“If a man with an assault weapon goes into the school where Harry Reid’s grandchildren go to school tomorrow and kills his grandchildren, would he stand in front of that microphone at five o’clock and say, ‘I know how Dianne [Feinstein] had to witness the mayor getting murdered, but my grandchildren just got killed today, but, you know, we can’t get it passed because we just don’t have the votes.’”
—Documentary Film-Maker Michael Moore, ranting about Senate Majority Harry Reid’s decision to remove Sen. Feinstein’s assault weapons ban from the Senate gun reform package.
I know ad hominem attacks are uncool, but truly: what an awful, awful man Michael Moore is. He lies in his documentaries; he engages in deceit routinely; he abused Charlton Heston, knowing he was in the throes of Altzheimer’s Disease; he praised Fidel Castro; he is, for all intents and purposes a Communist, his public statements are fueled by and designed to ignite hatred more often than not, and, on top of it all, he says unethical and asinine things like this. Moore is to progressives what Newt Gingrich and Donald Trump are to conservatives: any group that can endure, indeed, applaud such people has serious, deep-rooted ethical and cognitive problems.
Moore, in his award-winning and mind-bogglingly stupid statement, is entering territory I deplored recently, and repetitively: the assumption that all public policy positions were based on personal biases held by policy-makers, and, moreover, that this is responsible, desirable and acceptable. This is an idiot’s argument, despite the fact that we hear it often. “If that serial killer were your son, you wouldn’t be in favor of the death penalty!” “If that Senator’s son were being sent to Iraq, he wouldn’t be voting for war!” And, of course, thanks to the pliable Rob Portman, “If your child were gay, you wouldn’t be against gay marriage!” These and similar declarations, like Moore’s, should be insults, but usually aren’t intended as such. What they literally mean is that a particular opinion or course of action has been reached with total disdain for many of the stakeholders in it, and thus would be instantly reversed if the individuals holding the opinion actually considered its consequences on those he or she cared about. What they are too often used to mean is that if an independent-judgment damaging event caused the opinion or conduct to be forged out of hate, fear, revenge or anger, that would be “right.”
Reid making his choices about gun policy according to his degree of grief and trauma as a result of a family tragedy would be just as irresponsible and unprofessional as Diane Feinstein reaching her position as a result of having “to witness the mayor getting murdered.” Both Reid and Feinstein have an obligation to decide their conduct regarding gun policy or any other policy based on dispassionate analysis and careful considerations of all sides of the complex issues involved, according to what is in the best interests of the nation as a whole and most consistent with its laws, mission and priorities, not through abject surrender to bias and emotion. That’s not within the comprehension of Michael Moore, however, because he is a firm believer in “the ends justifies the means,” and convincing people to agree with what he believes are the “right” policies using warped reasoning and emotional manipulation is his trademark methodology.
Graphic: Dustin Stockton