Friday, April 12, 2013
Another spurt of Leftist hate
Leftist hate towards conservatives is so common that I doubt that admirers of Lady Thatcher are much surprised or moved by the antics of young British Leftists in recent days. Their antics certainly need no explanation. Hate and abuse is what they do. It is so common it has become meaningless as information about anything in particular -- but a warning about what they would do if they could
Many time-honoured social conventions have been discarded in recent times in our headlong rush to demonstrate how modern and relaxed we have all become, but we still, more or less, stick to the maxim of “not speaking ill of the dead”. At least not in the immediate aftermath of their demise, when their families’ grief is still raw.
Yet news of the passing of the frail 87-year-old Baroness Thatcher, so confused that she had to be reminded almost daily that her husband was dead, was greeted with street parties in Brixton, Bristol, Leeds, Liverpool and Glasgow. In south London, the scene of rioting in 1981 during her first term in office, the letters on the billboard outside a cinema were rearranged by masked vandals to read “Margaret Thatchers dead LOL [Laugh Out Loud]”. In Glasgow’s George Square, revellers drank champagne, wore party hats and sang, “Ding, dong, the witch is dead”. In Leeds, they shared a celebration cake. In Liverpool they gathered for a “death party”, and in Bristol joined forces under the banner, “May she never RIP”.
Cold comfort, then, for her children, neither of them saints, but still human beings trying to absorb the loss of their mother. We all have a mother, so we should all have enough empathy to imagine a little of what they are feeling. But apparently not.
Of course, Margaret Thatcher, as a three times prime minister whose economic, political and social legacy remains alive and hotly disputed to this day, wasn’t any old mother. And so some, mainly on the political fringes, appear to regard her as such a hate figure that the normal rules of engagement don’t apply.
The most mainstream voice to be heard in this mob was that of Radio 4 regular Mark Steel, who tweeted: “what a terrible shame – that it wasn’t 87 years earlier.” In the chorus was Socialist Worker – circulation under 8,000 and admittedly probably not on order at Mark or Carol Thatcher’s newsagents – with a front-page mock-up of her tombstone and the word “Rejoice” in capital letters. (The editor was too busy yesterday to take a call asking for an explanation of the image.)
And there too, inevitably, was George Galloway MP, never one to mince words when he might make headlines, with: “May she burn in the hellfires.” It is, as far as I can remember, the first time a recently deceased figure has been pushed so publicly and unceremoniously into the medieval pit since the death in 2002 of the Moors Murderess, Myra Hindley.
So has a line been crossed? There is an argument that says that, in life, Margaret Thatcher relished controversy, so why should we think she would object in death? As countless retired cabinet ministers, one-time opponents and commentators have remarked, she enjoyed a fight, adopted a presidential style that dispensed with distinctions between herself and her policies, wasn’t above flamboyantly rubbishing even close colleagues (notably Geoffrey Howe, albeit with disastrous consequences), and, in the words of her biographer the late Hugo Young, “cared little if people liked her”. Presumably in death she will care even less.
Snarks from the American Left too
The legendary British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died, and the national media tried to pay their respects, not only for breaking Britain's "glass ceiling" with a "bruising" political style, but for transforming Britain and helping wind down the Cold War.
Still, Thatcher was a conservative and one of Ronald Reagan's staunchest friends in the world, so you can be sure these journalists were Thatcher-bashers when she was in power. Some of them were American anchors and reporters.
Let's start with a few quotes from long after she left 10 Downing Street. On Nov. 19, 1999, NBC reporter Jim Avila brought the liberal contempt in a story on a sex scandal in higher education: "Hillsdale College is supposed to be different: a liberal arts college where liberals are unwanted, where Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan are regarded as heroic deep thinkers, prayer is encouraged and morality is taught alongside grammar."
That knock on "heroic deep thinkers" shows that Avila wrote the story before he showed up at Hillsdale. Reagan and Thatcher were great leaders and certainly great combatants in the war on ideas. But Hillsdale teaches Locke and Montesquieu and Alexis de Tocqueville. One wonders if TV reporters have heard of those philosophers before they mock conservative "deep thinkers." Obviously, if a Fox News reporter mocked college students viewing Obama and Bill Clinton as "heroic deep thinkers," they would be dismissed as street rabble who'd never opened a book.
