Sunday, October 14, 2018

Literary Corner: Mob Rule

Painting by Lennon Michalski.

Songs for Kentucky
by Donald J. Trump

I. The Democrats
The Democrats have become
totally consumed by their
chilling lust for power.
You can either vote for
Democrat mob rule or you can vote
for a Republican party that stands
proudly for law and order, fairness,
freedom and justice. Simple as that.
They want to get rid of ICE.
They think ICE
isn't nice.
II. Xi Jinping
The absolute head.
This is an absolute
head of China.
III. The Space Force
You know it's all about space.
It's all about space. Defense,
offense, everything is going to
soon be all about space.

Rally, Richmond, Kentucky, 13 October 2018. Text via Daniel Dale.

It's striking how this "mob rule" meme has risen in the last couple of weeks—originally, I think, in response to the elevator ladies who frightened Senator Flake with their stories of abuse just before the Judiciary Committee vote on Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination. The Capitol seemed to be full of angry, noisy women during the Senate votes the following week, and the Supreme Court itself when Kavanaugh was sworn in, and the Republican mighty ones like Majority Leader McConnell were out denouncing it. Jenny Beth Martin described it for The Hill:
What began as a routine confirmation process for Brett Kavanaugh morphed into a frenzy, where the principles of due process and presumption of innocence were mocked by Democratic Party leaders and their base, along with many in the media.
Today, it is now a mainstream position within the Democratic Party to assert that some people are guilty until they prove their innocence, and that the enraged mob is best suited to mete out justice, no matter if there is any evidence or not. If the mob comes for you, will you be one of the lucky ones who are presumed innocent by its standards?...
Since fall of 2015, there have been more than 580 instances of violence or threats against Donald Trump supporters and conservatives, some of which have barely been reported. Were you aware of that?
Uh, no, I wasn't. Turns out to be a list curated by Breitbart, with items like these (selected from items 138-44):

  1. June 22, 2018: Kirstjen Nielsen harassed by protesters outside her private home.
  2. June 22, 2018: Rep. Jackie Sperier (D-CA), compares border enforcement to Auschwitz.
  3. June 22, 2018: Left-wing activists vandalize billboard.
  4. June 22, 2018: On Morning Joe, Donny Deutsch smears Trump and his supporters as “Nazis.”
  5. June 21, 2018: Democrat state legislator in Pennsylvania greets Vice President Mike Pence with a “middle finger salute.”
  6. June 21, 2018: White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller heckled and harassed at restaurant.
  7. June 21, 2018: Actor Adam Scott compares Tucker Carlson to a Nazi.
  8. June 20, 2018: Left-wing AntiFa terrorists publish list of ICE agents for harassment purposes.
  9. June 20, 2018: Actor Peter Fonda calls for a mob to kidnap President Trump’s 11-year-old son and throw him in a cage with pedophiles.
  10. June 20, 2018: Actor Peter Fonda calls for a mob to sexually humiliate and abuse Sarah Sanders and Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen.
  11. June 20, 2018: Nancy Sinatra praises Peter Fonda for his tweets.
  12. June 20, 2018: Documentary filmmaker Josh Fox praises Peter Fonda for his tweets.
Which you can judge as you wish, but it's hard to see 78-year-old Fonda carrying out his undoubtedly fiendish plans on a reasonably healthy 12-year-old, assuming he could get by security and find the lad in his mother's arms in the first place—

—so hard that it's almost as if Fonda may not have been proposing to do that in real life, but rather meant to call attention to the FACT that REAL CUSTOMS AND BORDER PATROL AGENTS  were DOING EXACTLY THAT to TODDLERS, under explicit orders from the Department of Homeland Security under Kirstjen Nielsen, even as Nielsen denied that any such program existed.

Fonda certainly chose an immature and, worse, ineffective way of making his point, but if you took such a metric to the behavior of conservatives during the Obama administration it would be literally hundreds of times worse, not to mention including far more actual threats and real violence.

What's getting to me is that conservative forces,  NeverTrump and EverTrump working hand in hand, seem to be working to create the picture of a violent leftist mob out of such slender elements. Friday night The Metropolitan Republican Club of New York, as white-shoe and NeverTrumpish an organization as you could imagine, invited Gavin McInnes, Führer of the so-called Proud Boys, to give them a talk. A bunch of protesters showed up at the club's headquarters and a squad of Proud Boys attacked them, led by a sword-waving McInnes, and quickly got the story to Fox that they themselves had been attacked, by "antifa", the über-mob, and heroically defended themselves. They'd even fooled Steve until some video emerged clarifying what had really happened.

Meanwhile, in Portland, Oregon, a 74-year-old was attacked by "antifa" in his car, simply because the car happened to be driving through a group of people protesting against the police shooting of Patrick Kimmons, as Wm. Steven Humphrey writes for the Portland Mercury:
In today's Wall Street Journal, Portlander Andy Ngo (the WSJ's go-to author for right-leaning reports on Portland anarchy) wrote an opinion piece subtly titled "A Leftist Mob ‘Polices’ Portland." His op-ed centers on last Saturday's protest of the Portland Police shooting of Patrick Kimmons, and the subsequent march in which a driver plowed into a protester instead of... you know... just stopping. Ngo's description of the incident isn't exactly an accurate depiction of what happened:
As the crowd made their way to a nearby courthouse, they marched in the middle of the street, bringing traffic to a stop though they didn’t have a permit. Kent Houser, 74, made the mistake of attempting to pass them in his sedan. His car slowly pushed against a masked marcher. The crowd surrounded the car and started kicking it.

I feel as if the right, including the Metropolitan Republicans and the Wall Street Journal, are out there building hundreds, thousands of tiny Reichstag fires, which smoulder no matter how peaceful the actual left may be, in an accelerating rhythm as the election approaches. It's really disturbing.

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