The hypocrisy of left-wing celebrities is getting on my nerves. This past week, Joss Whedon, the acclaimed screenwriter, director, and producer, tweeted the following:
Hey Far Right:
Gonna beat you.
Not gonna start a war, not gonna shoot you, run you over, threaten your kids.
Gonna beat you with passionate compassion. With journalism, activism, the Law.
With v o t e s.
Your rage is fear.
Our rage is love.
Our state is united.
— Joss Whedon (@joss) July 2, 2018
As much as this sounds like a welcome call for civility from Mr. Whedon, I have to say I’m quite skeptical of his sincerity. As I noted in a column a couple months ago, Whedon once tweeted he wanted Donald Trump to “Just quietly die.” The tweet earned him a temporary suspension from Twitter. Upon his return he never issued an apology for his over-the-top remarks. If you scroll through Whedon’s Twitter feed, you’ll find plenty of inflammatory tweets from a clearly unhinged liberal who hasn’t gotten over Trump’s election.
Let’s be honest here. While some liberals may publicly call for civility, they don’t really believe in it. In fact, they feed off anger and incivility. They moralize their actions by convincing themselves that no matter how awful they act, they are justified because “Trump!”
It’s been two years since Michelle Obama claimed, “Our motto is, when they go low, we go high.” She may have received cheers for this statement back then, but since Trump won the election it seems their real motto is: “How low can we go?” Trump’s style and rhetoric may not be polished, but the left makes his harsh rhetoric look like sophisticated eloquence by comparison.
Remember, it was a Bernie Sanders-supporting socialist who shot up a Congressional baseball game specifically targeting Republicans. Prior to the shooting he was posting things on his Facebook page such as, “Trump is a Traitor. Trump Has Destroyed Our Democracy. It’s Time to Destroy Trump & Co.” and “Republicans are the Taliban of the USA.” This rhetoric, which culminated with the attempted mass murder of Republicans, sounds eerily similar to the Twitter rants of Joss Whedon and other liberal celebrities. And some elected Democrats, frankly.
In the wake of that shooting, one might have thought that there would be some introspection on the left about the nastiness of their rhetoric and abhorrence of their behavior. But, things didn’t get better after the shooting. In fact, the tone of public discourse has only gotten worse.
In the past month, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was kicked out of the Red Hen restaurant in Lexington, Virginia; DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen was shouted out of a Mexican restaurant and then was targeted at her home; actor Peter Fonda tweeted he wanted to kidnap Barron Trump and put him a cage with pedophiles; now-former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt was accosted at a restaurant while he was eating by a mother with her young child; a California man was recently arrested for threatening to kill FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s family over the repeal of net neutrality; another man threatened to chop up Senator Rand Paul’s family with an axe; and Rep. Maxine Waters has also called for people to publicly harass Trump administration officials. Can we acknowledge that there’s a problem with civility in this country? Can we acknowledge that the problem is not Donald Trump?
But make no mistake, liberals don’t want civility. A few days ago Hillary Clinton scoffed at the idea that liberals have become uncivil. “Oh, give me a break. Give me a break!” She said.
Okay, Hillary may still be a sore loser, but there is clearly no genuine desire from the left to lighten up. Democrat voters have told their party leadership that they “don’t have the luxury for” decorum and civility. To them, Maxine Waters is mainstream. These are the people who cheer when Sanders and Nielsen are forced out of restaurants. These are the people who think the Republicans who were shot at while playing baseball deserved it.
This is not normal behavior. America is better than this.
Perhaps the only silver lining here is that this escalating negativity from the left will most certainly backfire on them. Left-wing Chris Cillizza, CNN’s editor-at-large, decried Maxine Waters’ “low-road strategy” by saying, “There’s just nothing to be gained from trying to out-Trump Trump.” Let’s face it, you may not like Trump’s style, but the left has sunk to levels far lower than Trump ever has. And the worst thing is, they believe they are justified. Cillizza noted, “My Twitter feed is filled on a daily basis with liberals insisting that there is nothing too awful to say about Trump, his daughters, his sons or his wife. Whether or not these attacks are fact-based appears to be of little consequence to this element of the Democratic base; they are literally blinded with hatred for Trump.”
Tom Nichols, writing at the Washington Post, seems to agree:
Abandoning civility and escalating the outrage cycle — running Cabinet secretaries out of D.C. eateries and members of Congress calling for public confrontation of administration officials — isn’t going to work for Democrats.
Marc Thiessen, also writing at the Washington Post, argues that the hate coming from the left will ultimately get Trump re-elected.
How do liberals think that 20 percent of reluctant Trump voters respond to these displays of unbridled contempt? They are outraged not at Trump but at his critics. The unhinged hatred for the president makes these voters almost reflexively defend him.
Don’t take my word for it. The New York Times recently interviewed dozens of tepid Trump voters who explained how the incessant attacks are causing them to rally around the president. “Gina Anders knows the feeling well by now,” the Times reports. “President Trump says or does something that triggers a spasm of outrage. She doesn’t necessarily agree with how he handled the situation. She gets why people are upset.” But Anders, who the Times says has “not a stitch of ‘Make America Great Again’ gear in her wardrobe, is moved to defend him anyway.” When she hears the “overblown,” attacks on Trump, she says, “It makes me angry at them, which causes me to want to defend him to them more.” Another reluctant Trump voter, Tony Schrantz, agrees. “He’s not a perfect guy; he does some stupid stuff,” he tells the Times. “But when they’re hounding him all the time it just gets old.”
I don’t like the way liberals have debased public discourse. It doesn’t seem that long ago that people could express different opinions without wanting to kill each other or call them bigots and racists. It would be nice if people could sit and eat at a restaurant without being assaulted just for wearing a Make America Great Again hat.
Liberals may not want civility now, but they’re going to be in for a rude awakening if they don’t change their tone… because believe me, if Trump is reelected in 2020, what’s happening right now will be child’s play compared to the hate and rage they’ll have if American’s give him four more years.
Matt Margolis is the author of the new book, The Scandalous Presidency of Barack Obama and the forthcoming re-release of the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis