Monday, October 26, 2015

Mendacity As The Model

     At some point in the relatively recent past, deceit in the name of a Cause became the standard for the rhetoric of the political Left. I can’t pin down the origin, but it can’t be too far back; even Franklin D. Roosevelt, America’s first would-be Dictator For Life, was verbally honest most of the time.

     The antidote for deceit is, of course, a robust administration of Facts. The World Wide Web has given Facts a “voice” that the Left, which wholly controls the Main Stream Media, has labored to foreclose. Its efforts toward this end include blatant efforts to censor political opinion via the FCC, whether through specious provisions of election law or under the aegis of “net neutrality.” Though despite strenuous efforts to suppress them Facts continue to appear on the Web, the Left has not surrendered the field.

     If there’s a danger-of-all-dangers lurking in the November 2016 elections, the advance of Web censorship is surely it.

     Consider all the following:

     1. The recent Benghazi hearings. Hillary Clinton, who aspires to the presidency (and if the Republicans don’t wise up P.D.Q., is likely to get it), lied her way through several hours of questioning:

     [S]omething else was made clear this week: Hillary Clinton is a committed and unapologetic liar. Of course, this wasn’t actually a revelation any more than testimony from the Secretary of the Interior that, after extensive study, he can confirm that bears do, in fact s*** in the woods.

     There’s a scene in one of the Dune books where Paul Atreides experiences living through the moments he’d already prophesied. If I remember right, it was a dreamlike sense of ennui as he walked through steps he’d felt he’d already walked through. Or something like that. The point is that when it comes to Clintons lying and the press not caring and turning their derision on those who do, it’s déjà vu for as far as the eye can see.

     2. Race-sensitive “reporting.” It’s been the media’s practice for some time to suppress Facts about the race and/or the ethnicity of criminal perpetrators when those details would undermine the applicable Narrative promulgated by the Left. Here’s a blatant example:

     Roberta Happe was a beautiful 23-year-old woman, a recent graduate from USC with a business degree who eschewed the corporate world to devote her life to working with disadvantaged, developmentally disabled children. One evening in February 2001, as Happe was leaving work, she was abducted in a parking garage by a man named Jason Thompson, who made her drive to an ATM, where she was forced to withdraw $400. Thompson then raped, tortured, beat, stabbed, and strangled Happe, leaving her naked body in a Culver City park. By the next day, the LAPD had identified Thompson as the assailant. He’d left behind fingerprints, DNA, and his image on the ATM security camera. An APB was put out for Thompson, who—due to the horrifically brutal nature of the crime—was considered a major risk to strike again.

     For the Times editors, this was a disaster. Thompson was black; Happe was not just white but blond. There’d be no finagling their way out of telling the story of an unimaginably brutal black-on-white crime that involved rape and torture. Unless, of course, they simply decided not to tell it.

     And that’s exactly what they did. They sat on the story. The front page of the metro section the day after police released the details to the press was devoted to a whimsical human-interest story about people in Altadena who keep llamas as pets. The Happe murder and the clear and present threat to every woman in L.A. went completely unmentioned. I called ombudswoman Gold to ask why the story was being suppressed. Even Gold, the ever-obedient cog in the Times machinery, was dumbfounded by the omission, calling the story “such a huge thing that would’ve been in the public’s interest to have published.”

     The omission of critical facts can be just as deceiving as a deliberate lie. In this case, with a murderer on the loose whose race was clearly known, the public was denied the information: a potentially fatal reduction of peaceable citizens’ abilities to protect themselves or assist the police. But to the editors of the Los Angeles Times, defending The Narrative mattered more.

     3. The murderousness of the “Palestinians.” Daniel Greenfield lays out the Facts:

     On September 13, 1993, Arafat and Rabin shook hands over the Oslo Accord in the Rose Garden. At the end of this September, the PLO’s Abbas finally officially disavowed the Oslo Accords....

     The PLO repeatedly violated that agreement by waging war against Israel. Its leaders, Arafat and Abbas, made a mockery of the negotiations. They sabotaged every opportunity to reach an agreement making it clear that they did not want a settlement and they did not want to negotiate.

     Now Abbas has made it official. He disavowed the accords and set off a new intifada in which Muslims hack at Rabbis with meat cleavers or sink knives into the necks of teenage girls. Abbas lights the match and then plays the victim. He praises the "martyrs" who shoot toddlers and then his representative demands UN action.

