Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

More pies

This time, it’s David Horowitz. I am, for the moment, not accepting any speaking engagements in Indiana, unless people are willing to throw only key lime pies.

Discussions - 37 Comments

There is nothing funny about this. To vary the culinary metaphor, it is just the icing on the cake. American liberalism’s long history of coercion and contempt has not run its full course -- not by a long shot. These are the Left’s fundamental attitudes toward American society. I predict they will get worse, perhaps much worse, before they get better.

I agree, this is quite unfunny. With each election, it seems, the losers keep escalating their vitriolic reaction. And the reason is quite simple: government and power are what make these people live and breathe. Without it they become a meaningless mob.

This does not bode well for Democrats future, not to mention the civil-body politk as a whole.

The Left is composed of spoiled children and stuffed shirts (plus a few unionist thugs sprinkled in there for good measure). Firm responses will deter them. After all, as tragic as it was, Kent State in 1970 was the END of mass violent protest in this country (although I am not suggesting that we start shooting these people...yet).

Oops, I meant to say that Kent State was the end of mass violence on university campuses. Riots continued elsewhere, of course.

As Kenneth Heineman of OU points out, many students today wonder what those radical students expected when they taunted and cursed the young police officers and National Guard and threw things at them endangering them. I have wondered the same myself.

Don’t you people have better things to worry about than pie throwing? Must be nice not to have any social or economic problems.

Johanna, I would answer your question with a quote from Aristotle’s Politics:
"The whole and all things are not something small, but are composed of small things."

Oh, right, we’re on a slippery slope to violence with these students. Actually, if there will be any TRUE violence, I would expect it to come in the right’s REACTION to the pie-throwing.

I’ll never forget how "Coalition of the Willing" troops first entered Baghdad with truckloads of pies before they had to escalate to "firm responses" with guns and bombs!

Joanna & Ling: One characteristic of the immature mind is the complete disregard of other people’s feelings. These pie-throwers claim a higher morality, which they think gives them the right to ignore the Golden Rule: "Do unto others and you would have them do unto you." Pathetic zealots -- the pie-throwing is a telltale sign of a greater disrespect for anyone who disagrees with them, a form of zealotry than converts to violence easily enough. Playful today, murderous tomorrow.

Well Dain, you’ve done it again. Pigeon-holed another group.

"The Left is composed of spoiled children and stuffed shirts (plus a few unionist thugs sprinkled in there for good measure"

How about teachers, students, the poor, the less-privilaged, the multiple races, homosexuals, cancer-survivors, AIDS fighters...Come on, Dain. Your rule by tyrrany needs to stop. And yes, "playful today, murderous tomorrow" may seem fitting, but cast ye not... remember the folks from the right who threatened to kill Mr. Schiavo, as well as the other right-wingers who have killed abortion doctors. Look at your posts, Dain...who might the pathetic zealot be?

None of this to say that it is getting rather old that some wannabe kid threw another foodstuff at another person in political contempt. I don’t understand where any of this is supposed to lead, other than to prove to their friends that they are perhaps part of our lovely "Mountain Dew Extreme" represtentation of radical leftists. There is nothing to say that these students are representative of any other left-leaning person. I know he wouldn’t be my representative if I had my way. Just as some doctor-killing radical does not speak to my opinion of abortion rights. Too easily you seem to describe the left-wing you fear with those on the edge. There is much more to focus on than the pie-huckers and doctor-threateners.

Oh my, you’ll call me a bully next. Sure, the left has its minority mascots (do they really benefit from the Left’s patronage?) and naive do-goers, but it IS mostly composed of narcissists and immature searchers after "belonging." I’ll never apologize for "pigeon-holing" them when the label is accurate.

You’ll notice I said nothing about the Right -- why do you assume that I think the Right is just fine, no warts here! I never said that.

Hey, Tony, an added note on Kent State 1970.

Based on the interviews I conducted--whether representative or not, of course, is an issue--I noticed there was a class divide among the students facing off the Ohio National Guard. The working-class Kent State SDSers (a minority to be sure among the middle class activists) understood that people in uniform trying to uphold order would likely carry loaded guns. The guys who founded the band Devo were blue-collar Kent SDSers and they understood this very well. Their impression of their more sheltered political peers was that there were no consequences for engaging in violent acts. Kent State’s black student population largely evacuated the campus in May 1970 and avoided SDS after the fall of 1969 for many of the same reasons--on top of a fear of being either singled out for their race and shot or used as shields by more privileged white radicals.

