The New Fascists Among Us, Part I: Unethical Tweet Of The Month

The tweet above, located by Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit, comes from Sarah Jane Glynn, self-described on her Twitter feed as “Expertise in Econ/Gender/Lady-business. Professional Feminist & Semi-Professional Eyeliner Expert. All mind blowing views my own. She/Her.” Sarah left out “Good German,” perhaps for space, but a classic example of the rising Fascists of the Left she is, a toxic mutation of American that, in retrospect, we now realize emerged as tadpoles during the Obama Administration when the squiggly things were directed to use family holidays to propagandize relatives about the evils of climate change and the virtues of Obamacare. Now those tadpoles are full-fledged toads, and ugly ones indeed, like Sarah.

It is encouraging—maybe I’m grasping at straws here—that her tweet has many more re-tweets than “likes.” Perhaps that means that Americans haven’t lost the ability to recognize a fascist when they see one, even after four years of the fascists of the Left calling Donald Trump a threat to democracy when he was nearly the exact opposite except for his intemperate bluster.

Boy, I hope so. I have been composing in my head a series of questions for the nearby neighbor who has erected the giant eyesore of a sign near my home, a six-foot by four-foot black-painted wooden board with a giant red heart bearing the words, also in black, “Black Lives Matter,” accompanied by a medieval suit of armor standing next to the sign, for some reason. This display has been up for nearly a year now. Maybe the armor represents “systemic racism,” the accusation rather than the condition, since those who favor it think it makes them invulnerable to criticism, facts, or logic. The new fascists believe this phrase imbues them with moral certitude and unquestionable wisdom when they adopt it as their mantra, though the concept itself is empty, facile, tautological and insulting. Accepting that the United States exists and continues its evil ways because of “systemic racism,” essentially the fantastic “1619 Project’s” view of America, has become the “Heil!’ sign of the rising totalitarians among us.

I can’t wait to have a face-off with a Sarah. I’m still angry with myself for not taking full advantage of my opportunity long ago to have fun with a smug flat-Earther at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, whose scientific perspective made Williams Jennings Bryan at the Scopes Trial sound like Carl Sagan. She was the one who condescendingly explained to me that God put fossils of dinosaurs in the ground to test our faith: of course such creatures never existed, silly! How would they get on the Ark? Wouldn’t they have eaten all the cave men?

I let her lecture go at the time because 1) she was an idiot, but a nice idiot, and I felt sorry for her 2) she worked for my boss, and 3) I realized it would make a funny anecdote for a lifetime. I also was still recoiling from the horrible regret of an ugly moment from college, when an otherwise decent Mormon dorm neighbor in my freshman year explained how he had to go to Hell with all of us if he wasn’t successful in convincing us to adopt the One True Way of his church. Along with a room mate, I metaphorically eviscerated him with a rant of my own, deft but cruel, that sent him into a prolonged withdrawal and depression.

Note that these incidents both involved religion, and though the new fascists are largely agnostic, “systemic racism” is like a religion for them, an article of faith that requires no proof but that can be used to unite, intimidate, and set apart the virtuous from the lost souls.

It’s easy to mock people like Sarah in absentia, or just let her be what she wants to be in peace. Unlike the nutball at the Chamber however, Sarah is dangerous, because there are so many of her. A disturbing number of them have power and influence, and they are multiplying. Far too many of those who encounter Sarahs passively nod and grovel to avoid confrontation, or maybe punishment.

By pure chance I stumbled upon “Judgement at Nuremberg” yesterday on Turner Classic Movies, and though I know the script well—my professional theater company produced an excellent stage adaptation directed by the brilliant Joe Banno, and I managed the project—it all struck me now less as history and legal dilemmas than a warning.

Throughout the movie, the American judge played by Spencer Tracy keeps encountering guilt-ridden Germans desperate for exoneration, all denying that “those terrible things” were their fault, insisting that their nation’s soul slipped away while they were occupied with other important concerns, and that they “did not know” what was happening. “And if we did know,” one says to Tracy’s character, “what could we do?” Spencer looks pained, but remains silent.

What he should have answered was, “You could have stood up to them before it was too late.”

