Welcome to the Uncivil War – Commentary by Steve Scroggins
Brent Bozell's January 8th column (link below at bottom) describes the modern arena of ideological battle and laments the verbal brutality and hyperbole in use. Word-gladiators have always tried to slay their opponent's ideas, but now it's more personal and the warriors attempt to disembowel one another with rusty blunt weapons.
One specific example Bozell cites is MoveOn.org's advertisements that compare President Bush to Adolph Hitler. While I agree that such is "over the top," it certainly is not a new phenomenon.
Columnist Ellen Goodman, the Boston liberal feminist, wrote a column in the mid-1990s complaining about the lack of civility in political discourse. She didn't like the fact that people tended to "Nazify" their opponent at the slightest provocation. Her complaints followed public reports of the federal debacles at Waco's Branch Davidian "compound" and in Ruby Ridge, Idaho. One Congressman referred to ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms) agents as "jack-booted thugs."
Bozell and Goodman are right in the sense that excessive hyperbole cheapens the language. Just as false claims of rape tend to discredit authentic cases of rape and false claims of racism tend to trivialize and cheapen legitimate cases of racism, calling someone a Nazi or Hitler can be construed as trivializing the millions of victims who suffered and died at the hands of an evil monster.
Bozell heads a media watchdog group and he has access to tons of research and documentation which proves media bias in the ideological battle for the hearts and minds of the American people.
I agree with Bozell that leftists, liberals and Democrats tend to escalate each battle sooner than their opponents. Many of their ideas and premises are based on emotion and feelings, and therefore rely on hyperbole and exaggeration to compensate for a lack of factual and logical merit.
In today's PC environment, anyone who criticizes the behavior or ideas of a minority is often labeled a "racist" and dismissed without any effort whatsoever to rebut or contest the substance of the original criticism. This is an intellectually shallow mode of debate, but they nevertheless get at least an equal if not greater percentage of publication ink and broadcast airtime. And the worst part, these demagogues who cry "racism" almost never get called on it by the "mainstream" media. Instead, outlandish and outrageous accusations and innuendo are reported as straight-faced news.
Southerners are for the most part a polite people who tend to be courteous by nature and avoid offending others where it's practical to do so.
Heritage haters have taken advantage of this tendency for decades now, to the point that many southerners are completely fed up with it. Make no mistake, the level of anger is growing.
We are annoyed that the media continues to give any credence to the frequent and unsubstantiated shrieks of "racism!" I wrote a column for The Macon Telegraph in the mid-1990s defending the honor and meaning of the Confederate Battle Flag. Five years later, a student informed me that a local high school teacher (who has never met me) was using that laminated column as an example in his class. Yes, he is black. Reportedly, he informed his class without caveat or reservation that I am a racist. What a crock!
I can ignore local idiots like this teacher. Although I have grounds to press slander charges, I cannot prove damages because most of his students think he's an idiot and disregard his opinion anyway. But there are some buffoons and idiots who demand a reaction.
Al Sharpton is one such idiot. Sharpton has a long history of reckless, outrageous and criminal behavior and yet a half dozen men who want to be President of the United States are willing to stand on the same stage with such a lying race hustler and treat him like a viable candidate. Let's not forget that this buffoon spent a few weeks in jail (for trespassing on a Navy base in Puerto Rico) and pretended to hold a "hunger strike" in protest. Since he had obviously not lost any weight when released, we can only conclude that he was force-fed Twinkies while he was incarcerated.
Columnists Jeff Jacoby and Pat Buchanan detail the character (or rather lack) of Al Sharpton in their columns following Howard Dean's "Confederate trucks" remarks.
While I generally agree that Nazifying one's opponent is way overused, and usually inappropriate, I believe it certainly fits in certain situations...like Al Sharpton.
Last November, when Sharpton stood on the debate stage and called the Confederate flag an "American swastika," not one pathetic pandering creampuff on the debate stage had the courage to challenge Sharpton for his hate speech and extremism. These Democratic candidates for President want us to elect them to the most powerful office in the world...but none has the courage to challenge an immoral demagogue like Sharpton. Sorry, boys, the Office of President is not for weak-kneed wimps and neither is it the place for the morally and ethically challenged or those who enable demagogues. You pantywaists need not plan on getting many votes from down South. Ya hear?
The Wall of Hate
As a Christian, I believe we should all strive to forgive and "turn the other cheek"...up to a point. My parents taught me and I teach my children that you cannot tolerate a bully. It's not doing the bully any favors to let them practice their hurtful behaviors. In fact, one could argue that hitting back teaches the bully a valuable lesson. And there's no doubt that allowing the bully to inflict injury without resistance will encourage him to continue.
Southerners have had a belly full, folks. Many of us are starting to hit back when racist bullies defame our southern symbols and southern heroes.
It's time to stand up for truth, folks. Our 1956 flag of honor was stolen under false pretenses----OK, a mountain of lies. Our government officials have defied the will of the people---at the behest of the Heritage Haters and their corporate lackies. It's time to stand tall for our heritage and our self-government, for if we don't, we will surely lose them...like sand slipping between our fingers. And we will bear the shame and infamy of letting them take it from us.
"The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards;
and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors:
they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence.
It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle,
or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men." --Samuel Adams
Move On? Let's Not by Brent Bozell
is Adjutant of the Lt. James T. Woodward Camp 1399, Sons of Confederate
Veterans, in Warner Robins, GA and a frequent GHC contributor of parody
and political cartoons and graphics.