Saturday, July 23, 2016

Quickies: On Punching Back

     Remember The Won’s exhortation to his allegiants to “punch back twice as hard” -- ? It’s become something of a mantra on the Right, in part due to the efforts of Glenn Reynolds. As it turns out, the “twice as hard” part might not be necessary.

     I’ve discovered that metaphorically speaking, the Left has what boxing enthusiasts once called “a glass jaw.” They can’t take a punch. Not even an oblique, glancing one.

     Just recently, a Web conversation that I was privy to included a typical sort of Leftist disparagement of Donald Trump. I’m not one of Trump’s bigger fans; about the most positive thing I can say about him is that I think he’d be a better president than Hillary Clinton. But this...person made a direct, undisguised comparison of Trump to Hitler.

     To which I responded:

     “If you’re an American, another county heard from; how nice, but the voters will decide in November. If you’re not, we’ll gladly stay out of your politics if you’ll stay out of ours.”

     The original commenter replied “what are you trying to say in your response to my comment about trump sounding like hitler?” (Note the lack of capital letters; many Leftists never learn to shift for themselves.) He then blocked me from responding. No one else has responded – and I’d bet my bottom dollar that the others privy to it were as far to the left as the original commenter.

     It surprised me a bit. I’d thought I was being fairly mild...for me, at least. But Leftists cannot abide any dissent from their doctrines – and one of those doctrines, as several successive presidential elections have shown us, is that whoever the GOP nominates is “just like Hitler.”

     Now, some will “punch back,” but they can seldom rise above the sort of economic, social, and political ignorance of a Bernie Sanders fan. It’s nearly always sufficient to laugh, call them unintelligent and uneducated, and stroll away. The others reel in shock that someone has dared to call them out – even as mildly as I did above. They retreat to the Leftist cocoon to lick their wounds and garner sympathy from their fellows for having been so cruelly abused.

     Many on the Right have refrained from tactics such as mine out of a desire not to “offend,” or to “avoid unpleasantness.” The asymmetry involved could not be starker. They’ll call you every foul thing in their lexicon – and they do so because they’re confident that you won’t respond.

     If we go by the transactional classifications in Eric Berne’s famous little book Games People Play, the Leftist has descended to Child level in hurling an unsubstantiable insult. It’s the Rightist’s part to respond as a Parent: with the reproof an ignorant, unintelligent child deserves for such a remark. To refrain from doing so is to miss a huge opportunity: not for outreach – there’s no outreach possible to someone such as our hypothetical Leftist; he’s a life member of “a compact and unified church” outside which there is no salvation – but for the humiliation and discouragement of the enemy.

     Think it over. The tactic might be more valuable than it appears at first blush, and we need all the weapons we can get.


jls said...

Irreconcilable Differences: Understanding the Left-Right Divide

Liberals pose as the ‘Champions’ of life’s forgotten few. They stand astride a world of ‘givers’ and ‘takers’, basking in the reflected glow of the ‘victims’ noble virtue; holding the victims loserdom as a cloak of purity and righteousness. Liberals gain the righteous high ground by taking from the takers and giving to the victims of the takers, without becoming takers themselves. They stand shielded by an impermeable carapace of good intentions, casting whatever action they take as ‘justice’ and ‘fairness’ and ‘liberty’ without regard to the nature of man or the nature of ‘justice’, ‘fairness’, or ‘liberty. By defining ‘truth’ as ‘belief sincerely stated’ they need only consult their ‘inner being’ to know the correct outcome of any social engagement. And thanks to the good graces of god, the answer always comes back Equality, reaffirming their core belief that righteousness lies in taking from the takers and giving to the victims of the takers. What could possibly be nobler.

For Liberals the root of evil is the impulse towards self-interest. They do not claim to be without the impulse, they simply claim to aspire to a higher standard. Jane Austen captures the essence in her candid comment ‘I have been a selfish being all my life, in practice, though not in principle.’ Though Liberals fall short of the glory of liberalism - in their personal practices - they maintain their righteousness through their advocacy, through their insistence that public policy continuously move towards taking from those who have more and giving to those who have less. When Liberals fall short of the ideal, they seek redemption through compensation, they seek to ‘right the world’ of moral balance by moving society as a whole towards ‘social justice’.

To the liberal mind, a just society is an imagined ideal, a utopian vision of a society absent selfishness or greed. It is a world of givers, free to exercise their virtue of Care, absent fear of loss at the hands of the takers. It is a world of justice, where reparations and recompense balance the ‘selfish’ sins of the past. It is a world of fairness, where the virtue of society is judged by results produced, rather than procedures followed. It is a world of liberty, where everyone has the same likelihood of achieving their dreams, whether tall or short, abled or disabled, capable or incapable. Equality does not ask the color of one’s skin, where one is born, or the value one person brings another, it simply asks that humanity be recognized and rewarded without regard to selfish-interests.

Where conservatives look to believe what they know, liberals look to know what they believe. Conservatives look to discover ‘what is’ without regard to outcomes, then base a course of action on the data. Liberals, look to choose an outcome based on their beliefs, then construct the data necessary to support those beliefs. One looks to discover objective reality, then adjust subjective perspectives for alignment, the other looks to discover subjective perspectives, then adjust objective reality for alignment. For one side, speaking the truth means saying about what is, that it is. For the other side speaking the truth means saying about what is, that which achieves an end, while speaking with earnest conviction.

The bane of liberalism is the bifurcation of the liberal soul between the deep and the virtuous. At the deepest level lies the drive for self-protection, for self-improvement, for self-actualization. This drive is deep and necessary but it stands in stark contrast with the noble virtues of selflessness, egalitarianism and altruism. For a liberal to do what is necessary, he must first do what is immoral. For a liberal to do what is virtuous, she must first do what is self-denying. If a little self-denial is a little virtue, then a large self-denial, must be a large virtue. The inevitable conclusion is that self-hate must be the greatest virtue, as well as the greatest sickness; thus the conundrum of liberal guilt.

CGHill said...

Were it not for Hitler, the Left would be forced to invent a bogus frame of reference.

Anonymous said...

"...many Leftists never learn to shift for themselves." Thanks for the laugh!

And yes, it is great fun to play these games with the 'logically challenged'.