The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Digital Know-Nothing

Apparently, a minor league baseball team ran a video at its ballpark honoring our veterans using the words of Ronald Reagan. When Reagan talked about the "enemies of freedom," the person who put together the video included photos of NoKo dictator Kim Jong Un and former Cuban president Fidel Castro . He also included a photo of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC). It was poor form and undeserved, but it wasn't any worse than the words and actions of dozens upon dozens of prominent Democrats, celebrities, media-types, and academics repeatedly calling Donald Trump a Nazi, a racist, a bigot, anti-Democratic, an authoritarian dictator, and worse.

Not surprisingly, when informed of the video, some Leftist commentators were outraged. Here's an example from Thomas Boswell of WaPo:
The way to oppose hateful speech — and the implicit incitement to violence that always lies within it — is to find out who did it and punish them. Nothing else will do.

When that incitement to hate occurs on the watch of a business, then those responsible must be identified, named and fired. The Washington Nationals are on the clock.

The Fresno Grizzlies, the Nationals’ Class AAA affiliate, need to find and fire the employees who failed to monitor and prevent a video shown at their stadium on Memorial Day that placed an image of a duly elected member of Congress alongside photos of dictators — all of them characterized as “enemies of freedom.”

If the Grizzlies don’t do it, then the Nats, who had nothing to do with the hate-fomenting message — directed at Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) — must intervene with their minor league team. The big club must big foot: Investigate and pink-slip those who were responsible, whether by negligence or malice.
It's remarkable that Bozwell sees no irony in his comments nor does he seem to recognize that he's using the same defensive tropes that are used to protect leftists like AOC, Ilhan Omar and others. Criticism or a negative characterization of a vocal public figure who happens to be a leftist is an "implicit incitement to violence" or an "incitement to hate."

No. Actually, it's just harsh criticism, maybe over-the-top, but certainly no less harsh that the tsunami of unhinged criticism coming out of the left over the past two years. People like Boswell never call that "the implicit incitement to violence" or an "incitement to hate." Nah, that's justified outrage. Hey, maybe the person who assembled the video was exhibiting justified outrage of their own.

I try not to post regularly on AOC, but since we're on the subject ...

Like Trump, AOC is a twitter star who understands how to energize her followers. Like Trump, she skips across the surface of politics, making a splash here and there, but never discussing policy in depth. But unlike like Trump, she has yet to accomplish anything substantive, other than getting elected and becoming a phenom.

It would be nice to just ignore AOC—a socialist ideologue who doesn't have the substance, the knowledge, or the judgement that would make her worthy of consideration. But that would be a mistake. She is a big-time influencer, what Scott Adams would call a master persuader. And that makes her dangerous.

In what has become typical for AOC, a few months ago she enthusiastically praised British politician Jeremy Corben in a tweet-fest. Domenic Green summarizes Corben nicely:
Corbyn is a career communist, a supporter of Castro, Chavez, and Maduro [hmmm, are they "enemies of freedom?]. He is a supporter of Hamas and the IRA. He hates the United States, but he never has a bad word to say about Russia. He has accepted money to appear on the Iranian propaganda channel Press TV. He refuses to accept Israel’s right to exist, and endorses conspiracy theories about Israeli subversion in Arab states. He has an uncanny ability to share platforms with 9/11 conspiracists who say that the Mossad did it, with Islamists who say that the Mossad did it, and with Holocaust deniers who say that the Germans didn’t do it, but the Palestinians should.
AOC wasn't arguing policy with Corben, she was flirting with him politically. She tweeted:
"Also honored to share a great hope in the peace, prosperity + justice that everyday people can create when we uplift one another across class, race + identity both at home & abroad."
Corbin responded:
"Great to speak to @AOC on the phone this evening and hear first hand how she’s challenging the status quo ... Let’s build a movement across borders to take on the billionaires, polluters and migrant baiters, and support a happier, freer and cleaner planet".
Green related what happened when a Jewish supporter of AOC expressed just a teeny bit of concern over her flirtation with a noted anti-Semite. AOC replied (quoting Green):
‘Thank you for bringing this to me,’ she tweeted graciously when one of her Jewish followers tweeted his distress. ‘We cannot + will not move forward without deep fellowship and leadership with the Jewish community. I’ll have my team reach out.’
Green continues:
This is what it looks like when digital know-nothings play the politician. For a socialist, Ocasio-Cortez gives good management-speak. She appended a purple heart to this memo to the everyday people. This shows that her undying compassion extends even unto the one percent of touchy Zionists, and also that she felt a little wounded by the suggestion that she was either an idiot or a fellow-traveler with anti-Semites.
It is a mistake to characterize AOC as "a digital know-nothing." Sure, she's often less than one question deep. Sure, she tries to charm her way out of blatant inconsistencies and ridiculous statements.

But she knows how to influence, and that's far more important than any legislation she might sponsor. She's a true believer, and that makes her disregard any facts or evidence that conflict with her worldview. She's telegenic, and that makes her marketable as a politician.

She will be a force to be reckoned with -- taking her lightly would be a mistake.