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April 12, 2004

One Difference Between Us And Them

The troll comment i got this morning reminded me about something i've been thinking about since my visit to the State Capitol last weekend. It's an example to illustrate one difference between people on the left and people on the right.

i know i'm gonna be generalizing here, so save your breath. i'm aware that the majority of people on the left are not freakazoids who need to be locked up. There's some very decent and thoughtful lefties on my own blogroll, for instance. i also know there's some real whack-jobs on the right too, and in fact some of them actually have been locked up. (Right wing crazies tend to stay in jail though, instead of being offered tenure.)

Anyways, here's my observation. The great state of California has had thirty-eight governors in its history. Many are unknown. Some, however, are perhaps more famous:

  • Hiram Johnson (the great reformer, who gave us the recall election);

  • Leland Stanford (who gave us Stanford University, boooo);

  • Earl Warren (later Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court, disliked by liberals as well as conservatives);

  • Ronald Reagan;

  • Jerry Brown (Known as "governor moonbeam," he once dated Linda Rondstadt, wouldn't dare to swat a medfly, and appointed his former chauffer as Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court.* He's now the mayor of Oakland.

  • Jerry's father Pat Brown (who gave us our freeways);

  • Pete Wilson;

  • Gray Davis;

  • and of course, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Inside the California State Capitol building are portraits of most of the governors in our state's history. (i looked for, but couldn't find Davis' portrait, and Arnold's is not yet finished.) One thing seemed odd to me as i got to the top of the stairs at the front of the capitol, where the portraits of our latest governors hang. Out of all the paintings in the building, only one is encased in plexiglass.

Can you guess which one?

No, it's not left leaning Jerry Brown's.

No, it's not that great judicial activist, Earl Warren's.

That's right, it's Ronald Reagan's.

Can you guess why his portrait, out of all thirty-eight governors, has to be protected by a layer of plexiglass? No, it's not UV light. Notice that Reagan's is hanging next to three other non-plexiglassed portaits.

The reason is that some asshole slashed Reagan's picture a few years ago. A left-wing-hater-nut-case. Some liberal fuck, with a head so filled with bitterness and so empty of common sense, that he or she thought vandalizing the portrait of one of our greatest presidents might be a good way to "raise people's consciousness."

Well, one might ask, if one of the governors' portraits was slashed why don't they encase all of them in plexiglass? Why not protect Jerry Brown's ugly abstract, or Earl Warren's distinguished visage on the second floor landing? Surely they're at risk of being slashed too?

No, you see only a conservative icon like Ronald Reagan can inspire such hatred and vitriol. Because he was, and still is, so loved, his portrait remains a target for the haters. And unfortunately, there seem to be a large number of lefties who have no problem being violent and destructive when they want to send their little hate messages. Conservatives might dislike Jerry Brown (especially conservatives living in Oakland these days), but they're not going to slash his picture.

Lefties like the one who vandalized Reagan's portrait, and the one who blew up all those SUV's in L.A. last year, and the professor who vandalized her own car, and the ones who screamed in my face as i walked to class during last year's anti-war demonstrations, and the ones who carry signs saying New York looks better without the World Trade Center, and the ones who smash the windows of Starbucks Coffee because it's a successful business, and the one's who go around saying that the terrorists in Iraq should kill more Americans, etc. etc.

Those are the ones you have to watch out for. Yah, maybe just as much as the far right wackos. They're both liable to blow something up, but only the left wing crazies will have the ACLU and the newspaper op-ed pages on their side after they get caught.

So when an idiot like this morning's troll says that he thinks conservatives should be "exterminated like vermin" and "need to be snuffed out of existence," how am i supposed to take that? Is it rhetorical hyperbole, or is the guy a real nutjob who needs to be monitored closely?

My point is this: in the cultural war that's been going on in this country for the last forty years, one side always seems to be more violent than the other, if not in deed then in rhetoric. i'm sure there's some psychological or sociological reason for that phenomenon, but i have no clue what it might be, nor at this point do i give a shit. i just think it's worth noting.

* In 1986, the late Justice Rose Bird became the first California Chief Justice to be voted out of office for being too liberal. Sounds familiar?

Update: Thanks to Blake for pointing out this example reported by Drudge, which further butresses my argument:

Campaign 2004 turns extreme in Florida with the placement of a newspaper ad calling for physical retribution against Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld!

