The left is notorious for taking someone’s words, and using them in order to destroy their lives both professionally and socially. They’ll use it to get them in trouble legally if they can as well.
This has always disgusted me, as I watched the left’s definitions of hate speech, racist words, and whatever they could attach the word “phobic” to grew and expanded beyond what would be considered reasonable.
Soon, even the left began to attack the left because one group or individual wasn’t being politically correct in their speech enough. In some cases it wasn’t the words they were using so much as the amount of deference — if not reverence — one group was showing to another group. Thanks to the social justice hierarchy, some groups or individuals on the left find themselves slave to the wills of whoever sits on the pedestal above them. Their lives and careers are potentially ruined, or at the very least damaged, because they dared to impugn the honor of those who are greater victims than them by not showing them the proper amount of respect.
If you need any examples, simply look at the dressing down of Joy Ann Reid, the feminist destruction of “feminist” Joss Whedon, or anyone on staff at the Netflix show The Crown when feminists found out Claire Foy was getting paid less than Matt “He’s Doctor-Freaking-Who” Smith.
One of the best parts about being on the right was that I didn’t really have to worry about that kind of nonsense affecting our ideology. We were free to speak our minds and utter truths, no matter how inconvenient, without being socially and professionally punished for it…at least on the surface.
But I feel like that’s changing. The right has definitely adopted this tactic of punishing people for their words. Some examples being Steven Colbert after his anti-Trump rant, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn who was put on the chopping block for some old disgusting tweets about pedophilia, and now newly hired New York Times editor, the rabidly racist Sarah Jeong.
Before I continue, I think it’s perfectly legitimate to go to a business and ask if this is the kind of rhetoric that should represent their brand. Threatening to never do business with their brand again unless something is done is absolutely fine, if not encouraged. The business can decide to fire or punish the employee according to how they see fit, if they see fit at all.
But I see too many on the right not only calling for their job to be taken, but for that person to be made a pariah wherever he or she goes, and all for the crime of wrong-think.
When I bring up the fact that we shouldn’t be destroying lives over the words someone used, no matter how disgusting, I often receive the same response: “The left does it to us, and we’re showing them what it feels like.”
I’ll be the first to stand up and say that giving someone a taste of their own medicine feels really good. In fact, I get a tremendous amount of pleasure in watching the left eat its own as people and groups suffer by the very rules they help put in place. Watching Joy Ann Reid squirm under the attacks of the social justice left was like the first sip of an ice-cold beer after a long day. I could play Nancy Pelosi being chased away by DREAMer protesters she claimed to stand for on repeat and never get tired of it.
But I get real nervous when the right starts to demand figurative heads for saying the wrong thing, even if they are doing it to show someone else what it’s like.
I get nervous because it sets a precedent. We find out that we can have someone de-platformed and silenced if we raise enough of an outrage.
Outrage, not reason, becomes the method by which we deal with our opposites. We become lazy thinkers led by feelings rather than logic. We begin making a show of outrage whenever someone steps out of the bounds we draw, and rest assured, we’ll categorize more and more words or phrases out “too far” the more we rely on our anger.
And the more outrage we can gin up the better. Populism and mob-think become the sharpest arrows in our quiver.
Mobs don’t think. They react. They assume that someone whom belongs to the same ideological tribe as they do has done all the thinking for them, and thus they go along with whatever they’re told. This isn’t to say that mobs haven’t been created on the right before, but there is certainly a larger tendency for it to happen on the left.
But we bash the left all the time for their ignorance and inability to deal with opposing thought. Both of these are a symptom of using the power of outrage and group-think to get your way. It’s easy, it’s quick, and it’s satisfying. That much is true, but it doesn’t make it good.
Before we know it, we’ll be reacting to people and things because it feels right to do it, not because it necessarily is right to do it. We’ll put feelings before facts, trusting that our position is correct because people we like feel that way too.
Then, as human nature is wont to do, we’ll look for ways to become higher than our peers within our ever outraged mob. We’ll start looking for ways to declare that this group or that will have more rights to be outraged than anyone. They will demand deference, and we would be forced to give it to them or else we’re just as bad as the enemy we’re all outraged against.
Soon, in our attempts to use the tools of the left against the left, we became the left.
That’s not where I want to end up, and hopefully you agree with that.
It’s okay to be outraged, angry, hurt, and indignant over something someone did. It absolutely is disgusting what Gunn, Jeong, and Colbert respectfully said, and that the right raised hell over it isn’t at all a bad thing.
That said, let’s be careful before we make someone losing everything because of something they said a norm. It’s not something we want in a society that is supposedly free thinking. I realize it’s fun to teach people that if they live by the sword they will die by it, but the guy who used the sword second is still using a sword too. His time will come.