CIVILITY DOESN’T EXIST IN A VACUUM
By Don Feder
Posted March 13, 2011
About a week ago, I had another lesson in liberal civility.
I was pulling into the parking lot of a burger-joint when an agitated young man drove up next to me. He rolled down his window, as I did. I thought I might have cut him off in traffic and prepared to apologize.
The first words out of his mouth were: “Are you a retard?” This is known as a rhetorical question. I was tempted to answer, “No, but I am still beating my wife.”
The graduate of the Charlie Sheen School of Refinement was incensed by one of my bumper stickers, “Global Warming: a dangerous man-made phenomenon caused by the mixture of recycled Marxist ideas and junk science.”
I told him I wasn’t going to have a conversation with someone who begins by asking if I’m “special.” We went into the restaurant. He was calm for a while, but as soon as he finished eating, he began loudly berating me again.
I was a
“cretin.” I was too stupid to live in a superior state like
One of the
cooks came out from behind the counter and asked if I wanted him to call the
cops. I said no, my assailant was probably an Obama supporter who was off his
But, not to worry. The civility-mongers just opened the
National Institute for Civil Discourse at the
According to the Institute’s website, it will be a “national, nonpartisan center for debate, research, education and policy generation regarding civic engagement and civility in public discourse consistent with First Amendment principles.”
Q&A describing its purpose, the Institute answered hypothetical questions
about the Big C, including – Question: “Are you blaming heated rhetoric for the
If the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the murder of 6 others had “absolutely” nothing to do with civility, how exactly did it create a “space for people to focus” on same? Caution: Never expect consistency from the left or ask liberals to define their terms (like “climate of hate”), it only confuses and agitates them
connection between the
Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who’s a serious contender
for the Rosie O’Donnell Liberal Hysteric of the Year Award, was like a car without
brakes careening down a mountain road. The
question isn’t who Dupnik blamed for the shootings,
but who he didn’t blame on the right. His cast of villains included Sarah Palin, “irresponsible political rhetoric,” the Tea Parties,
talk radio and
Bill Clinton and Bush 41 are the
Institute’s honorary chairmen. Having
During the impeachment process,
Bubba blamed the
The anti-taxpayer demonstrators
Budget-balancing Governor Scott Walker is regularly compared to Hitler. For the left, economy measures invariably end in an iron dictatorship, war and genocide.
Bob Fitrakis, a poly-sci professor the University of Wisconsin, whose student-robots are demonstrating with members of SEIU and AFSCME, warned that the dispute about pension and health insurance contributions and collective bargaining is “ultimately about preventing the United States from becoming a full-on fascist state” and ”saving the last shreds of American democracy.”
If Fitrakis wants to see fascism
in action, he should try holding a pro-Tea Party sign at one of the labor
rallies in support of
If you want to understand how deeply ingrained incivility is on the left, consider the college campus.
There is no place in
Instead, American higher education is characterized by intimidation, forced uniformity of opinion and brutish behavior. Out of cowardice or complicity, on many campuses, administrators have given the most obnoxious students a de facto veto on which views may be expressed.
The list of conservative speakers who’ve been shouted down or had their speeches disrupted is longer than Lindsay Lohan’s rap sheet. Among the victims are David Horowitz, Ann Coulter, Daniel Pipes, Star Parker, former Congressman Tom Tancredo, John Yoo (a member of the Bush Justice Department), the late Jeane Kirkpatrick and yours truly.
At Columbia, which resembles la Place de la Guillotine during the Reign of Terror when it comes to dissent, a student who’s a decorated Iraq War veteran (who was shot 11 times in the line of duty and spent two years undergoing rehabilitation for his wounds) was heckled and called a “racist” by fellow students for defending U.S. involvement in the Middle East.
Occasionally, the savages suffer
the consequences of their assault on free speech. It was just announced that 11
members of the Muslim Student Union will face criminal charges for shutting down
a speech by
Orange County Asst. District Attorney Tony Rackauckas warns: “We must decide whether we are a country of law or a country of anarchy. … in our democratic society, we can not tolerate a deliberate, organized, repetitive and collective effort to significantly disrupt a speaker who hundreds have assembled to hear.”
Most of the liberals who run our colleges and universities don’t agree. Civility for them, but not for us.
Definitions of civility often include “civil,” “polite (not rude),” “courtesy,” “good manners” and “the act of showing regard for others.” The left views these habits of the heart as mindless conformity and artificial social constructs designed to stifle individuality.
Civility doesn’t happen in a vacuum. It’s founded on things like religion (which teaches the worth of every human being and that we are answerable to a higher authority), etiquette and democracy (which stresses the rights of all). There was a time, fading from memory, when the watchword of liberalism was: “I may disagree with what you say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it.” Now, it’s, “Agree with us, or die.”
The old virtues were in vogue when I was growing up in the ‘50s, but now are almost entirely abandoned by liberals. The latter started to swing away from civility during the anti-war movement of the ‘60s. This accelerated with the rise of radical feminism, gay militancy, multiculturalism, misanthropic environmentalism and the other angry movements of the left.
Yet, they still they complain about our lack of civility, while kicking us in the groin.
A great statement on civility is
contained in the movie “Blast from the Past.” In it, Brendan Fraser plays Adam,
a 35-year-old man raised in a fallout shelter by his eccentric but loving parents.
He emerges into the world of 1990s
He falls in love with Alicia Silverstone’s character (Eve) and she with him. In the movie’s best dialogue, Eve’s brother discloses that Adam told him, “Good manners (civility) are just a way of showing other people we have respect for them.” Also, “His short and simple definition of a lady or a gentleman is someone who always tries to make sure the people around him or her are as comfortable as possible.”
If this sounds like today’s liberalism to you, then you must have spent the past 50 years in a fallout shelter yourself.
It’s not just the slander and
intimidation that’s going on in
Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka ignored repeated calls to condemn, or at least disassociate himself from, the more violent rhetoric of striking public employees.
Speaking at a labor rally in
Capuano later issued a pro-forma apology for his “choice of words,” which is also SOP for the left. “You’re racist/fascist scum in league with the Devil, who deserves to die. Oops, sorry about my poor choice of words. Now, can we please discuss how talk radio has debased the political debate?”
Trumka and Capuano will probably end up lecturing at the National Institute for Civil Discourse, which should be treated with the disdain it deserve.
This commentary originally appeared on GrassTopsUSA.