Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Hmmm, I wonder...

I don't know about the rest of you, but whenever some significant event occurs in our political culture I find myself asking, "I wonder what Michael Moore has to say about this?"

Naturally, we didn't have to wait long before he chimed in on the Tucson murders.  He tweeted (and I'm not going to reward his website with hits by linking to it): "If a Detroit Muslim put a map on the web with cross-hairs on twenty politicians, and then one of them got shot, where would he be sitting right now? Just asking."

A fair question, Michael, and I think I'll take a stab at answering it.  First of all, I think we'd want to know something more about your hypothetical shooter.  Is there any evidence that he was motivated by Islamic extremism?  Is he even Muslim?  Is there any evidence that he ever even saw the web page with the cross-hairs?  Did the cross-hairs stand alone, or were they accompanied by an explicit call for someone to kill said politicians (after all, if Muslim extremists want you dead, they don't tend to pussyfoot around)?

If the answers to these questions are, "Yes," then I imagine that, at the very least, our "Detroit Muslim" would be declared a "person of interest" by the authorities.  If not, not.

Now, if I might pose a counter-question to Michael Moore: if your "Detroit Muslim" were arrested for complicity in this hypothetical shooting of a politician, what would you be doing right now?  The answer, I suspect, is "loudly demanding that he be released, and denouncing the authorities for violating his freedom of speech."

Discussions - 2 Comments

Again, context is important.

If a Detroit Muslim was a prominent Democratic politician was engaging in standard campaign strategy by focusing on incumbents suspectible to defeat, and that prominent Muslim politician used a circle and intersecting lines to indicate the congressional district to focus on, and the context of the entire thing was purely within normal and common campaign languages used by both sides for decades ... deep breath ... and then one of them got shot, where would he be sitting right now? Just asking.

Answer: I honestly, sincerely and with complete conviction of soul say I would not be doing what the left is trying to do with Palin.

Now ... if that Detroit Muslim with the website was a known Islamic extremist, and the purpose of the website had nothing to do with politics, and in fact the purpose of the website was in fact to incite such violence ... well then there might be blame to assign.

But any rational, clear-thinking person knows that American politics are what they are. The use of military-like language is common. For example, George Stephenopolous was famous for his war room strategy for Bill Clinton.

(Note for Scanlon: "War" is to Palin's 'targeting' as Michael Moore is to simply stupid people.)

I defy Michael Moore, or anyone for that matter, to create a campaign strategy that does not use language suggesting at least some parallel to "targeting."

Can't be done.

The very nature of the political campaigning -- and, for that matter, sales and business -- is to target opportunities, focus on those targets, mobilize resources to the target, while eliminating impediments to success of the stated objectives.

Oh hell, medicine uses the same kinds of language and imagery: various antibiotics and cancer medicines are said to target the affected region, attack the germs or disease, and kill the invading menace.

Go one step further -- I sure hope the Minneapolis-based retail store Target is planning on abandoning its name.

I suppose it could be boiled down to some useless pablum: We seek to holistically embrace the challenges and find unity with all in an attempt to bring balance and joy to all involved.

Yeah. Michael Moore no doubt used that sentiment when blocking out the storyline for his hit pieces ... er, "documentaries."

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