Dain, see my above post. Until you can see that there is more to the party than you’re inacurate "composed of spoiled children and stuffed shirts (plus a few unionist thugs sprinkled in there for good measure) you’re an alarmist attaching to the minority of the left wing. Cast ye not...still applies even if you are claiming "warts". I want you to show me numbers that prove the ’mostly composed of narcissists and immature searchers after "belonging." and not the "teachers, students, the poor, the less-privilaged, the multiple races I mention above. Or are they, as you so beautifully put, "spoiled children" and "stuffed shirts"? Look within the right and you can find the same gross generalization, Dain.

Not "you’re" should read "your".

Joel...please. Nothing I could say would begin to make up for the way the Left demonizes the Right. We are stupid, superstitious (i.e., religion), evil (i.e., fascist), and just plain selfish.

As far as my characterization of the Left, I do believe that it is broadly accurate. You speak of social statuses (e.g., students, minorities), but I’m taking about states of mind. Read Tammy Bruce’s The Death of Right and Wrong if you don’t think broad swaths of the Left are malignant narcissists. Look at the leadership of protest movements (i.e., their social class and level of privileges) if you don’t think they are spoiled. Ask yourself why universities are such hotbeds of activism. As for union thugs, who demolished all those GOP offices around the country just before the 2004 election?

Of course there are some confused yet good-hearted people on the Left. Increasingly, they are a minority.

Dain, wow. Another broad generalizaion...confused and good hearted...I’m sure possibly near 48% of America appreciates your comments. And the majority in 2000. I’m afraid your comments come from a confused and frightened person who can’t see past their nose. Explain to me, please, how Bruce’s book can be used, without your direct recitation (malignant narcissist...), to prove the point here. This is a partisan book you are using to make generalizatons about a party you obviously are not familiar with. Bruce and you, yourself, choose to use high-profile examples (Moore, Rich to name a few) to prove a misguided hypothesis.

Think outside your box, for a minute, and see that one could call right-wing conservatives "stuffed shirts, spoiled children, confused, naiive, immature," etc if one decided to do so. But there is no reason. There are more problems in politics than just liberals. The whole conversation has been focusing on name-calling and finger-pointing (like you enjoy). Your words fit into one certain category: bigotry. Cast ye not the first stone, Dain. There is also no reason to demonize the left, they do it on their own in allowing ill-concieved posterchildren like Moore to "speak for the party". Now look at where that got Tom DeLay...even his conservative friends are speaking out. But, he can be classified as fringe to some conservatives and even liberals.

We’ve had this conversation before, Dain (the two of us)--how you seem to define the majority by the minority who gets the press and attention from the conservative opinion. It makes an easy target. But again, I will refer you to my post above (10) and ask you to back up your majority numbers on the liberal left.

Joel, I’m sorry that stereotypes disturb you so, but that’s how people process information (see Pinker’s The Blank Slate). Tammy Bruce was a former leader of NOW, and she knows what she’s talking about. As for politics being dominated by name-calling, I’m afraid it always was. Indeed, it used to be considerably worse (the campaign against Andrew Jackson, for instance).

Your problem here is that you apparently identify with the Left and I’ve trammeled your ego. This is probably bothering you because you know it’s close to the truth, but that kind of self-awareness is uncomfortable and damages your self-esteem. I’m sorry about that, but it remains my considered opinion that the contemporary American Left is dominated by 1) people who haven’t been forced to face the world as it is (i.e., spoiled people), 2) people who take themselves far too seriously and overestimate their own wisdom (e.g., Al Gore, John Kerry, Hillary Clinton), and 3) people who think the end justifies the means (e.g., Al Gore, again, who tried to steal the 2000 election).

As for "proof" of this, some things aren’t easily quantified. But as Jesus said, "By their fruits ye shall know them."

Dain, we have reached an impasse, as usual. For one, you don’t know my politics, so don’t try to assert them for me. As for my self esteem, I have plenty of it, and is therefore why I feel completely comfortable engaging you in this conversation and have the will to say that enough is enough. Your recitiations of authors and historical references are quaint, but off base in that they practice eisigesis, or the reading into of a text. You choose perfect examples to argue points, but fail to approach the other side and then practice exegesis.