In 2000, Time magazine and CBS News picked the most important people of the 20th century. On CBS on Christmas Eve, Bryant Gumbel and Dan Rather took turns suggesting Thatcher wasn't worthy. Gumbel began: "On the women's front, Eleanor Roosevelt is obviously a given. Do we agree with the Margaret Thatcher pick?" Rather replied: "I don't, to be perfectly honest."
Gumbel agreed: "I don't either." Rather demeaned her: "My guess, Margaret Thatcher is there, as much as any reason, because she is a woman."
I'm not making this up. Eleanor Roosevelt, best known as a First Lady and then as an esteemed lecturer of liberal nonsense, is to Gumbel and Rather "obviously a given" on the world stage, while Margaret Thatcher is a mere footnote, only worth mentioning because she was a woman. Neither took exception with the other American woman on the list of the century's leaders: radical leftist Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood.
During Thatcher's time in power, as she boldly argued for less socialism at home and less communism across Europe, American reporters often brought the same dismissive rhetoric to their Thatcher stories that they did to their Reagan stories. On May 3, 1989, NBC reporter Arthur Kent asserted, "Thatcher has ruthlessly applied her conservative solutions." NBC didn't report that Obama "ruthlessly applied his liberal solutions" when he forced Obamacare down America's throat in 2010.
On that same night, a foolish ABC reporter named John Laurence made Thatcher sound like a despot: "Mrs. Thatcher has proved to be an Iron Lady at home and abroad. ... And in the process, she converted 10 Downing Street into what's been described as an elective dictatorship."
That's what the Left says when conservatives win repeated landslides.
This tilt may have been established in part because when Mrs. Thatcher sat down for interviews with the American networks, she brought her usual firm approach. In her memoir "Reporting Live," CBS correspondent Lesley Stahl tells of interviewing Thatcher in the depths of Iran-Contra, pushing the prime minister to admit Reagan as a liar, feeling that she was "demolished" by Thatcher "seeming to question my love of country."
"What are you doing your level best to put the worst foot forward? Why? America is a great country," Thatcher insisted. "I beg of you, you should have as much faith in America as I have."
Stahl told of receiving bags full of negative mail. Thatcher was originally livid at Stahl's quite-typical battering, but changed her mind when the letters came in, like one telling Stahl "We applauded when Mrs. Thatcher chopped you into bits."
Our media devoted many more hours of weepy airtime to Princess Diana in 1997 than the spare minutes they'll offer in Thatcher's memory. They have already treated her as faded and forgotten. In 2009, when Michelle Obama came to London, NBC turned to an "expert" named Helen Kirwan-Taylor, who proclaimed Mrs. Obama is "absolutely terrifying for the British, because the British like their women subdued and doe-eyed, modest and soft-spoken, I mean, Princess Di. And here comes this woman who's in your face. Everything about her says 'I'm confident. I know what I want. I can do anything.'"
This quote can only be disseminated by people who know this is Thatcher-ignoring nonsense. Liberals claim to love strong women, but not when those women are conservatives.
Are Right-wingers nicer than Left-wingers?
I don't mean in a Nazis vs Communists, Hitler vs Stalin, way. I mean in a moderate way: Conservative activists vs Labour activists, you might say.
It's difficult to imagine Conservative activists behaving like the people who celebrated Margaret Thatcher's death in Glasgow and Brixton. That's partly because it's hard to think of any Left-wing leader who had as powerful an effect on the country as she did.
But, still, between them, Harold Wilson and Jim Callaghan – with quite a lot of help from Edward Heath – led to a disastrous decline in British fortunes in the 1970s, as opposed to the Thatcher economic turnaround. But their deaths barely raised a whimper, let alone a distasteful celebration. Some Right-wingers will, presumably, feel a little private inner glow at the death of a properly wicked dictator, like Fidel Castro; but it's difficult to imagine them taking to the streets to celebrate with such public gusto.
