the same point of view – all they believe is true, and all that they don’t believe is not true. So how do you resolve the disputes between your truth and their truth? That’s right – “might makes right,” mob violence where the strongest imposes his or her truth on others who disagree. And that lasts until a stronger mob overwhelms and subjugates the previous victor.”
We have reached a dangerous place in our representative democracy. More and more our politicians are forsaking debate in favor of personal attacks. Less information is being provided while more reputations are being shredded. These weapons are being used to silence those who object. Free speech is being denied by those who use these tactics. And the best way to respond is by ignoring the accusations and demanding the facts. So when you hear the accusations that someone is a racist, or a sexist, or a homophobe without producing a supporting fact, think of it as just “blah, blah, blah.” And when these accusations are made in response to someone else’s assertions bet on the accuser of being wholly ignorant of the facts and logic surrounding the assertion.
Free speech not only requires a courageous advocate; it requires a discerning audience.
Just to test whether you are paying attention I have inserted in the body of this column one of those dismissive personal attacks as a means of diminishing the credibility of a party. See if you can find it.