Progressives are channeling Joe McCarthy. They are demanding the economic defenestration of anyone who dares commit the thoughtcrime of uttering anything, in any manner, that runs counter to Progressive orthodoxy.
Phil Robertson, of Duck Dynasty fame (full disclosure: I have never seen the show, and until the cries for his summary sacking spread across Progressives’ lips like wildfire in a gasoline soaked forest, I hadn’t even heard of it.) became a target for the New McCarthyism for explaining his religious beliefs about homosexuality, then compounded his thoughtcrime by making some “rascist” comments.
The scare quotes are there for a reason. Despite being a firm believer in free speech, if I was the Head Dude What’s in Charge, I’d be sorely tempted to ban passive voice, on pain of being banished from the intarwebz. Right behind that, I’d prohibit the use of terms like racist, sexist, homophobic, et al to anyone without a license to use them. Getting the license would be easy: simply demonstrate the ability to use the words correctly, with the understanding that the license will be revoked at the first offense.
Our own Harry Eagar demonstrates the point. In his Nutty rightwing remark of the year, he insists “Robertson is a flatout racist and a liar both.” based upon this this horrible, no good, very bad statement:
I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once. Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field.... They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!... Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.
(Note: Eagar saw fit only to quote the last sentence in his post. Dowd would be proud.)
He is on board with all right thinking Progressives. That means none of them understand the word “racist” well enough to get a license. There is not a syllable in that quote that remotely fits the definition, and there is no way to toss out the libelous “liar” accusation. But that is what progressives do when it comes to The Narrative, even though it requires epic point missing.
What point, you might ask? Although perhaps not, because it is so obvious that only a card carrying progressive could miss it: entitlements and welfare robbed blacks of their nobility.
Clearly that is a matter of opinion; who knows, it might be even be an opinion that doesn’t stand up to much scrutiny. But it is a point that’s been made before, and was also subject to charges of racism from a long list of people who should have had their licenses revoked.
Justine Sacco got sacked for this tweet: “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” (Full disclosure: not only have I never tweeted, I don’t even have a twitter account. Even fuller disclosure: I can’t see any way in which the world would be worse off if Twitter found itself in an alternate universe tomorrow.)
The New McCarthyists demanded her W-2 head for, well, what exactly? A joke in bad taste, perhaps. Seems a bit extreme, though, and if equitably applies would put Bill Maher in fear of unemployment with every other sentence coming out the front of his head.
Well, then, racism, of course. Except, and keep this in mind, those of you who hope to get that coveted license, there is nothing racist in that tweet. The AIDS infection rate among whites in Africa is a vanishingly small compared to blacks. So it can’t be racism, because it is a fact. Just as, if I suddenly lost my head and start tweeting I was to say this: “Going to San Francisco New Years Eve. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m not a poofter!” is homophobic.
Certainly, that begs accusations of tastelessness. But the New McCarthyites can’t possibly stop at a chiding; rather, they demand her firing because she committed what can only be called an offense against Proper Thought, because it certainly isn’t an offense against reality.
And Bob Newhart got the GLAAD treatment. Funny, in the sense that it isn’t at all funny, how an organization so relentlessly demanding of tolerance is so incapable of showing it.
It is time to call progressives on their hideous undermining of free speech in the punishment of thoughtcrime. I’m not talking about the relatively narrow confines of the Constitution, but rather the civic virtue that while people’s opinions are always open to contest, people shouldn’t be punished for uttering them.
By demanding, and getting, Duck Dynasty’s suspension, progressives have shown that a religiously derived personal viewpoint on homosexuality is a punishable crime. They have shown that utterances involving race deserve the sack, regardless of how factual they might be. (Lord help anyone who uses the thoughtcrime term “colored people”. That is blatantly racist, only “people of color” will do.) And people should be shamed into not appearing in front of religious organizations that work to promote their point of view, completely unlike GLAAD, which … wait. What? Oh.
Anyone who thinks the New Mcarthyism isn’t the same as the Old McCarthyism clearly isn’t paying attention. Except that its reincarnation is possibly worse. Before it was just Congress, now any lynch mob will do.