October 27, 2010

A Movement of Cowards

Libertarians are generally characterized by (misplaced) arrogance. Liberals are generally characterized by...well, I don't actually know, but I'm sure I'll get suggestions. Conservatives are generally characterized by fear.

It informs all their policies. They need a big, swaggering military because we're otherwise at the mercy of...those little countries on the other side of the world whose governments have massive contracts with ours. They need to keep immigrants out of the country, because otherwise, their job skills and way of life aren't attractive enough to compete. They have to deny anthropogenic climate change, because otherwise, they have to find solutions that are beyond their ingenuity and willingness to sacrifice. They need guns, because otherwise, they're at the mercy of all and sundry who happen along.

They need to keep gays and lesbians shamed and marginalized, because otherwise, what incentive would they have to refrain from all the gay sex they want to have (instead of just some of it). They have to keep power out of women's hands, because otherwise, what woman would want them? They have to make abortion illegal, because otherwise, what woman would put up with raising their demon spawn without help? In the women's case, because otherwise, how can they make up for having their own abortions? And oh, how many things must they do because otherwise, they stand no chance of being good enough to be accepted by their gods?

Most of all, for the broad swath of people who vote movement conservative, they need to side with the bullies, because otherwise, the bullies will turn their attention to them. It's a somewhat effective strategy, and one the movement relies upon for support. It still isn't good for anyone.

I'm not saying anything new here. There's nothing about the politics of fear that should be a revelation to anyone reading this. So why am I talking about it now?

Three reasons. The first is that I simply think that no election should pass without people being reminded that the big, blustery candidates are really sniveling children. The second is that fear is a lousy basis for making complex decisions, which is the job we're electing people to do. The third is that it's rare to see this fear as well illustrated as it has been in recent days.

How scared did Joe Miller have to be to decide he wasn't going to answer any more questions about himself? How terrified did he have to be to have an illegal security detail? How badly did his knees have to knock for him to blame the school for using that security? And what kind of quivering mess did he have to be to set that security detail on a journalist who was asking questions and have him detained in handcuffs?

Then...then there's this:

Forget, for a moment, Paul's cowardly reaction on Fox, referring to the incident as "crowd control" (well, don't forget that at all; just set it aside briefly). Forget that the victim was already surrounded by several men much larger than she. Forget, even, that the stomping occurred well after Paul was out of the way.

No, in this case, let's just pay attention to what the right is correct about when they're describing this incident: the precipitating event. That would be this:

"Oh, noes!" they're saying, "She tried to present Rand Paul with a sign! She was asking for it!" No, really, that's what they're saying. Here's a really brief sampling:
  • so....she provoked a response. stepping on her head was uncalled for and uncivil, but this girl was not innocent in the confrontation either. Moveon.org is famous for their provocation.
  • We are living in the age of TERRORISM. If Lauren Valle had tried to pull this stunt on Obama, the same thing would have happened. The candidates must be protected from nuts and extremists. Given that Lauren Valle and MoveOn were there to make trouble, I think she is the one who owes the Rand people an apology.
  • Valle is a professional antagonist. She was just there to make people mad and she accomplished her goal. She is certainly not an innocent victim. I don't condone the actions that were taken by the men but, if you are going to play childish gottcha games you get what you deserve.
    Lauren Lizabeth Valle, 23, an activist with MoveOn.org, tried to get close to Paul to give him a fake award portraying him as a tool of big business, as the group has done elsewhere. ----------------------------------------------------- This alone is reason enough to stop this woman.
  • This is actually semi-funny to me personally. Yeah, this chick got ruffled a tad but that sort of thing should be recognized as simply "par-for-the-course" if you're going to attempt to inflame and antagonize a Senatorial candidate and supporters in such a hostile political climate as this chick did.
  • This sheds a different light on the matter. It seems there is plenty of blame to go around. She was a paid protester by MoveOn who hired her to go to KY for the last three weeks of the campaign.
  • Profitt blames Valle for initiating the incident—a claim that actually does have some merit.
  • A WELL DESERVED, but much too gentle, BEAT DOWN.
And then there's the criminal himself.

"She's a professional at what she does," Tim Profitt, who was fired Tuesday from Paul's Senate campaign, said in an interview with local television station WKYT. "When all the facts come out people will see that she's the one who initiated the whole thing."

Yes, this is what it takes to scare a movement conservative. A young woman with a sign who might make somebody look bad. That's the monster in the closet that they can't bear to look squarely in the eye, preferring instead to try to crush it underfoot.

The whole thing, incident and movement and all, would be laughably pathetic--except for one thing. These people are also scared of me. They're scared of you too, if you dare to talk back, or worse, laugh at them. They're terrified of us both. And now we're seeing what they do when they're scared.

You might want to remember that when the time comes to vote.


John McKay said...

Liberals are characterized by empathy. A conservative defines fair as "fair to me" because they see everything as a zero sum game. Anything that benefits others entails a loss for them or their group. This is why they insist on judging others as "undeserving" of compassion.

A liberal defines fair as "fair to everybody" and sees sharing as benefiting all. They feel the pain of others and seek to end that pain by healing others.

Stephanie Zvan said...

John, I tend to agree with you. I almost even used "empathy" in the post, but I was curious what others would have to say.

Greg Laden said...

I'll just save us the trouble and go right to Godwin. There, done. And utterly appropriate in this case.

I have never had my head stomped at a rally, but I've been punched, wrestled to the ground, I had my hat pulled off and tossed away (which counts when it is near zero degrees F) and I've been squished, pushed, shoved, pulled and tripped.

That's how Christians fight at rallies and protests.

Unknown said...

John, can you maybe add "dissorganized" to your characterization traits? ;) Sorry, but that seems to be a characterizing trait. Not because they are inherently scatterbrained, but rather that there are so many varying levels of empathy. And unlike the conservatives that march in goose-step all together out of fear, liberals tend to think for themselves almost to the exclusion of working together.