You have not trammled my ego, but rather show the same closed-mindedness and unapproachability you have become so hateful of in your descriptions of the Left. Enjoy bigotry, I’m moving on.

Well, them’s some might big words you used. Boy, do I feel smacked down.

Calling me a bigot because I don’t conform to your ideal of a political discussant is emotional, not intellectual. I have "pre-judged" no one -- I have merely summarized the typical constitution of a particular political faction. If I were to meet a Leftist (and I have), I would quickly determine if they were spoiled, arrogant, or thoughtless. If none of these applied, I’d treat them cordially and try to find common ground. In short, stereotyping isn’t necessarily bigotry -- as I said before, it’s the way humans categorize and conceptualize the world. I’m sorry you are uncomforable with this (although you yourself undoubtedly do the same). Bye.

Dain - you said "(although I am not suggesting that we start shooting these people...yet)." YET??!! Will you recommend that "we" start shooting them if they escalate to layer cakes?

Sadly, I’m not surprised that no one from the NLT gang could even muster a one-line scolding response for such a disgusting comment. This has been blown completely out of proportion. The students didn’t throw bombs at Kristol and Horowitz. They didn’t try to stab them. They didn’t try to punch, strangle or bite them. They didn’t even toss a stone or pebble. They threw PIES (unheated, as far as I know). There was nothing resembling any injuries, and in both cases the speakers finished their speeches and got some extra publicity from the incidents. And Dain is already licking his chops for "a firm response" such as that issued by the National Guardsmen at Kent State. Not only is there a complete lack of any calls for restraint from other commenters, but Tony Williams even backs him up, ignoring the enormous leap from tossed pies to the Kent State shootings, and effectively cheers him on. I guess it goes without saying that Dain and like thinkers here at NLT would be defensive of Sen. John Cornyn’s comments in which he is "concerned" (wink-wink, nudge nudge!) that when judiciaries don’t toe the hyper-conservative line the frustration of good Red voters "builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in violence." [Never mind that in neither case of recent judicial shootings the perpetrators had no apparent political motivation that would match with Cornyn’s phony concerns.] Of course, any pent-up frustration that is eventually purged via a pie thrown at a conservative is wholly inexcusable behavior, whereas pent-up frustration that results in dead "liberal activist" judges is, well, if not excusable, at least understandable, right fellas? If the stakes were less serious, I’d say it’s funny how, when it serves them, the right is more than happy to borrow some of the cheapest excuse-making tactics from the stereotyped liberal playbook. And I presume you’d applaud Santorum’s recent Schiavo case-inspired comments about "judicial tyranny" and the interesting observation (considering Cornyn’s remarks) that "the frustration level is getting higher and higher." What’s distressing is that we don’t even get a peep of criticism against elements of the Republican party that have gone out of bounds (can they realy do NO wrong?); what we get instead are reflections about picking dead bugs from a motorcycle jacket.

MES(S) -- dignity and honor have always meant more to the Right than the Left. It’s a conservative just wouldn’t get it.

There is a post I found surfing DailyKos that sums up a pretty good Liberal stance on America. I speaks rather well of those who dole out stereotypes like tax cuts for the rich: the intent was good, but not thought out as much as it should have been. MES, I think you need to be careful and read more of this site and see that the motorcycle article you post about was a fitting break from other stories, and shows that this is not a razor-sharp conservative factory of destruction. My personal politics make me feel comfortable reading things here, as well as at Kos. There’s just a few grains of salt one must keep in their bag of tricks to read at either.

Well, Joel, that was articulate. The f-word in most sentences, and an incoherent spew of invective and stereotype. I guess "wingnuts" (i.e., Right wing haters/fascists/racists) DON’T want good health care, clean air, or an even shake. Man, I’m glad that dude set me straight -- here I thought I was OK.

Joel, I don’t just people by what they say, I judge them by what they do. On the Left I see a deep desire to use the government’s monopoly on violence to reshape society. Oh sure, they SAY they want medical care, clean air, and fair working conditions. What they mean is they want POWER. How do I know this? Because every time the Left has completely taken over a society (e.g., France in the 1790s, Russia in the 1920s, Cambodia in the 1970s), people have died en mass so that a tiny political elite could dictate the terms of social life. Even in places like the United States, where the Left is comparatively weak, we see the fruit of their "labors." Divisive racial quotas, economic stagnation, courts that bully the people are circumvent their will.

