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Who Is the Expert on Extreme Rhetoric?

There really is no one better suited to talk to conservatives about the dangers of extreme rhetoric than liberals.

by
Frank J. Fleming

Bio

May 29, 2010 - 12:00 am
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Really, no one can speak with more authority about rhetoric becoming overheated than liberals, based on their conduct during the Bush years. They were calling him BusHitler, denying he could ever have good motives for anything he did, and they were so embroiled in their own hate-filled rhetoric as to place themselves completely outside of reasonable debate. If conservatives ever thought they were becoming like that, it would be a huge eye-opener. So there really is no one better suited to talk to conservatives about the dangers of extreme rhetoric than liberals. It’s like how you have former drug addicts talk about the dangers of drugs, because they personally know the horrors of drug addiction.

Of course, with liberals lately, it’s more like someone who is obviously high coming on stage with a needle sticking out of his arm and smoking pot, saying, “You guys need to stop doing drugs so you can be sober like me, man.” It’s not really convincing anyone. And their ideas on what kind of rhetoric leads to violence seems questionable.

Like, I’ve heard a lot of concern over how Sarah Palin put up a map with crosshairs on all the congressional districts she was targeting for takeover, as if that might lead to violence. Is that based on introspection? Are liberals saying that if they were exposed to the image of crosshairs, they would start hurting people? Or is this once again them saying that something is not true for them but true for everybody else? I’d excuse people if they didn’t trust liberals on their abilities to predict human behavior, because if the left were able to do that, they wouldn’t have been caught so off guard by tea parties forming in the first place.

Also, how can liberals expect to lecture people on overheated rhetoric when they currently seem even crazier and more desperate than they were during the Bush administration? Recently, the spokesman for GEICO lost his job because he was so concerned about overheated rhetoric from the tea parties that he called up FreedomWorks to tell them they are retarded.

What exactly was the best possible outcome he expected from that? Basically, liberals are all starting to believe their own rhetoric about the right being unhinged, and it’s making them unhinged. Joe Klein recently raised the specter of sedition in relation to Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. Soon, we’ll probably hear liberals saying, “Conservatives are becoming just like Nazis! We need to round them up and put them into camps to stop them!”

So, again, the keyword is “introspection.” Liberals have a lot to teach conservatives about the dangers of letting political rhetoric go too far, but they need to have the humility to take an honest look at themselves if they want conservatives to listen. But should conservatives be more introspective before criticizing liberals’ behavior? Of course not; we don’t have time for navel-gazing. What are we? A bunch of hippies?

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Frank J. Fleming is the author of Punch Your Inner Hippie, coming November 11th, and the science fiction novel Superego, coming later this year, writes columns for PJ Media and the New York Post, and blogs at IMAO.us, and if he were president, he'd never be seen on the golf course during international crises, because he'd be in the White House basement playing video games.
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