We live in an age where “everything is seemingly spinning out of control” due to one thing – and it isn’t tribalism, white privilege, income inequality or a lack of “social justice.” The reason our society and culture seem so irrational is that we have reached a point where everything is about politics. Progressives have succeeded in creating a world where every action and subsequent reaction has a political genesis, a political purpose and a political outcome.
When everything is politicized, memes can be spun into false narratives and can be used to build “movements.” When the personal is political, opinions become facts and nothing is beyond the pale. Thinking of the events subsequent to the murder of police in Dallas, I was reminded of this by the esteemed James Taranto from January of 2011:
“America’s liberal left is preoccupied with salacious fantasies of political violence. These take two forms: dreams of leftist insurrection, and nightmares of reactionary bloodshed. The “mainstream” media ignore or suppress the former type of fantasy and treat the latter as if it reflected reality. This produces a distorted narrative that further feeds the left’s fantasies and disserves those who expect the media to provide truthful information.
Even odder, many on the left have advanced a false narrative in which the Tea Party is violent. The New Yorker’s Hendrik Hertzberg did so in a column last week, in which he was still trying to justify the media’s falsely blaming the right for the attempted murder of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Hertzberg claims that the shooting “took place amid a two-year eruption of shocking vituperation and hatred, virtually all of it coming from people who call themselves conservatives,” and that “these realities, and not the malevolence of liberal opportunists, were why, in the immediate aftermath of the crime, the ‘national conversation’ focused on the nation’s poisonous political and rhetorical climate.”
This is bunk. The “two-year eruption of shocking vituperation and hatred” is a media myth…”
Mr. Taranto pointed out how the media jumped into action when they thought the Gabriel Giffords shooting could be spun into a valuable narrative and used against their enemies – never mind that the narrative was a provable lie. The same has happened after the Dallas shootings.
How do you take a senseless and vile situation like Dallas and make it even more disgusting?
You immediately repackage it for political advantage.
Obama and the progressive left simply can’t figure out why a terrorist screaming “Aloha Snackbar!” while shooting up a gay nightclub would commit such an act. Similarly when a #blacklivesmatter/New Black Panther acolyte tells police he wanted to kill white people, the motive is just murky. We are told that we may never know what their true motives are.
Why? Several have asked the how we got to this point in our country. Several wonder if our political sphere has always been so vitriolic and acidic.
It hasn’t always been this way. Progressivism 2.0 now has the overlay of Saul Alinsky.
Saul Alinsky was an American community organizer and writer. He is generally considered to be the founder of modern community organizing. His ideas were later adapted by some US college students and other young organizers in the late 1960s and formed part of their strategies for organizing on campus and beyond. Time magazine once wrote that “American democracy is being altered by Alinsky’s ideas,” and conservative author William F. Buckley said he was “very close to being an organizational genius.”
And the reasons for “organizing”? Simply put, it is the acquisition of power, the ability to control and the transformation of society. Supreme among these is the acquisition of power because power makes the other two possible.
In Alinsky’s book, Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals, he promulgates this, oft quoted dictum, “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” What we are seeing in the current political landscape is this simple four step concept in full bodied application. The personal has been made political and the political made personal.
Bigot…Racist…Nativist…Homophobe…Islamophobe. These are words that can be applied to movements or masses with very little effect because it is difficult to ascribe these terms to a general aggregation of people. One racist in a crowd of a thousand does not make that group racist. These are not “group” words; these are very specific and individual. These are meant to hurt. They are the equivalent of plunging a dagger straight into the beating heart of the selected target.
Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it – and do everything you can to prevent that from happening to your favored group (maybe by ignoring clear motives or identifying them).
When the personal becomes political, nothing is off limits and rational debate is ended. Emotions enter the equation and emotions are far from logical. Anger, hate and frustration are not rational emotions that reduce normal people to pre-offended reactionary and thoughtless automatons, focused only on where the next perceived slight will come from.
Insta-rage is a necessary tool for creating the instability needed for progressivism to succeed.