Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Slanders And Slanderers

     Among the most noteworthy aspects of contemporary political combat is the Left’s penchant for attacking personalities: i.e., those individuals who’ve caused Leftists agita by outperforming them. The assaults on Donald Trump are only the most blatant examples of this.

     President Trump, be it said, can be abrasive. He’s had that aspect about him ever since he entered the public eye, back in the late Seventies. Any skilled caricaturist would incorporate that element into his portrayal. That renders Trump susceptible to being twitted.

     But Trump is successful. In spades. (And among spades, but that’s a separate subject.) He’s had several failures, but he’s followed the Scrooge McDuck formula: after each one, he’s picked himself up, set to work afresh, and swiftly recouped his losses. Moreover, he did so in the toughest real-estate environments in America, often against the will and the aims of the political elites of those regions.

     More to today’s point, Trump has outperformed a whole lot of folks the Left practically deifies, including their anointed successor to Barack Hussein Obama. First he defeated Mrs. Clinton in a national election. Then he set about reversing the most egregious policy missteps of the Obamunist regime, including those in which Mrs. Clinton had a conspicuous hand. Indeed, President Trump is on the way to achieving foreign-policy goals that many of the political elite had deemed unattainable. He won’t get the Nobel Peace Prize, of course; that only goes to certified Leftists. But he’s already secured better results than any the political and media establishments would have imagined possible.

     And they hate him for it. So they’ve done everything they can to besmirch his name and reputation.

     As above, so also below.

     Regular Gentle Readers will probably remember the pieces I posted about John Ringo’s and Larry Correia’s disinvitations, over plaintive and entirely fictional complaints from “social-justice warriors,” from events to which they’d been invited as honored guests. Slander was the method; pusillanimity on the part of the event organizers was the target. The unwillingness to face down the slanderers got them the results they wanted.

     Just recently, John Ringo was targeted again, this time about a past event. The story is unbelievably enraging:

     Concerned to walk the halls carrying a Ringo book? Only if you’re an underage girl.
     Story time!
     As an attendee and participant at FenCon in 2013, I had the (mis) fortune of encountering Ringo – first as someone whose story for the writing contest got poor marks because Ringo didn’t like that it had a black protagonist, then sitting behind him during opening ceremonies, and finally watching ConCom repeatedly bring him up short for his behavior.
     Specifically, Ringo and his girlfriend (?) in fetishwear trying to get underage girls at the con to come back to his room for ‘consensual bondage.’ It was stomach-twisting listening to the weedy little jerk cry out ‘if there’s no penetration, it’s not statutory!’ as an excuse not to get thrown out. ConCom was on the ball and kept an eagle eye on him, and the rest of the con went trouble-free.
     I will admit some amusement at Ringo going everywhere in the company of a bunch of jackbooted, identically-uniformed, buzzcutted goons with ‘Ringo’s Roughnecks’ stenciled on their cheap t-shirts.

     John Ringo has replied:

     I suppose I should start with a declaration I really shouldn’t have to make:

     This is an entirely fabricated lie.

     It has no truth to it whatsoever save that I was at FenCon as Toastmaster and I was in the company of a woman wearing Goth clothing.

     Please read Ringo’s piece in its entirety. It’s a bigger eye-opener than six cups of espresso.

     I’ve been told that Ringo is planning to sue the slanderer. I hope that’s so – and I hope he utterly ruins the blackguard. But above all, remember the tactical consistency with other Leftist slanders. It’s their method, and as they have little else with which to attack those more successful than themselves, I doubt they’ll give it up.

     Political combat, which has become a wholly unruly affair, accounts for some of this. Yet in earlier eras in which Left and Right were bitterly opposed to one another, we saw a higher, cleaner standard of thrust, parry, and riposte. Today’s Left has departed from the gutters to swim in the cesspools of discourse – and to dispense poisons from those cesspools to whoever will give them the opportunity.

     The worst aspect of the thing is how very hard it is to punish a slanderer. There are avenues in the law, of course, but they’re very demanding; any one of several possible missteps will cause a court to invalidate one’s claim of damage. Note how carefully plaintiff’s lawyer Louis Nizer had to maneuver to press home Quentin Reynolds’s claim of libel against Westbrook Pegler. Even if the plaintiff touches every base in the right order, a libel or slander defendant can often get off the hook merely by claiming that “I was misinformed.”

     But there’s a bright side as well: one Robert A. Heinlein delineated in Citizen of the Galaxy:

     “A thousand truths do not mark a man as a truth-teller, but a single lie marks him as a damned liar....Lying to other people is your business, but I tell you this: once a man gets a reputation as a liar, he might as well be struck dumb, for people do not listen to the wind.”

     And whether or not their targets manage to exact full justice and retribution for them, the overwhelming majority of the Left’s slanders are easily proved to be lies.

1 comment:

Paul Bonneau said...

"...once a man gets a reputation as a liar, he might as well be struck dumb, for people do not listen to the wind."

On the other hand, you have the Murray Gell-Mann Amnesia effect:

I don't know why institutions among humans get a free pass with peddling lies while individuals mostly do not, but it certainly explains at least in part why the enemy takes such care to capture institutions...