Kids These Days
It has come to my attention that people’s ability to take responsibility for their actions in politics has been diminished a smidge.
Please take note that I did not lose my temper or curse. However, my capacity for civility here is low on the subject I’m about to discuss. What else is new?
I want you to think back to when you were a kid. There were certain things you were told never to do by your parents. What did your immature brain think about those things? It thought, “I should do them.” The severity with which you were told not to equalled your interest in doing the bad thing. So you played with fire, crossed the train tracks, smoked, drank, did drugs, dated someone out of your age group, you did whatever it was that angered your parents the most.
Kids are little assholes.
But it’s not their fault. As I said, an immature brain makes these simple calculations without regard to actual risk.
What I worry about is political immaturity, which is utterly unacceptable as naked fascism is creeping across the landscape.
Some people are proud fascists. They love the power they have been given to be bigoted and destructive. They cheer for war. They need iron fisted-leadership like they need a heartbeat. They wield their flag, their money and their god over everyone. They are, to borrow a phrase from a petty tyrant from another era, “useful idiots”.
There’s no hope for this person. Too far gone to fix. We liberals pledge eternal vigilance against them. But they have made a resolute, mature decision, however warped and disturbed it may be.
As a political movement, we on the left scrimmage against the fascists for the attentions of weirdos called “moderates” and “undecideds”. Some of us stop in this neutral area for a while. The fucking presidential election is decided by these blinkered souls in most cases. But the middle road is one to perdition. If you don’t know your right from your left by say, 30, you aren’t paying attention. Heck, I’ll even spot you a few extra years. If you still think “both sides have valid points”, you’ve got soup for brains. You need a little more perspective.
But there’s this new type of immature voter who is popping up with more frequency. It’s the kind who have been “driven” by others to make bad voting decisions. In other words, other people, not issues or policy, caused them to cast their lot the way they did.
This is a twat’s way out of screwing up. “I voted for X because a supporter of Y was mean“, is a common variant of immature voting. Someone made you feel bad because you were naive and so you’re just gonna do the opposite of what makes sense to show them who’s the boss of you.
This is partially due to the Internet, where you can be very nasty to whomever you like, or don’t like, without facing any consequences.
I will never forget the 2016 Democratic primary because of these butthurt people. Because Hillary people were such “assholes” to Bernie people, a not-insignificant chunk of them refused to vote in the general election after Sanders was defeated.
To make a long story short, we were being assholes because we were trying to tell you something and you had a listening problem. You didn’t seem to get that politics is not an all or nothing business. You wanted everything, and you got nothing. Enough of you sat out to make a difference, or instead stupidly voted for boutique candidates like Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, and those margins by which Trump won in swing states reflect your recalcitrance. You cut your nose off to spite your face, heedless of the fact that it was going to hurt real people if we did not present a united front to the Republicans.
You fucked up and now all of us are in the suck. You all got real silent with that “Clinton is the same as Trump” shit now that you’ve treated us to an actual loss of democracy under Twitler.
I can’t goddamned find it, but I read somewheres that there were grown adults who voted for Trump because they were unnerved by liberals who were “hostile”, or some such shit.
We are hostile about a few things. That is correct. We are hostile towards hate, bigotry, homophobia, sexism, racism, and fascism to rattle off a few of our nemeses off the top of my head. Some things are non-fucking negotiable. “Oh, you’re so intolerant, you don’t believe in free speech.” you say. Si, senor. I shall repeat myself, as I have in the past: we don’t tolerate intolerance. It’s a bedrock rule of being a good fucking liberal, hell, of being a good person. If I happen to get a little cross because you get prickly about the concept of Black Lives Matter, I’m not sorry. You’re clearly not thinking the issue through and have bought into right-wing bullshit somewhere along the line and neither my fellow travelers nor I have the patience to offer you a speed degree that includes a well-rounded liberal arts core. If you think your religion gives you carte blanche to discriminate against the LGBTQ community, then do not expect us to be nice when you share or legislate your beliefs.
An instructive example of how not to “speak freely” would be the one of Milo Yiannopoulos, late of Breitbart, who tried his damndest to recast the idea of free speech as a conservative issue by using his speech to be as offensive as he could possibly be to as many groups of people as he could think of at his college lectures. He then accused “the left” of stifling free speech when students freaked out about his presence on their campuses.
Violent speech can cause a violent reaction, friends. Once again, I must repeat myself and remind people that you aren’t protected from the reactions that your speech generates. That’s not part of the deal. If you get punched in the head like Richard Spencer, it’s your bad. Say whatever you want…but be prepared for pushback. If you are a racist prick to the point of pure unadulterated stupidity like that Georgia couple, prepare for very bad things to happen because you don’t understand the limits and consequences of “speech”.
I know what you’re all working up to anyway. You will not be allowed to say ni**er and duck behind the Constitution. It’s just not going to happen for you, conservatives. If you have to ask why, you’re gonna have a bad time. Catch up. Listen instead of speaking so damn much.
Anyway, I think I have made my point without bringing up the article that made me want to reiterate these simple truths about free speech. Europe is having its own problems with the resurgence of right-wing politics too. And like us, they have immature voters.
I came across the brain droppings of a chowderheaded sophomore philosophy major in the UK’s lesser paper of record, the Telegraph. In his little column, he tries to make the case (like Milo Y. did) that the left no longer is the wing of tolerance and free speech enthusiasts and young people are becoming more receptive to conservatism because of it. He cites some figures from a British (and seriously left-wing) study about censorship that would lead one to believe that it is legion on British campuses. Though I can’t say this for sure, I get the impression that the UK has something resembling zero tolerance towards hate speech on campuses and probably other milieu as well. Europe has learned its lesson about proliferating hate. We on this side of the pond are still trying to mainstream it, and this is borne out by the fact that we gleefully elected a mean spirited, petty tyrant who keeps a grizzled white supremacist for a pet instead of the traditional dog or cat. We’re going backward in America, and fast.
But these new, unfinished minds like Charlie’s may reopen the doors to good old fashioned right wing hate in places like Britain because he’s been told he does not have to be provided a public forum to spew garbage and that makes us lefties bad. He again goes to the left wing well to argue for the right to be politically incorrect (read:be an asshole) by quoting American icon Mario Savio, a leader of the campus free speech movement in the 60s.
The fundamental mistake Charlie is making is that there is some sort of equivalency between the the left’s fight to speak and the right’s desire for the same. That is because he doesn’t really understand conservatism yet. Those regents that didn’t want activism on campuses in the 60s?
Conservatives are authoritarians. Feudalists. Fascists. Nazis. The tillers of the soil in which extreme religion grows. Dictators. Reconstituted racists. The elite who are sucking the public dry. They despise diversity and mutual aid. They want a world where it’s every man for himself-and while you compete against your neighbor for less and less, they run away with the loot.
They’re not your friends in freedom, Charlie. You may perceive that because of the pushback against their speech, but you are misunderstanding who they really are. And as soon as you find out who they really are and start speaking out about them, you will find yourself shut down once again. It’s a trap, buddy. Don’t get me wrong-lots of left wing experiments have resulted in a clampdown of basic rights-but that is the point where they ceased to be left wing.
Don’t go to the dark side for one issue, young friend. Try to think of conservatives as the Baby-Eaters. Perhaps you have been told by “the left” that you can’t say certain things because they hurt people and incite violence. Maybe that doesn’t sound fair and equitable to you.
But the Baby-Eaters will let you say them. So now you think to yourself: “The Baby-Eaters are really the group that values freedom.”
But they eat babies, Charlie.
They still eat the babies, man.