22 thoughts on “The New Fascists Among Us, Part I: Unethical Tweet Of The Month

  1. This is a modification of a post regarding an orderly Thanksgiving from 2019:

    As this pandemic begins to lift, it will soon be that time of year again when families and friends gather around a table loaded with food to give thanks for the last year’s blessings, or something like that. Maybe some families will gather sooner, to try to make up for lost time. It will soon also be the time of year when journalists start publishing pieces like “How to Survive Your Conservative (read: racist) Relatives,” and far fewer “How to Deal With Your Liberal Relatives.” Usually they’re just another way to throw insults at the other side, and I wouldn’t recommend any of them in real life if you value your relationships with your family. I think anyone who really sends a nasty letter to his family saying their politics suck or who throws passive-aggressive insults during dinner better be prepared never to get invited to anything again.
    Assuming you’re a little more practical about things, here are a few real life tips to make sure the upcoming gathering passes without problems:

    1. If you are a guest, realize, first of all, that you are a guest in someone else’s house, and that means you need to respect them and their way of doing things.

    2. If you are a host, realize that you are hosting other people who may not agree with you on everything. This isn’t your chance to bully them or impose your will.

    3. Leave the politics at home or up in your bedroom. You’re not going to change anyone’s mind and everyone knows where everyone stands, unless they haven’t been paying attention. If you are hosting, make it clear in advance that political conversation is to be avoided, although guests really shouldn’t need to be reminded.

    4. Keep the conversation off controversy. There is plenty to talk about: how the kids are doing, movies you saw, books you read, concerts you attended, trips you took in the past year, and so on, that doesn’t involve Donald Trump, the Squad, or immigration policy. Sometimes, actually a lot of times, it’s easier to just not go there. And don’t give me that bs about “human rights aren’t political.” That’s just an attempt to give yourself an excuse to act and a pass for acting like a bully.

    5. Be polite. Under no circumstances should you say “Imma stop you right there,” “mansplaining,” or “racist.”

    6. Try to work with each other with regard to the menu. If you are hosting and you know there are vegetarian guests coming, try to serve enough vegetables that they will be ok. If you are a guest and bringing something, make it something you know everyone will eat and like.

    7. If you’re going to watch a sporting event, then watch the event. Avoid running commentary, loutish behavior, and anything regarding Kaepernick.

    8. Behave. Ask if you can help, do your best if you are asked to help, and keep a reasonable rein on children. That means not letting them run around, keeping them in line of sight, and for goodness’ sake keeping them away from the cooking area. Then again, parents should have told them all of this beforehand.

    9. Remember, holidays have the names they have for a reason. Memorial Day is about honoring those who fell. Independence Day is about our independence. Thanksgiving is about giving thanks. There is no holiday about how you can needle or bully those you don’t agree with.

    10. If all else fails, guests should be prepared to find a way out and hosts should be prepared to tell guests that the celebration is over for them. Give everyone the benefit of the doubt, warn those who start to act up, but, in the end, be prepared to walk out that door or hand a guest his coat. However, if it comes to that, someone has failed.

    • I am mystified that something like this needs to be written and shared. The Golden Rule would seem to underlie all of Steve’s points but maybe the Rule has lost its sheen. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, especially after the Great Unifier issued proclamations to his minions on how to discuss the Affordable Care Act with relatives over the holidays a few years back.

      I related a story here when my older brother came to visit us for a weekend last November. Within five hours of being in my home he lambasted me (and my family) for voting for Orange Man Bad. When pressed why he voted for Biden, his reason was because “Biden wasn’t Trump.” Oh, then, that makes sense, ¿no? I suspect lots of people voted that way. When I asked about which policies he liked or agreed with, he could not tell me on, just that Biden wasn’t Trump. So, I asked if he thought reversing Trumps’ policy on Iran and nukes was a good idea. He wasn’t sure. I asked if he thought jacking up the corporate income tax rate was a good idea. He said it was, though he couldn’t understand that the corporate rate would be passed on to the consumer in terms of higher goods costs, so, there’s that. Oh, and what about US national oil policy? Was dependence on foreign oil a good thing or a bad thing? What about NATO? Should NATO members pay their contributions?

      And China. How should we address China in the world economy? Should we impose sanctions on China for its trade policies which necessarily and directly hurt US businesses and the US economy? Was it a good idea to allow China to buy controlling interests in tech companies so as to get control over intellectual property? Wasn’t sure. What about the global response to COVID-19? Should the world unify and take action for China’s role in the virus and the resulting train wreck? No, he thought China wasn’t responsible because Trump did nothing to address the matter.

