The Right’s vilification of imaginary strawmen
Do you know why “The Left” does what it does, readers? It’s because “Leftists” are just like this:
The most infamous examples come from World War II Nazi concentration camps, where some prisoners were placed in charge of others. According to witnesses like psychiatrist Viktor Frankl, these “Kapos” would wear discarded pieces of Nazi uniforms and often abuse their fellow victims. Unconsciously they were identifying with the aggressors, to ward off the awful awareness of their own vulnerability. People do things like that in extremis.
That’s right. “The Left” suffers from Stockholm Syndrome and thus “identifies with murderous aggressors,” according to James Lewis at The American Thinker.
Now look at the behavior of the Left since 9/11, both in this country, Europe, and even Israel. Rather than feel righteously angered by the terrorist mass murder of 3,000 innocent people, large parts of the Left have adopted the aggressors’ point of view. They keep telling us that the Islamic fascists were right to blow up innocent people who had done them no harm; some of them have taken on conspiracy theories, claiming that Bush or Israel really committed the atrocities. At the same time they are in deep denial about the danger of future terrorist attacks on American soil, and blindly refuse to see the rising threat of nuclear proliferation by stateless terror groups. Instead, they “displace” their fear and anger on George W. Bush. To the Left, once Bush is gone, the terror problem will simply and magically go away.
Notice anything about that paragraph?
Large parts of the Left have adopted the aggressors’ point of view… They keep telling us that the Islamic fascists were right to blow up innocent people… some of them have taken on conspiracy theories… they are in deep denial… they “displace” their fear and anger on George W. Bush.
Who is he talking about? “The Left.” “They.” “Some of them.” He does not deign to name names, or to provide any sort of evidence whatsoever that there is any human being on Earth who has done what he claims “The Left” has done.
Who “keeps telling us that the Islamic fascists were right to blow up innocent people”? Can I see a quote where someone even said it once, let alone “keeps telling us” the same thing? Does your cousin Jane, who went to Barnard and has an anti-war bumper sticker on her Volvo, think the 9/11 terrorist attacks were A-OK?
Who has “taken on conspiracy theories”? Certainly a few wackos have come up with 9/11 conspiracy theories. There are also people who insist the Moon landings were faked, and that Bigfoot is real, and that the CIA killed JFK, and that Secretary of War Edwin Stanton killed Abraham Lincoln. You can find it all on the Internet. Does this mean that your Uncle Bob, a union electrician who voted for John Kerry in 2004, thinks the Jews blew up the World Trade Center?
Terrorists with dirty bombs are a murderous threat to all of us, but the Left denies it. Twisting reality is the hallmark of mental pathology.
Again, exactly who “denies” the “murderous threat” of “terrorists with dirty bombs”? “The Left.” No specific human being has actually done it, but “The Left” has.
The Left’s behavior looks just like identification with the Islamofascist aggressor. Just as the concentration camp Kapos wore pieces of Nazi uniforms to magically assume the power of their killers-to-be, the radical Left adopts the symbols and slogans of Hezbollah and Al Qaida.
Again, exactly who has “adopt[ed] the symbols and slogans of Hezbollah and al-Qaeda”? Have any of your friends adopted Hezbollah slogans? What about your sister’s college roommate, the one with all the piercings who reads The Nation and forwards you email alerts from MoveOn.org? Well, maybe not, but “the radical Left” has, of course. There is no example of any specific human being on “the radical Left” adopting any “symbol” or “slogan,” though. Oh, but wait –
Strikingly, their intellectual leader Noam Chomsky is the son of a Talmudic scholar — a man who devoted his life to the study of Jewish scripture, and who would therefore be a ready target for today’s fascists. Chomsky must have grown up as a child in a most devout household. No doubt many of his family members were murdered in the Nazi Holocaust. Yet last year Chomsky flew to Lebanon to be publicly photographed shaking hands with Hassan Nasrallah, who was even then preparing to launch many hundreds of short-range missiles at Jewish civilians in Israel — including, no doubt, Talmudic scholars. Chomsky has been a radical Leftist all his life, even before he became famous as a linguist. Identification with the aggressor? It certainly would explain his very odd life course.