Why is this? Part of the reason is that conservatives accept the unfairnesses and shortcomings of the world as an inevitable reflection of the human condition. In their understanding that public spending cannot be infinite, that there must be some realistic restraint on altruistic impulses, they are often thought to be ruthless and heartless.
That supposed heartlessness is, more often than not, pragmatism. Margaret Thatcher didn't actively want to put lots of miners out of work, as those who celebrated her death might think. What she saw, in an utterly pragmatic way, was that there was no economic sense in propping up a failing industry – she didn't close down the mines; she refused to go on subsidising them. If they had been making money, they would still be open today.
The knowledge that their pragmatic, economic good sense is often perceived as being heartless often makes conservatives rather diffident, self-effacing and apologetic – all nice characteristics (although, it must be said, Margaret Thatcher, for all her personal kindness and decency, didn't have these particular qualities in abundance).
It's the other way round on the Left. Because you are always advocating milk and honey for the oppressed – even if that milk and honey is economically unaffordable or impossible to get hold of – you are protected by a forcefield of advertised niceness. With your public goodness established, you can then allow yourself all the personal bile in the world – by, say, opening a bottle of champagne on the death of a frail, 87-year-old woman.
Which is better? Public niceness and personal nastiness, or public pragmatism and personal niceness?
Take My Child...Please
A few years ago, Hillary wrote a book titled "It Takes a Village." That was a palatable notion. The family had the primary responsibility, but there was also community environmental impact as well. Hillary's observation was mostly reasonable, acceptable, and very politically correct.
But the gradual morphing of the Liberal Progressive message is suddenly obvious. MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry said...
"...break through our kind of private idea that kids belong to their parents, or kids belong to their families, and recognize that kids belong to whole communities."
Where in the world would parents get the "private idea" that that child was actually theirs? How old fashioned and backward thinking!
What is more bothersome is that the notion, the "private idea", is easily dismissed by the single parent, especially when they are encouraged to do so by the likes of Melissa Harris-Perry. The child is of the community they are told, and hence becomes the community's responsibility. The notion is welcomed. Maybe the mother and the child are both somehow victims too. We await Melissa Harris-Perry to tell us.
From the New York Times..
"73 percent of black children are born outside marriage, compared with 53 percent of Latinos and 29 percent of whites."
And when the unwed woman gets pregnant, we are led to believe that it was due to a shortfall in women's healthcare, i.e. the availability of contraceptive products, that is the real culprit. So the community is responsible for providing "women's healthcare", i.e. contraception....but the community is also responsible for the child born out of wedlock.
Right Sandra Fluke?
There is also the troubling disconnect between the "pro choice" camp and the "communal child" camp. "It is my body", but it will be "your child". The choice is mine alone, but the child "belong(s) to the whole community". Asking a liberal to logically square these positions is futile.
As the child grows, the notion that "how they do in school is solely up to the teacher" is a natural extrapolation of the communal concept. And what else? Where they are and what they do in their spare time is also more of a community issue then a familial one.
If the child ends up in a "flash mob" certainly this is not poor decision making or an underperformance of parenting but a failure of the community.
Is there a clearer depiction of the liberal left's attitude on individual responsibility?
How convenient and how easily received and embraced is this notion that your mistake is now 'our' mistake. Spread the wealth and spread the responsibilities, or more appropriately the irresponsibilities.
Notice the precise word selection. The "private idea" is a bad idea...kind of like "private industry". "Private" is suggested a bad word. "Communal" and "collective" are offered as good words. Communal...communism. Collective responsibility....collectives. These terms are right out of the Marx-Engels dictionary.
These ideas, these concepts of shedding and then spreading responsibility are easily sold to a certain stratum of our population. It is born, pardon the analogy, in the same womb as "victimhood".
But the grand subliminal suggestion is that because the child is of the community, and the community is reliant upon the Federal Government, we can now read, "It takes a government" to raise a child. That is the actual mantra. Forward.
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Posted by JR at 12:44 AM