Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
It seems that the progressive left never runs out of cynical political tactics designed to prevent their political opposition from criticizing their arguments or behavior. As many of us know, these individuals rely more on shutting down debate than they do on engaging in rational political discourse.
Now, it appears they have crafted a new strategy to silence those who would dare to call them out. This new method involves pretending that criticizing a prominent figure on the left is tantamount to inciting violence.
We’ve seen them trying out this spanking new political weapon like a new pair of Nikes quite often over the past few weeks, and while they might believe it to be effective, nobody except other progressives seems willing to buy what they’re selling. But this should not give conservatives a false sense of security; the left is working tirelessly to create an environment in which those who subscribe to their ideology are immune to scrutiny.
There are several recent examples of progressives putting this tactic to use. Only a week ago, Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) came under fire for her insensitive comments about the 9/11 terror attacks.
When President Trump tweeted a video of the 9/11 terror attacks with a recording of Omar making her remarks in the background, the hands of progressives all across the country darted with lightning speed to their necks where they clutched tightly to their pearls of virtue signaling outrage. Left-leaning journalists and politicians claimed that quoting Omar’s own words was somehow putting her life in danger. Indeed, the lawmaker claimed she received death threats.
There is no reason to believe she is lying, but she is not the first member of Congress that has received threats of violence. Just two years ago, GOP lawmakers were the victims of an assassination attempt from a crazed leftist. Just as the left-leaning media shouldn’t be blamed for the shooting, it is equally absurd to pretend that Trump is at fault for the death threats.
But Omar was not the only one to use this strategy; when the news broke about the fire at Notre Dame cathedral, many on both sides of the political spectrum used social media to offer their support to the French people. But, true to form, some on the social justice left took issue with conservatives who pointed out that the building was a testament to western Judeo-Christian civilization because of course they did.
In a piece for The Washington Post, journalists Talia Lavin, who is known for falsely claiming that a member of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had a Nazi tattoo. Even after losing her job for that mistake, it appears she has not yet learned her lesson.
In the piece, she deceptively claims that the tweets of conservatives like “fast-talking far-right pundit Ben Shapiro” somehow “evoked the specter of a war between Islam and the West.” Why? Because there were rumors that an Islamic terrorist group may have started the fire.
Of course, there was absolutely no mention of Islam from the individuals she targeted, and she provided no evidence to back up her claim. But why would she? She knows that many are gullible enough to accept her lies without questioning.
If these antics seem ridiculous, it’s probably because you’re a sane person. Most on both the right and the not-so-crazy left would agree; simple criticism does not amount to incitement of violence. Progressives already know this, but this tactic relies on a subtle form of deception.
These individuals use the word “incitement” to describe the words of those who make unfavorable statements about progressives, and there’s a reason for it. The First Amendment does not protect incitements to violence, so by using this label, they are attempting to get the public to connect dissent to illegal behavior.
By equating simple rebukes to encouraging violence, the left hopes to make it harder for conservatives to express opposing views. Is it working? Not yet, but if the current studies about college students are accurate, those who value free speech should be worried.
Two years ago, the Brookings Institute conducted a study of college students analyzing their understanding of the First Amendment and the concept of free speech. His findings were alarming. Four in ten students believed that the First Amendment does not protect “hate speech.”
Even more disturbing, the study found that students believe that it is acceptable to disrupt a speech given by a “very controversial speaker,” who is “known for making offensive and hurtful statements.” About half of the respondents indicated that it is acceptable to interrupt the speech by shouting loudly so that the audience could not hear the speaker. But even this is not the worst of it.
The study asked participants if the use of physical violence to stop a potentially offensive speech was acceptable. 19% of respondents answered in the affirmative. It’s not a majority, but it is disturbing nonetheless.
The tricks that are being used by the progressive left nowadays may not carry much weight, but if our universities continue to indoctrinate students into a culture that only allows particular kinds of speech, it’s not difficult to imagine that these tactics could become effective in the future. While conservatives and many on the left still believe in the notion of free speech, it is the progressive left who is in control of the nation’s cultural institutions, and they are not going to stop anytime soon.
Disclaimer: This article should not be taken as an incitement to violence. Please refrain from beating up leftists because of this article or for any other reason. Violence is wrong. Mockery is still acceptable, however.
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