Finally, one specific name and charge: Noam Chomsky shook hands with Nasrallah. Therefore, “The Left” is guilty of all charges.
In London, during the Hezbollah war in Lebanon, demonstrators from George Galloway’s Respect Party (an offshoot of the Socialist Workers’ Party) carried signs reading “We are all Hezbollah now.” They literally adopted the aggressors’ point of view. This has been happening all over Europe, where the Left still reigns supreme, and on American university campuses as well — probably for the same psychological reason.
A second specific charge: an assertion that some socialists in the UK once carried signs at a demonstration. Therefore, “The Left” is guilty of all charges. “This has been happening all over Europe… and on American university campuses as well,” apparently, but we’ll have to take Mr Lewis’s word for it, I guess, since he couldn’t be bothered to prove it.
The rise of anti-Zionism (and of course anti-Semitism) in Europe can also be seen in this light. If only those six million Jews in Israel were to disappear like magic, goes the wishful thought, all the danger and trouble would go away. Europe’s Muslims would become as peaceful as lambs, and Iran’s zealots would learn to love us. It is a childlike surrender to fear.
These evil strawmen also want “those six million Jews in Israel… to disappear like magic.” Again, we get no evidence that any human being has expressed this “wishful thought,” we’re just supposed to take Mr Lewis’s word for it that this attitude is prevalent “in Europe.”
The Left claims to value “peace” above all things; but that means that self-defense ranks nowhere. It’s not an option — at least not when Republicans are in office. If we leave out self-defense against Iranian nukes or El Qaida truck bombs, there is no option except submission. That is what “identification with the aggressor” comes down to. It is a Stockholm Syndrome for millions of people — most of the readers of the New York Times and the UK Guardian, just for starters.
You read that right: “most of the readers of the New York Times and the UK Guardian” are people who “claim to value ‘peace’ above all things,” but who want to “leave out self-defense.” These strawmen are opposed to “self-defense against Iranian nukes” (which, by the way, means “unprovoked invasion of Iran”) and are also opposed to “self-defense against… al-Qaeda truck bombs.” I will grant Mr Lewis the point that “millions of people” probably are opposed to the US invading Iran, but I would love to see someone who has opposed “self-defense against truck bombs.” This is just plain silly, readers. There’s no other word for it. This is deeply, deeply silly writing.
To make things worse, the Left itself is ruthlessly aggressive against conservatives, democratic individuals who happen to disagree with them. There is a true persecutorial viciousness in the Left’s attacks on Republican presidents, from Herbert Hoover to Dwight D. Eisenhower and George W. Bush. Emotionally, these people want to destroy those who defy their demands. Almost all the assassins and would-be assassins of American Presidents since JFK have been Leftists, starting with Lee Harvey Oswald. So their rage is not exactly harmless.
Yes, let’s not forget the obligatory paragraph of whining about left-wing meanies who are out to personally destroy the even-tempered well-meaning conservative ladies and gentlemen, who just want to get along. Conservatives are victims, always have been, always will be, in saecula saeculorum.
And the assassins (and would-be assassins) of presidents since JFK: you guessed it, “Almost all… leftists.” Let’s see:
- Lee Harvey Oswald (1963): Assassinated President Kennedy. Leftist (self-proclaimed “Marxist-Leninist” who actually defected to the USSR and then came back home) looney-tune.
- Squeaky Fromme (1975): A follower of Charles Manson. Took a potshot at President Ford. Looney-tune.
- Sara Jane Moore (1975): Obsessed with the SLA. Tried to shoot President Ford. Leftist looney-tune.
- John Hinckley, Jr. (1981): Obsessed with Jodie Foster. Tried to
shootkill President Reagan. Looney-tune.
