Thursday, December 30, 2004

Hate Speech: Right vs. Left

American politics contains two types of hate speech: the unbelievably barbaric rhetoric of the Radical Left, and the Right's observation that 'Progressives' are amazingly full of hate. Here's the way it works: pretend you are a Democrat (unlikely as that may be if you don't live in Los Angeles or New York City) besides Joe Lieberman, and I'll pretend I'm, say, Hugh Hewitt or George Will. Here's a fictional, but highly realistic, example:

You: I wish that moron W. and his poodle Tony Blair would just drop dead, but only after being slowly tortured by an Iraqi freedom fighter.

Me: [You, the unidentified but oh-so-typical 'Progressive'] said today that the President and Prime Minister should be tortured and killed.

You: You're a fascist. I hope you get cancer or, better, AIDS, you homophobic bastard.

That's the way the game is played, folks, and it's no exaggeration. Jeff Jacoby provides the proof every year with a column on the most outrageous liberal hate speech of the year. This year's edition includes death wishes on the President and Secretary of Defense, numerous comparisons of Republicans with Nazis, ridiculing of Condoleezza Rice because she is a black Republican of great accomplishment, and much, much, more, so go read it now! He doesn't even mention the maniacs of the Democratic Underground, who seem unable to express themselves without unending vulgarities.

But what about the right, you hypocrite, my two Democratic readers are asking...well, what about it? Every time you hear a 'Progressive' decry the hatefulness of the right while taking a break from printing 'Jesusland' t-shirts, you can bet you're gonna hear about Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter...and then their quiver lies empty. Limbaugh and Coulter have occasionally said some outrageous things, but compare the WORST example from these two with, say, the garbage Eric Alterman routinely spews out on Here's a prime example of very recent vintage:
Is this president interested only in killing people, but can�t be bothered when given the chance to help save them? His morally callous parsimony in the face of this, the greatest natural disaster in modern history, seems determined to give the rest of that world exactly that impression. George W. Bush shames our nation with large talk and small deeds; with his want of character and smallness of spirit.
Yeah, Eric, George W. Bush is only interested in killing people...and Dan Rather is a competent journalist. I mean, COME ON, this guy is considered a great pundit!

The other trick the Left employs to show the Right's 'hatefulness' is epitomized by, to use a sad example, the Matthew Shepherd killing. Shepherd was horribly murdered by some ignorant homophobes in Wyoming, but the larger blame was placed on the 'culture of hate' supposedly spread by conservatism. Here are some observations to clear things up for our 'progressive' buddies:
  1. The fact that there are ignorant homophobes in Wyoming is not surprising...there are ignorant homophobes in every city, county, and state in the Union.
  2. No conservative has EVER, to my knowledge (and I challenge anyone to provide evidence to the contrary), applauded this horrible crime or the hatred that motivated it.
  3. To be killed because one is a homosexual is tragedy. It is also a tragedy to be killed because you are black, or because you just happen to be in a convenience store when it is robbed, or because you happened to work in the World Trade Center. Murder is always deplorable.
  4. You can oppose gay marriage on religious, social, or political grounds and feel immense pain and sorrow about what happened to Shepherd. There is no contradiction...opposition to a political stance does not necessarily, or even usually, imply hatred.
Lest I be accused of pointing out the speck in my neighbor's eye while ignoring the log in my own, let me point out that I say some provocative things on this blog...for example, I have pointed out that Michael Moore is a fat propagandist. Who would deny his girth? Or is it the propagandist part that you object to? I, too, need to lose a lot of weight. Call me a fat propagandist also if you like. I also, every week, single out some poor soul as a 'jackass'. I don't really have a justification for this, I just happen to think it's funny. I'm not perfect: for example, I am easily amused, as you can see. But I don't wish for Michael Moore's death...I just want him to come to his senses. There's a big, fat, wide difference.

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