I don’t think the Right is perfect, but they have a better handle on practical realities. And I really do think that, in the long view, they have more respect for the individual (because they know that individual dignity and liberty rely on functional social order, and that order must sometimes come before individual appetites).

Dain, I thought we were done...just kidding.

I fear that the post I found on Kos was simply an interesting rant that showed (with tons of f-words) what it is that some actually believe in. 1: these people are the ones who vote, not the ones who ruled in the past 2: the Left you describe is the FAR left--communism--which I think the world has recognized as "not-ok" and through laws, morals and checks and balances, it will never happen in the USA.

"Economic stagnation" requires more fleshing out for me...I remember a large surplus under Clinton, now long gone. "[M]edical care, clean air, and fair working conditions" are certainly things the left professes, but very few administrations (L or R) have followed through on in a mutually agreeable and mutually beneficial (synergistic) way. I struggle to see how the current administration is pro-environment, pro-health care. I can flesh those out if I must, but I’m just posting opinion.

And Dain, the last time the Right took completely over we had Afghanistan and Iraq. And we got rid of them.

Dain - my post was civil. You responded with the assertion that "dignity and honor have always meant more to the Right than the Left," and then you attempt a nasty jab by adding an "(S)" to my initials? BRILLIANT!! Well, if you really want to bring it down to the schoolyard level - as part of your deep connection to "dignity and honor" no doubt! - then I would suggest that your full name is Dain Bramaged.

Let’s just say I grow weary of liberals. Moreover, my post on dignity was accurate, at least in my opinion. And I thought your post was accusatory, not civil.

And I’m in a bad mood at the moment, so buzz off, MES. And get better initials.

Joel, I’ll tell you why you’re wrong later.

Ah, yes, better. Ok, Joel, I think your definition of "Left" and "Right" is the kind the MSM love but really doesn’t represent the reality. Rightwingers or "conservatives" aren’t always agitating for the status quo ante, and leftwingers or "liberals" aren’t always "progressive." I can remember right after the Soviet Union collapsed, the MSM was talking about Communists as conservatives and market-oriented democrats as liberals. Defined in that way, the lables have no substantive content.

The real definition of conservativism is beyond this thread (gosh, you could easily write a book), but the bedrock belief is in gradualism and balance. Gradualism is necessary become humans have a contradictory nature that makes hash of their best-laid plans -- organic (or natural) changes that withstand the test of time are trusted by conservatives. Balance is also appreciated...essentially conservatives believe that government should reflect the ways of the people (or, in other words, civil social institutions should dictate to government, not vice versa). I’m doing some violence to it here, but I think you get the idea.

That’s why its not fair to say the Iran or Afghanistan are "rightwing." They were both revolutionary governments that chained all social institutions to religion. Even medieval Europe had more pluralism than that. Perhaps Switzerland is a good example of a rightwing government, as ironic as that sounds.

Dain, you lost me. I don’t pay attention to MSM. I remember left as including communism, and right including religious radicalism. And thank you for supporting my post; today’s administration is leaning much to close to the conservative side (like Afghanistan, Iran, etc) as it gets closer to, as you put it so well, "governments that chained all social institutions to religion.

Oh, and I never would say that "conservatives are always...liberals are always..." as you put it. I don’t think that there is a good path between either party right now. I miss the old republicans--not "chained to religion" (but steeped in it)--and old (pre-2000) democrats. How does that sound? My politics are not that of either party anymore, and the party that seems more willing to change something (because the PARTY is in trouble, the POLITICS for me are not) at this time. The right is enjoying itself, and that is fine, but it doesn’t speak to me. The "Dean" liberals do not speak to me--the Moores, etc.

I do not think (getting back in cue) that there is any reason to get really bent out of shape at pies. Rather, there is something to be said about "revolution" and "acting like a dumba$$" when trying to voice dissent. Sure, there are flaws to some radicals (and energized college kids) on the left, and they should be addressed. But to call all left-wing members "stuffed shirts" and "spoiled children" only describes a portion of what you see in the party--and they ain’t my people, Dain. I just think that, just as you would like fair representation of your conservative peers, I would like fair representation of all involved.

For instance, if I called a conservative a spoiled, Bible-thumping hypocrite, you would (correct me if I’m wrong) call me a jacka$$ liberal with no basis for that idiotic assumption. But I’m not, you see?! I don’t know you, you don’t know me, and until we do, there should be no unfounded name-calling. Can we get back to the root and think this through before continuing, Dain?