     Yet the entire policy of the Obama Administration toward the Israel / PLO conflict is that Israel, not the PLO, must make concessions. The Obama State Department condemns Israeli settlements in Israel’s sovereign territory. It promulgates lies about the PLO being a willing and eager “partner for peace” with “legitimate aspirations” to statehood. It presses Israel to accommodate “Palestinian” demands and encourages the nations of Europe to work to undermine Israeli border security. All of that, while Barack Hussein Obama himself claims barefacedly that Israel has never had a more reliable friend than his Administration.

     Only due to the persistence of factual reportage on the World Wide Web are Americans kept informed about matters such as the above. Scant wonder that the Left regards the Web as a territory to be conquered and subjugated by any means necessary.

     The disease has begun to spread. If I may repeat a favorite Tom Kratman quote:

     [I]t has been said more than once that you should choose enemies wisely, because you are going to become just, or at least, much like them. The corollary to this is that your enemies are also going to become very like you....

     If I could speak now to our enemies, I would say: Do you kill innocent civilians for shock value? So will we learn to do, in time. Do you torture and murder prisoners? So will we. Are you composed of religious fanatics? Well, since humanistic secularism seems ill-suited to deal with you, don't be surprised if we turn to our churches and temples for the strength to defeat and destroy you. Do you randomly kill our loved ones to send us a message? Don't be surprised, then, when we begin to target your families, specifically, to send the message that our loved ones are not stationery.

     This seems lost on the current enemy, but then, he's insane. It's very sad. Yes, it's very sad for us, too.

     [From the Afterword to A Desert Called Peace.]

     As Mazer Rackham said to Ender Wiggin in Ender’s Game, “Your enemy is your teacher.” In particular, your enemy teaches you tactics you haven’t yet tried, by using those tactics against you to advantage. If the Left continues to make progress by its deceits, or succeeds in suppressing factual reportage by legal and regulatory means, tacticians on the Right will adopt those tactics and encourage their use. Where will we be then?

     This weary essay of a few days ago was in part motivated by the difficulty the Facts have had at getting political traction. It seemed to me that the Left had effectively nullified the Facts with the relentless blasts of deceit from its media megaphones. Despite the thousands of citizen-journalists who’ve joined the fray on the side of the Facts, the Left’s Narratives – each and every one of them in blatant contradiction to realities observable by anyone with eyes to see and ears to hear – continue to prevail, even advance.

     The evidence of this, too, is all around us. Though you can collect a lot of it at any office coffee mess or water cooler, it becomes most obvious when in conversation with someone from Europe, where the Narratives go unopposed. I’ve had some unpleasant revelations of exactly that kind in recent months. Despite having access to the same Web sources as any American, the Europeans I’ve encountered have swallowed the Left’s Narratives almost unanimously and without question.

     There is no Last Graf. Mendacity cannot be allowed to triumph. How we who champion the Facts can do better than we’ve done to this point, I am unable to say.


Bob Parish said...

What’s that smell in this room? Didn’t you notice it Brick? Didn’t you notice a powerful and obnoxious odor of mendacity in this room?…There ain’t nothin’ more powerful than the odor of mendacity…You can smell it. It smells like death. — Big Daddy in The Streetcar Named Desire

Have we become anesthetized to the odor? Most of the US shashays along as though everything smells great. Keep reminding us Fran that there is a horrendous stink out there and rather than endure it we should rage against the odiferous affront that assails us.

Dystopic said...

The Right is already adapting the tactics of the Left. Vox Day's SJWs Always Lie book is more or less an instruction manual in the Leftist style of ideological warfare, spun for the Right to use as a defensive measure.

When debating a Leftist the other day, I caught myself using rational thought and dialectic again. This doesn't work with them. They speak rhetoric only. So I called him a childish moron instead of making a rational argument. I didn't go far enough. I should have said something like "did you eat paint chips as a kid?"

The "alt-right" is growing increasingly militant, trolling the Left and enraging them. It's disturbing to me, because some of those on the far end of that spectrum are starting to look a lot like would-be tyrants themselves. They are becoming like their enemies.

When this fight goes hot -- and it will, mark my words -- the Left isn't going to like the result. But it's entirely possible that you and I won't, either.

Andy Texan said...

There are 3 political factions in this country: the hard Left (Dimocrats) the soft left (progressive republicans) and the tea party conservatives (liberty loving small government types). Notice how the hard and soft Left use the same tactics (mendacity) against the same people.