Cannibalism in America

By | March 4, 2013 | 0 Comments
Dr. Hannibal Lecter

No, I’m not referring to a fictional madman. Nor am I alluding to the Donner Party. I’m talking about a regrettable tendency to devour our own – not literally, of course, but figuratively. Rather than sticking together and forming a united front against our political opponents, some of us have a deplorable tendency to turn against our own at the first sign of disagreement.
Liberal cannibalism.
Liberalism is a secular religion, so liberals have a strong tendency to view anyone who dissents not as merely offering an alternate opinion, or as mistaken, or even as stupid, but as a heretic. Heretics were burned at the stake in the Middle Ages. We no longer use that penalty, but heretics today are still punished by the harshest means available – ostracism, condemnation, ridicule, and contempt.
Take the case of Bob Woodward. The iconic liberal journalist has been a stalwart of the liberal Washington Post for four decades. He is now an associate editor. He and Carl Bernstein played a key role in bringing about the resignation of President Nixon. It remains a question whether they were astute investigative journalists, or whether they were used by Nixon’s enemies. But in any case, what stronger liberal credentials could anyone have?
Still, no matter how strong Woodward’s liberal credentials may be, they aren’t strong enough to withstand the furor he incited by criticizing President Obama. He thought he was just doing more of what had brought him fame – criticizing a president. But to his liberal colleagues, he was committing heresy.
● Woodward noted that the White House doesn’t like being “challenged or crossed.” Who does? This is hardly noteworthy, but any criticism of Obama is seen as unacceptable.
● Woodward noted that President Obama is responsible for the sequestration – the automatic budget cuts. After all, Obama signed the bill. Doesn’t that indicate the final responsibility for enacting any law? Moreover, Obama praised the idea. Doesn’t that indicate that he didn’t view it as an unpalatable alternative he was forced to accept, but as something he wanted?
● Woodward added that he was yelled at by a high White House official over the phone, and that the official then e-mailed Woodward that he would “regret” writing that column. If a friend tells me I will regret doing something, that’s a helpful suggestion. If a high White House official tells me I will regret doing something, that’s a threat – not a veiled threat, as some claimed, but an overt threat.
One would think that all lovers of freedom of speech – especially liberals and fellow journalists – would rush to Woodward’s defense. One would be wrong. Only conservatives spoke up. On the contrary, liberals rushed to the president’s defense – as if he needed one. The most powerful individual on earth doesn’t need journalists defending him. An honored – well, formerly honored – senior journalist does need defending against the powerful. But except for conservatives, he isn’t getting it.
Former White House advisor David Axelrod, now an MSNBC commentator (is there any difference?), ridiculed the idea that Woodward was threatened. Senior White House advisor David Plouffe compared Woodward to a washed-up baseball player. Liberal columnist Andrew Sullivan called Woodward a “liar.” Liberal columnist Michael Tomasky called Woodward “insane.” As is typical for liberals, the message isn’t refuted – the messenger is defamed.
One is reminded of the worst days of the Soviet Union under Stalin. The front page of Pravda, the official Communist Party paper, often mentioned “the great Stalin” dozens of times. But even Pravda didn’t refer to Stalin as “our lord and savior,” as Jamie Foxx called Obama. (Perhaps I should capitalize these words, as they may refer to the Deity.) When you outdo Pravda in worship of the Leader, you deserve a place in the Guinness Book of Records – but not in the Freedom Hall of Fame.
When Stalin spoke, everyone was afraid to be the first to stop clapping, so they clapped until their hands were sore, and a bell gave them permission to stop. The mainstream media are approaching that level of abject submission – they’re afraid to be outdone by their colleagues in praising the Leader.
The unfortunate subjects of Stalin feared for their lives. But what excuse can our journalists and media pundits offer for their sycophancy and servility? They don’t fear for their lives. They merely fear not being invited to their fellow liberals’ cocktail parties. And their editors fear being denied White House access.
Nixon had an enemies list, and the media ruthlessly criticized him for it. Obama has an enemies list, and the media gutlessly fall all over themselves trying not to be on it.
How sad that the heirs of Edward R. Murrow have degenerated into cowardly sheep. And how sad for America that – except for Fox News and talk radio – we now have a one-party press that acts like government claques.
Can our republic carry on without a free press? Stay tuned.
Conservative cannibalism.
It would be pleasant to say that cannibalism is confined to Democrats, but it would be incorrect. When Republicans get hungry, they are just as efficient at devouring their own. Consider the animosity between establishment Republicans and the Tea Party.
Take the case of Mitt Romney. When he announced his candidacy, some conservatives lost no time in branding him a RINO, a Republican in name only. They pointed out – correctly – that he had reversed himself on such key issues as abortion, gun control, and government-run health care. Yes, people can change their minds – otherwise, what use are political speeches and advertising?
Nevertheless, conservatives did have reason to wonder what Romney really stood for. This was a legitimate argument before Romney was nominated. But after he became the Republican candidate, what purpose did continued denunciations serve? All the public squabbling accomplished was to ensure that Romney, the doubtful conservative, would lose – and that Obama, the undoubted leftist, would win. What a lousy bargain that was.
But even worse, some so-called conservatives went further – they condemned Romney’s Mormon religion. And here I have personal experience. Before the 2012 election, I posted my columns on a leading conservative website as well as on my own. I posted a column calling into question Romney’s having reversed his opinions on gun control, abortion, and socialized medicine. But I added that his LDS religion should play no part in our decision as to whether he was qualified to be president.
Soon my column was decorated with 51 comments, most hostile, some vicious. Among them were such ill-informed remarks as “Mormons hate Christians” and “Mormons believe their underwear is magic and will stop bullets.” Mormon prophet Joseph Smith was derisively referred to as “Joey.” Apparently the commenters were unaware that Smith was lynched by a mob of so-called Christians. Or maybe they approved.
Not satisfied with posting this hate-filled barrage, the people who ran the website banned me permanently. This was fine with me – I would not want to be associated with a site that tolerates bigots. But what does this say about the cannibalistic tendencies of some so-called conservatives? In fact, far from conserving Judeo-Christian and American values, they are reactionaries – the mirror image of the leftists who call themselves liberals and are now tossing Bob Woodward under the bus.
Constructive criticism is one thing. Character assassination that belittles and marginalizes colleagues with whom we disagree is quite another. We have enough enemies abroad – we don’t need more at home.
Our enemies are working night and day to kill our troops and undermine our civilization. Meanwhile, liberals are occupied with punishing those they don’t believe are liberal enough, and conservatives are busy punishing those they don’t believe are conservative enough. Do you think we might find more productive ways to occupy our time?
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