"We should put this S.O.B. up against a wall and say 'This is one of our bad days,' and pull the trigger," the ad reads.

i might also add as examples, the many angry liberal callers to the Michael Medved show, one of whom i heard say that he wished Medved would just commit suicide and "save us the trouble" of killing him. Or the time Alex Baldwin screamed on and on about "stoning Henry Hyde to death."

Posted by annika, Apr. 12, 2004 |
Rubric: annikapunditry


It may well be because they are cut from the same cloth as the Lenins and Stalins and Maos and Hitlers and Mussolinis of the world--political descendents of Jean Jacques Rosseau, who once wrote:
"... every malefactor, by attacking social rights, becomes on forfeit a rebel and a traitor to his country; by violating its laws he ceases to be a member of it; he even makes war upon it. In such a case the preservation of the State is inconsistent with his own, and one or the other must perish; in putting the guilty to death, we slay not so much the citizen as an enemy."

The "social rights" referred to here are the "rights" of the collective, not individual rights. In other words, those of us who stand astride the path of the relentless march of creeping socialism, who insist on the preservation of individual rights against their violation by an increasingly intrusive state, have made ourselves enemies of the state, and deserving of death.

Rousseau is their founding father. Is it any surprise that his children espouse the same?

Posted by: Desert Cat on Apr. 12, 2004

Regarding conservatives in Oakland, I don't think many dislike Jerry Brown. The far right (if they exist) and the far left probably dislike him equally, he is pro-business, pro-growth, tough on crime and high-profile. Generally I think people feel fairly lucky to have an ex-governor as a mayor and some (slow) progress is being made although his hands are tied in lots of ways.

Posted by: d-rod on Apr. 12, 2004

Great post. So true.

Posted by: ginger on Apr. 13, 2004

D-Rod, check the crime statistics for Oakland, and see it they began to spike upward around the time of Jerry's first term. i believe they do. i'm not saying there's any correlation. (Okay, maybe i am.)

Posted by: annika on Apr. 13, 2004

Great timing on this, Annika! Check out the headline on Drudge for another example to back up your observation.

Posted by: Blake on Apr. 13, 2004

Annie, you're probably right that the overall crime rate went up early on. Murder rates went up - then down a lot, then back up (a lot). It would be interesting to chart that against some other variables. Didn't seem like the city sponsored "anti-war seminar" last year with Robert Sheer and various anti-Israeli speakers had much effect in educating the public about "peace".

Posted by: d-rod on Apr. 13, 2004

I wish someone would put all Reich Whing scum-sucking vermin against walls and pull the trigger - repeatedly! All Reich Whing, bottom feeding, Hate Mongering, lowlifes should be squashed.



Posted by: Robert McClelland on Apr. 13, 2004

Speaking of "bottom feeding hate mongers", McClelland, you're making a parody of yourself.

Posted by: Desert Cat on Apr. 13, 2004

As a 6th generation Californian (on mom's side; Dad is from Austria, like Arnold), I share your appreciation for California history. I am sorry that Reagan's portrait requires protection; as a man of the left, I have no truck with those who attack symbols, unless they are Byzantine iconoclasts.

But you know full well the right is capable of tough tactics. Think the violent halting of the recount in Miami in 2000. Forgot it? Go here:


And/or here:


Just one example of the fact that bad behavior is found among those who hold a variety of ideological views. Something that any student of history already, surely, knows, but something that we all conveniently ignore when we are structuring our arguments!

Posted by: Hugo on Apr. 13, 2004

Robert McClelland,

I'm not necessarily a right winger or conservative, but odds are you'd find my views more disturbing. In any case you'd probably lump me in with the right wingers because of a few shared views. So with that being said...

Your shit talking is childish & impractical. First of all I doubt you have the intestinal fortitude to follow through with the actions you claim you desire. So instead you'll hope to inspire others with an actual backbone to do what you would have done.

But your lack of courage aside, how exactly are you gonna crush people like me? How are you gonna place me up against a wall? Do you honestly think I'll just come along quietly because the arguments you use are so compelling? Think I'll submit myself to you & your mob for the good of the state?

See you seem to forget that while people on the left/socialist side of the political spectrum tend to dislike firearms & push for prohibitions on them, people such as myself & a good portion of right wingers as you'd classify them tend to support not only the possession of firearms but practice with them.