Did I forget anybody? I make that two out of four, or 50%. So, Lee Harvey Oswald (44 years ago) and Sara Jane Moore (31 years ago) were wackos who happened to be left-wingers. Does that strike you as significant, readers? Does this bolster Lewis’s thesis of “Stockholm Syndrome” and Left-Wing Rage?
But when it comes to assaults on their country, the Left blames the victims. The most militant Leftists seem severely damaged psychologically. The recent suicide by the militant lesbian President of UC Santa Cruz may be only the tip of the pathological iceberg.
A sick, pathetic invocation of the late Denice Denton, whose great sin was being a “militant lesbian,” in order to score a cheap rhetorical point. I hope Mr Lewis is proud of himself for writing that paragraph.
Many radical Leftists seem to suffer from a basic twist in character.
Well, look who’s talking.
When I was young I thought the Left was just confused, but now I’m increasingly drawn to the idea that there is a deep, if unconscious, malevolence at the bottom of the history of disasters inflicted by those people. They are dangerous.
I don’t think I have ever seen so many strawmen crammed into one short piece. This is a truly egregious piece of bad writing, sheer political pornography from start to finish. Mr Lewis has accused “The Left” of every sin he can possibly think of: from approbation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to attempts on the life of multiple Presidents to wishing for “six million Jews in Israel… to disappear like magic,” it’s all in here. He even goes as far as to compare “The Left” to a bunch of “concentration camp Kapos.”
This stinking turd is wrapped up in a package of cheap dime-store psychology: it’s all about “Stockholm Syndrome,” and “displacement,” and “mental pathology.” That’s why “The Left” is so in love with Islamofascists, so full of “rage,” and so very “dangerous.”
It’s just too bad Lewis forgot to mention exactly who the hell he’s talking about. The only human individual he managed to name was good old Noam Chomsky.
So again, I want to ask you: Who is Mr Lewis talking about? Who is “The Left?” Who is “dangerous?”
- Your daughter’s college English professor who told his class he thought the invasion of Iraq was a mistake?
- Your neighbors with the pro-choice bumper stickers on their car?
- The people who write Daily Kos diaries?
- The news media? The Associated Press, the New York Times? Good old Dan Rather? Katie Couric?
- Everyone who voted for a Democrat in the 2006 congressional elections?
- The people who subscribe to The Nation?
- The Communist Party USA?
- Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama?
Who are Mr Lewis’s psychiatric patients? Exactly who suffers from Stockholm Syndrome and loves the Islamofascists? Do these people really exist?
UPDATE: Added explanatory link to “SLA,” corrected Hinckley (he didn’t “try to shoot” President Reagan, he did shoot him).
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February 13th, 2007 @ 23:51
Nice post, Mr Filius.
Mr. Lewis is one twisted fool. I’m sure he must be referring to the one professor, whose name escapes me, from Colorado who said some asinine things about the people who died in the WTC.
The country was 99.9% united after 9/11. The vote to go after bin Laden was 534-1 in Congress. The ‘left’ only stood in opposition after Bush, Cheney and the rest lied our way into diverting our mission.
The sick, the twisted and the paranoid in this country are those who still don’t see the difference between those who ACTUALLY attacked us on 9/11 and Iraq.
February 14th, 2007 @ 00:22
You’re thinking of Ward Churchill, who wrote a deeply stupid essay right after 9/11 in which he called some of the WTC victims “little Eichmanns” who were guilty of being part of the Imperial Capitalist System or some such crap.
Ward Churchill was an obscure college professor, but for a while the controversy was getting attention on cable TV and in the newspapers, as well as the Internet, as though he were some major figure on the American left. I don’t remember why his essay suddenly got so much attention, either, because the controversy was just a couple of years ago; his essay must have been like three years old by then.
I am honestly not sure who James Lewis thinks he’s talking about when he vilifies “The Left.” You can’t just make up a lot of bad things and claim that “The Left” is responsible for them, and that’s what Lewis has done. It’s ugly and disingenuous. It’s a form of intellectual dishonesty. It’s bad writing, and it’s bad politics. It is simply a bad thing to do.
