Kurt Schlicter is a conservative, an author and a trial lawyer, and all three of those factors are on display in his recent column for the conservative site Town Hall, titled, “The Left Hates You. Act Accordingly.” In saying that the essay is irresponsible and inflammatory does not mean that I think it is badly reasoned or argued. Schlicter is passionate, articulate and skilled at his craft, and as much as I wish I could, it is difficult to take issue with his assessment of the current political climate and its implications.
Nonetheless, this is a deeply unethical article, irresponsible, reckless, and divisive. It is true hate speech, in that it both is constructed on hate and designed to create hate. It is also, I fear, very persuasive.
The column has its uses. If there are members of the Angry Left (perhaps the label needs to be updated to “The Berserk Left”) who are capable of recognizing where their current path may lead, Schlicter’s screed points the way. For three months, the entire progressive/Democratic/mainstream media complex has displayed escalating contempt for anyone who does not accept their favored view of the world, and has simultaneous demonized and marginalized half the country for the crime of engaging in the essential civic act of voting. If the furious anti-Trump “resisters” didn’t think this despicable defiance of traditional American responses after an election would spark a backlash, and a furious one, they have allowed hate to delude them. Schlicter’s column provides an accurate taste of what that backlash will be like.
Some excerpts, of a piece that needs to be read in its entirety:
They hate you. Leftists don’t merely disagree with you. They don’t merely feel you are misguided. They don’t think you are merely wrong. They hate you. They want you enslaved and obedient, if not dead. Once you get that, everything that is happening now will make sense. And you will understand what you need to be ready to do.
Understand that when they call Donald Trump “illegitimate,” what they are really saying is that our desire to govern ourselves is illegitimate. Their beef isn’t with him – it’s with us, the normal people who dared rise up and demand their right to participate in the rule of this country and this culture.
Oh, there are different leftist sects. There are the social justice warriors who have manufactured a bizarre mythology and scripture of oppression, privilege, and intersectionality. Instead of robes, they dress up as genitals and kill babies as a blasphemous sacrament. Then there are the pagan weather religion oddballs convinced that the end is near and that we must repent by turning in our SUVs. Of course, the “we” is really “us” – high priests of the global warming cult like Leonardo DiCaprio will still jet around the world with supermodels while we do the ritual sacrificing of our modern comforts. Then there are the ones who simply worship themselves, the elitists who believe that all wisdom and morality has been invested in them merely because they went to the right college, think the right thoughts, and sneer at anyone living between I-5 and I-95.
They are fanatics, and by not surrendering, by not kneeling, and by not obeying, you have committed an unpardonable sin. You have defied the Left, and you must be broken. They will take your job, slander your name, even beat or kill you – whatever it takes to break you and terrify others by making you an example. Your defiance cannot stand; they cannot allow this whole Trump/GOP majority thing to get out of control. They must crush this rebellion of the normal, and absolutely nothing is off the table.
So the only outcome is that one side wins and the other loses. There’s no truce to be had, no possibility of a tie. And the frightening thing is that the Left is so foolish, so stuck in its bubble that it has no understanding that it can only push so far before the people with all the guns and all the training push back. That’s the problem with kids who were raised on participation trophies and who never got into a fistfight – they don’t consider the possibility that they will lose, and lose hard.
You get the idea. The problem is that in light of what we have been seeing and hearing, that idea does not seem as extreme or hyperbolic as it should.
Thus the hatefulness of this piece has a real chance of taking root, but if it does, Kurt Schlicter will not be the reason. The conduct of the Left clears the way for such feelings and beliefs, and they are feelings and beliefs that a unified, democratic nation can not survive. All Americans have an ethical obligation to restrain these fight-or-flight instincts, and to soothe and mellow the anger and emotion that feed them. At the same time, the Left must stop the dangerous activities and rhetoric that inspired Schlicter to write what he did. They will lead increasing numbers of citizens to find themselves nodding their heads as his words, or similar ones, cause the blood to rush to their faces.
All citizens have to accept their duty to be responsible, respectful, and intimately, to trust in each other, our shared heritage and values, and the far-from perfect but still vibrant and essential culture we have created together. We are careering, as one, toward a deadly precipice. Our leaders have failed us by surrendering to powerlust, narrow loyalties and vengeance, so we have to stop ourselves. Screeds like Schlicter’s do not help, but the catalyst for his screed has been an irresponsible and self-indulgent abandonment of ethics–fairness, respect, prudence, honesty and citizenship—from people who seem awfully recognizable as those the writer evoked when he wrote,
” [A]ccept the truth that if we let them win we will spend the rest of our lives on our backs with a giant Birkenstock pressed into our collective face.”
Kurt Schlicter’s column is, as I stated at the beginning, unethical and hateful. It is also a warning, ignored at our peril.