So in short if you or anyone else attempted to bust in my door or otherwise tried to place me up against a wall you'd discover a whole new connotation to the phrase "disproportionate force".

It always cracks me up when the side of the political spectrum that usually preaches the need for gun control turns around & starts calling for violent retaliation against those with dissimilar views. Perhaps that's why gun control is such a priority for leftist/socialists - it's so hard to impress your view on people by force when those people are better armed & more proficient with said arms than you are.

But please think about what you're saying. I know you're just talking shit & even if you had the means you'd lack the balls to follow through with it, but could you at least make your threats a bit more credible?

BTW, with all your comparisons of the right wingers to that much reviled national socialist party of late, did you ever recall that it was the Nazi's (& the communists)who disarmed people & executed them for their political views? In essence your comparison is lacking & you make that more obvious (in addition to showing your hypocrisy) by advocating the same methods the Nazi's (& communists) used to stiffle & crush dissent.

But should you ever feel the urge to start following through on your threats, feel free to make me the first one you attempt this on. I'm sure everything will get sorted out right then. :)

Posted by: Publicola on Apr. 13, 2004

Annika, Glad to help and thanks for the mention on your blog.

Hugo, True, there is a lot of stupidity on both sides (especially with the heated 2000 election) but ask yourself something. Why is it that large protests are always from leftist groups and why do so many of them turn violent (anti-war protests, anti-globalization protests, etc.)? Do a little research and let me know how many "conservative" protests turn violent and compare the number to the leftist side. I'd bet anything the contrast is enormous.

Annika's argument happens to be one of the reasons I moved from left to right about eight years ago.

In fact, Annika, I think another good argument to make about the differences is the concept of trade-offs. Rather than go into it in detail, I'll just ask you if understand what I mean by this?

Posted by: Blake on Apr. 13, 2004

Publicola, Since McClelland linked to the SF "remember Falluja" demonstration, he probably suscribes advocating domestic acts of terrorism similar to one of the speakkkers:

"It's about time that we have an intifada in this country that change[s] fundamentally the political dynamics in here. And we know every-- They're gonna say some Palestinian being too radical -- well, you haven't seen radicalism yet!"

They aren't talking about targeting people who can defend themselves with guns. Some of these little bomb brats think taking out grandma and the kids would do just fine.

Posted by: d-rod on Apr. 13, 2004

Blake, i don't.

Posted by: annika! on Apr. 13, 2004

Well written Publicola! And should he manage to get past you, which I HIGHLY doubt, you will have a long list of people to help you out.

Posted by: budly on Apr. 14, 2004

Don't mess with Publicola or his good friend Garand!

Posted by: annika! on Apr. 14, 2004

D-Rod, check the crime statistics for Oakland

Okay sweetie, I did my homework assignment, not by googling but by talking to "sources close to the Man". First, he asked me if I wanted the "political" answer - I responded that I'd rather just hear the truth... So in general according to him then, dividing crime stats into violent vs. non-violent (the definitions of which may be questionable), the former has gone down while non-violent (theft,etc.)has gone up. He also said that when looking at a map, there is an "extremely high" correlation between where parolees are "located" and the areas where most crimes occur.

I doubt that is the official "political" position one might hear about in the news. Can I have a gold star now?

Posted by: d-rod on Apr. 15, 2004

Very intresting post. Amazing how liberal simpletons continually pine for differences and respect for "diversity" but get rather violent if (!)you DIAGREE with them on anything.

Posted by: Mark on Apr. 16, 2004

Just wanted to point out that Leland Stanford also drove in the golden spike that was the final bit of the connection of the trans-continental railroad. Other than that, I pretty much agree with you. Nothing like a far left wing fascist that thinks that everyone that does not agree with them is evil. That's a pretty fascit concept to me.

Posted by: Ben Skott on Jun. 10, 2004

There are some nutcase left-wingers out there, but most of the anti-business people aren't left-wingers; they're anarchists. They get associated with the left because they have socialist economic leanings, but they are actually in favor of totalitarian governmental functions (though they really don't understand that.) Now they might be Leftists...But that is a different discussion entirely...

Posted by: flaime on Jun. 10, 2004

A correction to the above: They are self-described anarchists.

Posted by: flaime on Jun. 11, 2004

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