Thursday, June 29, 2017


Really, CNN? "Shocking"?

As I'm sure you already know, this is in response to tweets the president posted this morning:

CNN's subhead is "Even by President Trump's standards, these tweets were shocking." Seriously? After "blood coming out of her wherever"? After Trump's arm-flapping mockery of disabled reporter Serge Kovaleski? After dozens of other sixth-grade-bully tweets and utterances over many, many years?

No, CNN, these tweets weren't shocking "even by President Trump's standards." They were shocking by the standards we'd like him to be upholding. They were shocking by the standards some of us want to imagine he's upholding because we want him to just be a normal (if somewhat uninformed) president so we can go about our lives and tell ourselves that everything is fine.

Everyone who thinks that way, please just stop. This is who Trump is. We've known this for a long time, and we elected him anyway.


Many of us are also shocked by this new NRA ad featuring Dana Loesch:

Here’s a full transcription of Loesch’s rant, in case you prefer text. Bear in mind that these words are overlaid over ominous images of protest and street violence:
They use their media to assassinate real news. They use their schools to teach children that their president is another Hitler. They use their movie stars and singers and comedy shows and award shows to repeat their narrative over and over again. And then they use their ex-president to endorse “the resistance.”

All to make them march. Make them protest. Make them scream racism and sexism and xenophobia and homophobia. To smash windows, burn cars, shut down interstates and airports, bully and terrorize the law-abiding — until the only option left is for the police to do their jobs and stop the madness.

And when that happens, they’ll use it as an excuse for their outrage. The only way we stop this, the only way we save our country and our freedom, is to fight this violence of lies with the clenched fist of truth.

I’m the National Rifle Association of America. And I’m freedom’s safest place.
Why is this shocking? Why is it any more shocking than the famous mid-1990s letter from the NRA's Wayne LaPierre that referred to agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms as "jack-booted government thugs"? Why is it any more shocking than LaPierre's statement in 2012 after the Sandy Hook massacre?
The truth is that our society is populated by an unknown number of genuine monsters — people so deranged, so evil, so possessed by voices and driven by demons that no sane person can possibly ever comprehend them. They walk among us every day.

... Killers, robbers, rapists and drug gang members who have spread like cancer in every community in this country. Meanwhile, federal gun prosecutions have decreased by 40% — to the lowest levels in a decade.

So now, due to a declining willingness to prosecute dangerous criminals, violent crime is increasing again for the first time in 19 years! Add another hurricane, terrorist attack or some other natural or man-made disaster, and you've got a recipe for a national nightmare of violence and victimization.
Or this 2014 column by LaPierre?
President Barack Obama, his axis in Congress and his media elite are gnawing at the country’s foundations intent on replacing our hallowed national character with their tyrannical political culture. It’s as if the values we’ve always lived by and counted on no longer matter, no longer make a difference.

I’m talking about values like truth, honesty, kindness, virtue, generosity, humility, mutual respect, plain decency—the bedrock values of our society.

What does it say about a political culture where madmen are famous and good guys forgotten? Where crimes go unpunished, leaving violent criminals to prey upon the innocent, and where tax collectors are turned into secret police for the government?

What does it say about a political culture in which the law has become a weapon wielded against ordinary citizens by those in power? How can good, decent Americans be expected to have faith in law and order if the law is selectively enforced? If the law is changed at the whims of the powerful? If the law is used for the advantage of the political elites and at the disadvantage of the rest of us? How can citizens respect laws in a nation in which those laws are so unequally and arbitrarily applied?

The list of lawless actions by this administration is virtually limitless: Operation “Fast and Furious” supplying guns to the Mexican drug cartels; using the IRS to harass and destroy political opposition; ordering free-speech gag-rules; releasing a massive number of criminal illegal aliens to prey on innocent Americans; refusing to secure the nation’s borders.

But there is more: negotiating with terrorists and freeing the worst Islamist killers from detention; abandoning commitments to our allies; using federal bank regulators to destroy lawful businesses like gun dealers; violating sunshine laws shutting down citizens’ lawful access to actions driving government decisions and mandates; massive surveillance of private communications between Americans, then blatantly lying to Congress about it.

... So to preserve our values and protect our freedom, America needs the good guys to step up like never before. That’s us. We are the good guys who will not stand idly by as the dishonest political and media elites strip our values away.

The National Rifle Association—all that we believe in and fight for—has become a metaphor for the core American liberty we all want preserved. The NRA is where you resist, and stand and fight to put America back on track to restore and preserve our individual freedom.
Or this speech LaPierre delivered in February?
“Right now, we face a gathering of forces that are willing to use violence against us,” he said. “The leftist movement in this country right now is enraged. Among them and behind them are the most radical political elements there are: Anarchists, marxists, communists and the left of the—the rest of the left-wing socialist parade. They hate everything America stands for: Democracy, free market capitalism, representative government, individual freedom. They want to tear down our system and replace it with their collectivist top-down global-government-knows-best-utopia.”

LaPierre claimed that billionaire George Soros is paying protesters, that crime is on the rise, that gangs are infiltrating the military and law enforcement and that the media “theorized” Trump would be assassinated before Inauguration Day.

LaPierre wrapped up by attacking the media and insinuating violence against the “violent left” if it brings “terror” to communities....

“Make no mistake, if the violent left brings their terror to our communities, our neighborhoods or into our homes, they will be met with the result and the strength and the full force of American freedom in the hands of the American people, and we will win because we are the majority in this country,” LaPierre concluded.
If you didn't realize until now that NRA rhetoric is always like this, you haven't been paying attention. Maybe the only reason you're paying attention at this moment is that now it's aimed not just at people in government or Hollywood, but at suburbanite Resistance members in pink hats.

This is nothing new. Our culture has been experiencing this sort of degradation for years. I guess it's a good thing when people are actually paying attention.

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