      There were no substantive responses to those questions because John Oliver didn’t have segments on his HBO comedy show, I guess. But we are racists and women haters and troglodytes and . . . . You get the picture.

      I would never think of going to Steve’s house – or my brother’s house for that matter – and accuse him of a whole host of unholies. I would disagree where disagreement were appropriate but, unless Steve attacked me, I wouldn’t attack him. I would challenge Steve on why he is not a member of the Rushinati, is reverence to the Canadian triumvirate, because that’s different. But, aside from that, I would honor his home and be respectful.

      jvb

      • Let me add an addendum, inspired by E2’s comment below. The Golden Rule would impel a duty to confront truly abhorrent behavior. If I saw my host beating his/her pet, abusing a spouse or child, supporting the Pittsburgh Pirates, or engaging in obvious repellent behavior, then I would take appropriate action. I don’t consider flat-earthers or Literal Noah’s Ark Believers or obnoxious religious zealots or Scientologists dangerous enough to pummel them into their living room floor. Hardcore racists are a whole different bag of crazy.

        jvb

      • I kept trying to explain to such people, including the late lamented Chris, that such an attitude is bigotry, which it is. They hated Trump for what he was, and what he did didn’t matter. Racism is a subset of bigotry, but the unethical conduct is the same: emotional distrust and hatred based inherent qualities and characteristics that the individual cannot change. Any time the attitude is “he/she can do no right,” that’s bigotry, and that was what Trump faced his entire term. (“he/she can do no wrong” as with Obama, is the other side of the same coin, not bigotry, just bias, and potentially equally dangerous.)

        I remember a good friend of mine, directing a show and engaged in casting, remarked of an actor he had rejected before, “If he gave the greatest audition in the long history of theater, I still wouldn’t cast him.” I asked him, “Do you hear yourself? What you just said is the essence of bigotry and prejudice.” He paused, looked at me, and said, “It is, isn’t it?”

        Then he said, “OK, you’re right. If he gave the greatest audition in the long history of theater, I WILL cast him.”

  2. Someone recently wrote to Miss Manners about being invited to a party that turned out to be a sales pitch for overpriced, lackluster merchandise. No one likes to be lured to another person’s home under false pretenses, especially to be recruited for something in which they are not interested. These multi-level marketing schemes are the purview of organizations that use high-pressure tactics to make money by sapping up one’s time, energy and funds only to end up damaging relationships with friends and family.

    The above tweet, along with the aforementioned suggestions for addressing Obamacare or climate change, isn’t any different. Someone showing up expecting Thanksgiving dinner and pleasant reunions with loved ones only to be taken to task about a political or social issue has as much right to be offended as if someone suddenly put up a presentation on top of the centerpiece on how Amway can change your life. It smacks of indoctrination. It’s an attempt to recruit followers by pressuring them into devoting resources they wouldn’t ordinarily spend for a cause in which they may not even believe, lest they be considered terrible people. I can easily imagine the Hitler Youth and the Young Pioneers confronting family members at the dinner table, too, about their so-called wrong ideas.

  3. The fascists are here, and increasing. Being polite, remembering perhaps that you are a guest in someone’s home, disbelieving the depth of hate and fascism growing in our country, assuming that people will see the light and that the pandemic (or an economic crisis) has led to a temporary group insanity that will go away as soon as the presumed cause goes away — and more of these attitudes led to the deaths of millions of Jews and other “unacceptable” Germans, millions of Asians in Japan’s own Holocaust, millions of soldiers from both sides of the War. Do nothing, say nothing, do not offend and above all, be polite! Not the answer. It is not just part of the problem, it will be the problem. The far left and its puppets will ensure that the rants continue. Hitler was just great at hate-mongering and he was incredibly successful for a time … and it ended with 50 million people dead. So by all means, sit quietly and don’t challenge those who disagree with you. It wouldn’t be polite, would it?

    • (Sigh) I hope we’re not there yet. Then again, a lot of Germans thought Hitler was a buffoon who wouldn’t last. After the Reichstag fire and the Enabling Act, they stopped thinking that, but it was too late to do anything about it. Then it stopped being “we want to see you at the meeting” and became “be at the meeting or else.” What a lot of people don’t remember from then is that Hitler transformed Germany into a national rather than a federal state, and stripped state and local governments of a lot of their powers. I’m beginning to wonder if we’re headed for that here, too, with the Feds actively punishing states that don’t fall in line and trying to Federalize elections.