February 14th, 2007 @ 18:19
Just an absolutely well presented and well thought out article here Dump.
Stram, you are the moron who cannot see that we now have two bases in the area where these Fascists breed. You are the complete twisted one that cannot see the good in freeing a nation of people being held under the boot of a dictator.
And you are the traitor that cannot see the good your country is doing by giving them a chance at a representative democracy.
Once it gets established there will be always be people like you trying to tear it down.
That one vote in Congress was a Democrat.
The people that wanted to go on record for being in favor of the invasion of Iraq with a second resolution - were the Democrats.
Who turns their backs on our soldiers today fighting in Iraq - Democrats.
February 14th, 2007 @ 21:28
Hank, you’re the moron. It’s Democrats who support the troops and it’s Republicans who cut veterans benefits when they’re most needed.
But lying, made-up rhetoric is what you’re known for.
Now that you’ve stuck your head out from behind your wife’s skirt, why don’t you answer the challenge from here a couple of weeks ago that you ran and hid from?
Answer the challenge to your made up bullshit that ‘unemployment is full 1.5% lower now than under Clinton’. Also, you never admitted that you’re the moron who said those Starkist workers ‘were from Pelosi’s own district’.
Don’t run away like some punk-ass coward and think people are going to just forget the nonsense you write. If you’re not man enough to answer to what you write then just admit you’re a punk and a lying fool.
February 15th, 2007 @ 10:22
Go over to LQ (Liar’s Quorum) and read my comment written under ‘notsoanonymous’, in the top blog story.
Hurry, they will soon be deleting it.
February 15th, 2007 @ 14:48
Fourputt may delete it, but I won’t. A liberal decomposing is worth watching. Go pass an unbinding resolution to stop global warming and world hunger.
The unemployment numbers were better under Bush 43 than Clinton. The economy was better under Bush 43 than Clinton. And the US Treasury collected more money under Bush 43 than Clinton - because of tax cuts.
You are a liberal fool - which is redundant Stram.
February 16th, 2007 @ 14:56
Mr. Filius, first of all, I apologize for going off topic here, but Dank is a persistent idiot that has a terrible time with simple math. If you remember I sent the link from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that showed the unemployment rate was 4% when Clinton left office and as of January 2007, it was 4.6%. Not to mention that unemployment surged to 6% in 2003.
Could you explain to the simple-minded moron who makes up his own facts, which number, 4.6 or 4.0 is higher?
February 18th, 2007 @ 21:43
Hey Stram, go write an unbinding resolution for surrender.
Bin Laden was right that Americans would not have the guts to defend themselves. Stram and the rest of the Democrats are the perfect liberal example of cowards and treasonous surrenderers.
Stram, I see you had no comeback for the record amount of money pouring into the treasury due to TAX CUTS.
Liberals are not only cowards, but are delusional as well.
February 19th, 2007 @ 08:55
I see you ‘have no comeback’ on your embarrassment of being made to look like a lying fool on ‘unemployment being 1.5% lower now than under Clinton’ statement, which is where this began.
As for Treasury revenue, it took Bush 4 years to get revenue back to where it was in Clinton’s last year in office. That’s hardly something to brag about.
As for ‘cowards’? We already proved this weekend who the ‘coward’ is among us, now didn’t we?
February 19th, 2007 @ 21:22
Stram, trust me - I am protecting you.
You are all upset because I call you liberals traitors, cowards, metally ill or weak - and your leaders power-hungry megalomaniacs, using your limitations for their conquests.
I give you this and it will hit you harder than any fist.
“The sting in any rebuke is in the truth.” - Benjamin Franklin
Me thinks thee protests too much.
February 20th, 2007 @ 09:04
‘Traitor, treason, cowards’.
When you and are in a discussion, there’s one veteran between us-and it ain’t you, chickenhawk.
February 22nd, 2007 @ 00:33
Wow, it looks like a lot happened while I was gone. I’ve got a lot of fighting to get caught up on here.
February 24th, 2007 @ 05:56
Save yourself some agony and try to ignore it.