Friday, June 03, 2016
The moment when the slippery slope hits bottom.
"The reporters present on the streets of San Jose could scarcely believe what they were witnessing on Thursday night. Burning American flags while honoring the Mexican national banner, a horde of agitators descended on a Trump event and targeted average Trump supporters with violence. The images out of the scene are traumatic. One woman was pelted with eggs and bottles. Another man was viciously attacked and left the scene battered and bloodied. Police stood by while Trump supporters were chased down by a bloodthirsty crowd. Punches were thrown by these activists and absorbed by Trump supporters, who declined to respond in kind.
There are no two sides to this story. Donald Trump did not whip up a crowd and demand they retaliate physically against dissenters, as he had during the primary. There were no images of Trump-backing Americans throwing haymakers at protesters, as there were in Chicago. This was a vicious mob. To the extent that their allegiance is to the Democratic Party, Democratic lawmakers – including Hillary Clinton – bear the burden of forcing them out into the cold. “Violence against supporters of any candidate has no place in this election,” Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta wrote. That is a laudable sentiment, but it is not near enough. These people must be politically homeless, and they must know it.
These fits of violence did not arise in a vacuum. These are the rewards of a political culture that has been nursed into existence by a liberal left that glorifies fanaticism. The liberal political culture on American college campuses sees no virtue in forbearance or tolerance toward dissenting views – real dissent, not the shy diffidence of a powerless minority. American college campuses are today plagued by a cast of insecure locusts who are simultaneously fragile as porcelain and uncompromisingly confrontational. This same cast of characters writes “a love letter to ourselves” and creates ideologically homogenous “safe spaces” where intellectual stimulation is thought tantamount to trauma.
This is a group that invents dangerously despotic concepts like “the right to be believed” for the alleged victims of violent crimes like rape while concurrently conveying upon speech they don’t like the power of physical violence. This attenuation of the severity of true violence has consequences. One of them is that it is now easier for these individuals to appeal to brutality as just another instrument in the political activist’s toolbox. Conservatives have long protested that the left’s desire to call speech violence and violence speech will have terrible consequences. They are upon us.