Gentlemen, back to your corners! Come out boxing!

Joel, I think you missed my point. While I think there are some religious zealots who might like to turn America into a theocracy, they are a vanishingly small group in the conservative movement -- and Bush’s policies probably frustrate them as much as they do some liberals (too little, too slow, too shallow). My point was that the Right usually is stereotyped as people who don’t like change and want to "turn back the clock," but that’s not really true. Many of our leaders want to try new things, like laissez-faire capitalism! Others want to create new partnerships between religion and the state and/or business and the state. These are (in a real sense) "progressive." They are new, creative, and probably highly productive. I realize that some on the Left are threatened by these initiatives, but for conservatives they are all part of restoring "balance" to government -- government in tune with society.

I doubt we’ll ever agree on the validity of certain stereotypes...that’s OK. We are now posting in the twilight -- this thread is being sunsetted (archived). See you down the road.

Dain, I think I have finally come to understand your points as this sun sets. We are being civil? Yikes. I do think, however, that there is a smaller portion of modern conservatism that is as progessive as you say. Just as there is a smaller portion of stuffed shirts and spoiled children, as you say, in the liberal corner. I think this is fair to say. I like progressive conservatives, and I hate whining liberals. I do not like slander. That’s all. Thanks, Dain for the discussion, and...

We’ll meet again...[mysterious music plays]

Hey, did you guys hear about the recent ’assault’ on Jane Fonda?? Just curious to hear your specific denouncements of this rude, uncivilized behavior.

I found it amusing that the guy who spit on Fonda claims that he doesn’t normally chew tobacco, but did it just so he could spit the juice on her. Very strange. Truth is often stranger than fiction.

I for one have no problem saying that the vet went over the line.

Telling Mizz Fonda in no uncertain terms that he thinks her a disgrace and that she has never adequately atoned for her sickening behavior in North Vietnam would have been fine (I note that Fonda wasn’t giving a speech at the time--this was at a book signing, where everyone who waits in line w/ a copy of the book gets a few seconds of "face time" w/ the author).

Use the fairly gained "face time" to denounce Hanoi Jane while looking her in the eye? Yes, by all means. Spit on her? No--that’s excessive, and it’s right that he’ll have to answer in court for what he’s done. The pie-throwing punk who went after Bill Kristol is getting off a lot easier, IIRC.

PJC - So, would you describe the incident as an "assault," as you did when Kristol took a pie?

"Mizz"??....oh, I get it.

Dain - "buzz off"? "Get better initials"??’re a real diplomat, ain’t ya?

The vet is facing a disorderly-conduct charge, which seems about right to me, especially given that the vet didn’t throw a bomb at Fonda. He didn’t try to stab her. He didn’t try to punch, strangle or bite her. He didn’t even toss a stone or pebble. He spit TOBACCO JUICE (unheated, as far as I know). There was nothing resembling any injuries, and Jane Fonda never even had to get up from her seat and got some extra publicity from the incident.

The Earlham student, OTOH, got nothing but a suspension from the college, i.e., no legal consequences whatsoever, which doesn’t seem right.

Either you missed it, or you’re avoiding a direct answer; I’ll ask one last time:

Would you describe the (tobacco-spitting) incident as an "assault," as you did when Kristol took a pie?

Your quoting of what I wrote earlier is not very effective. I have not blown the Jane Fonda Vs. Tobacco-Spitting Vet issue out of proportion. I mean it was rude and uncivilized, and decidedly more GROSS than getting an edible product on your face, but it wasn’t that big of a deal, really. I would not call the pie-throwing incidents OR the spitting incident "assaults". And I’d have no qualms with the pie-throwers also being charged with disorderly conduct, since it was.

I think it’s fair to call both incidents assaults:

Striking an unsuspecting person suddenly in the face with a projectile (a mouthful of spittle, a pie) and with obviously unfriendly intent seems like assaultive behavior to me. (The dictionary definition I link says that an assault can consist of verbal threats alone; I recall once hearing--I think it was from a police officer--that striking at someone and missing constitutes an assault; if you land the blow then it’s assault and battery.)

Given the under-response by authorities to what the Indiana student did (you yourself agree that he ought to face a legal charge), I don’t think that the attack on Kristol has been blown out of proportion. On the contrary, it looks like another case of campus authorities coddling leftist wrongdoing.

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