The Shooting in Alexandria. Dare We Point Fingers?
There's been a lot of hand wringing over the last 24 hours about how we must come together and not point fingers of blame about the shooting in Alexandria. Basically, I agree with that statement. But fingers are being pointed anyway. So if we must assign blame, or at least accuse others of inspiring this loony tune to do the shooting, let’s try to keep the comments within the realm of reason. In that spirit I will say this. Bernie Sanders, who seems to be the favorite target of the FB crowd and some commentators, is not AT ALL to blame for the toxic atmosphere we are breathing right now. Sanders is a socialist. He speaks as a socialist. He disagrees with the President and the Right Wing in general. But, when he disagrees he does so with what he sees as a reasoned argument. Reasonable people may disagree with Sanders. I do. I don’t espouse a single point he makes on crime, the economy or anything else he represents. He is a little closer to me on 2nd Amendments Rights. But a reasonable person cannot say that Sanders inspires violence. The weak-minded on my side of the aisle, like the safe-space snowflakes on the left, think that if you disagree with their particular cult leader, or our favorite political chant, you are a hater and the root of all things evil. This kind of mindless ranting muddies the waters.
I would recommend we pay attention to who is actually saying what and practice a bit more digression on our diagnoses.
Try this one on for size.
There is one particular group who - if there was recent external inspiration for the shooting - provided or hoped to provide the siren’s call. Two weeks ago Nancy Pelosi, among others, put out the call for a “Summer or Resistance”. Can’t you just imagine the breathy discussion surrounding that? “Oh, we are going to sound so cool! ‘Summer of Resistance!’ That is just as cool as Hillary saying ‘Nothing Burger’! OMG! We are soooo cool!” I am going to give Pelosi credit and say she is simply too stupid and shallow to appreciate what I am about to say. She may have just seen the phrase as good political marketing. But there are many who do not see such a phrase as a call for good civic discourse and advocacy. For many it conjures images of violence and provides a phony blanket of legitimacy. Among those who did coin and promote the phrase, some surely were hoping to provoke exactly what we saw on that ball field yesterday. They see themselves as little Lenins. They are the same people who expect anything they think to be celebrated and will smash your skull with a bicycle lock for disagreeing*. For MOST people “resistance” implies what it has implied since the first time organized authority existed. It means the same thing it meant in France in WWII. It means the destruction of that with which we disagree through violence or at least the threat of violence. This type of person cannot use reason and argument to make their point. They have no argument. They only have memorized, rehearsed, emotionalist phrases. They have no maturity. They cannot simply get behind a candidate or a cause and do the hard work to win the argument. No. They enjoy lashing out, then blame others for their irresponsibility. The “Summer of Resistance” will be, for many, just a childish tantrum. But for a few it may be something much more sinister. No matter your political stripe, you would be a responsible citizen to speak out against mindless provocation and get involved on a mature level to see your interests met by your elected officials. But by no means should you water down your beliefs. Stand up and speak your mind. Be as passionate as Bernie. Be as critical as Trump. Stake out your position and engage in the discourse. But don’t bring childish self-righteousness and distemper to the game. You won’t accomplish anything and may provoke something you didn’t bargain for. Either way, no matter your politics, no one with any self-respect will REALLY give a shit about you or your point. How about this? Let’s make this the “Summer of Grow Up and Make Your Point Like an Adult”**. *There were actually people saying that this violence was understandable. Well, yeah. These assholes will have to wait until next election to seek validation again. So, sure, hit a guy in the head with a padlock on a chain. I called it all a long time ago. But this book is timeless. Know this book and know politics.