    • The problem is that we have been polite and tried not to offend these people when they were taking over the universities and school systems in the 1970’s and 1980’s. We didn’t want to confront them when they were challenging traditional views on marriage and sex, we didn’t challenge them when they seemingly pushed every sexual perversion as the ‘new normal’. We didn’t want to challenge them when they wanted to liberalize the church, we didn’t challenge their views on the evils of capitalism. We didn’t challenge them because the media said they were on the wrong side of history. The media taught us that capitalism was evil, that socialism was caring, that the idea of monogamy was outdated and we weren’t strong enough to push back. Above all, we didn’t want to hurt people’s feelings by telling them that they were idiots or dangerous totalitarians and now they run everything. This is the corrosive spirit of niceness.

  4. I have experienced a small degree of this in my own family via social media. For the past year my cousins and I have kept in touch primarily by phone calls and through social media. Last week I posted a pro-second amendment message on Facebook, which one of my cousins shared on his own page. Immediately, the young daughter of another cousin jumped in to comment on his post, “I’m not even going to get into it about your silly second amendment arguments, but NOBODY who is not planning mass murder has any need for a thirty-round magazine.” (This is the same recent university graduate who last year called me a racist for trying to explain to her that Breanna Taylor was not “murdered in her bed” by police.) I replied, “Since I have owned a number of those magazines for the last thirty+ years and haven’t killed anybody, I must be plotting the most carefully planned mass murder in history, OR, maybe you have no idea what you are talking about. Feel free to explain. I already know your views on the Second Amendment, but you owe it to yourself to study the history of disarmed populations. I welcome a discussion of that topic. Since you feel free to tell me what I ‘need’ perhaps your ‘needs’ should be up for discussion as well. Start with this one: prove your ‘need’ for that car you own that will go well over 100 mph, when those speeds are illegal on any road in the country, and demonstrably dangerous per traffic crash statistics.. Are you planning a vehicular homicide? ” So far, no reply.

    • “prove your ‘need’ for that car you own that will go well over 100 mph, when those speeds are illegal on any road in the country, and demonstrably dangerous per traffic crash statistics.”

      PRICELESS!

    • Isn’t it interesting how people these days seem to want to tell other people what they do and don’t need? “From each according to his abilities to each according to his needs” sounds great until you find out that you’re not the one that decides what you need.

      I wonder if your cousin’s daughter would like additional questions, such as “Do you really need a washing machine and a dryer that you don’t use all day every day?”, “Do you really need a three bedroom house?” or “Do you really need to eat out at a restaurant?”. Theoretically, all of us have things we don’t need.

      We could, all of us, survive in communal apartment buildings, sharing bathrooms and kitchens, waiting in line for bread and potatos and getting put on waiting lists for appliances based on our social credit and climate change limitations while the Party Elite get their dachas and all of the tickets to cultural events. Would we want to do that, though? When the Far Left questions how much money a person should be allowed to earn, aren’t they, despite their protests, merely going back to the bourgeosie versus the proletariat? The Far Left claim that’s not their end game, but it’s hard to believe there will be any other outcome.

  5. Boy, I hope so. I have been composing in my head a series of questions for the nearby neighbor who has erected the giant eyesore of a sign near my home, a six-foot by four-foot black-painted wooden board with a giant red heart bearing the words, also in black, “Black Lives Matter,” accompanied by a medieval suit of armor standing next to the sign, for some reason. This display has been up for nearly a year now. Maybe the armor represents “systemic racism,” the accusation rather than the condition, since those who favor it think it makes them invulnerable to criticism, facts, or logic. The new fascists believe this phrase imbues them with moral certitude and unquestionable wisdom when they adopt it as their mantra, though the concept itself is empty, facile, tautological and insulting. Accepting that the United States exists and continues its evil ways because of “systemic racism,” essentially the fantastic “1619 Project’s” view of America, has become the “Heil!’ sign of the rising totalitarians among us.

    Ask your neighbor if “common sense”, “sensible” gun control laws will be enforced in an even-handed manner.

    When these Critical Race Theory cultists go so far as to call math education racist, it is important to ntoe what they do not call racist.

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