Thinking about the Facebook interaction that caused me to go full Alinsky on a Leftist, I realized that the reason I got so irritated was that this particular Lefty tried to subordinate me to America’s new shame culture. Once upon a time, Lefties tried to manipulate us by appealing to our emotions; now they try to manipulate us by humiliating us, whether publicly or privately. I won’t play that game.
I am always willing — way too willing — to argue in the realm of ideas (anchored with facts, of course). To my way of thinking, that’s the best way to debate an issue. It means a debate isn’t personal and it allows for genuine persuasion and, perhaps, intelligent solutions. It is the apex of Enlightenment thinking and explains how America was able to rise to be a wonder among nations. Lose this approach to civil debate and we’ve lost our civitas entirely.
Historically, Lefties, lacking facts or theory, have pounded their shoes on the table a lot — that is, when pushed to defend (or sell) their positions, they rely on emotions running the gamut from pathos (and often bathos) to anger. The most powerful weapon in their emotional arsenal is when they moan “It’s for the children,” as if I should be more moved by children whose parents irresponsibly brought them to America, than I should be by the needs of my own children.
Yeah, my children — the one whose schools suffer economically and academically from those present illegally; who cannot get into college because the available spaces are already filled by those same children; or are killed or injured when one of those same children who shouldn’t be here in the first place drives drunk or fires a gun. The deal is that children always suffer for adult decisions. If you want to tug at heart-strings, try telling parents that they shouldn’t turn their kids into baby criminals by sneaking them across the border and then demanding that those same children get all the benefits of legal citizenship.
Clearly, This type of argument no longer works on me. If Lefties want to fight in the realm of cheap emotions, I’ve got my ammunition too.
Because I’m not the only conservative who no longer backs off frantically when a Lefty launches a bathos attack, there’s a new game in town: Lefties no longer try to make us cry. Instead, they attack each of us directly and individually, as happened with that Facebook challenge to my intellectual statement that there’s a significant difference between people here legally and people here illegally. The volley to that argument ought to have something about open borders or . . . whatever (because there aren’t any good arguments).
Instead, what I got was, “You should be ashamed.” “You’re no Christian.” “Those children don’t deserve to suffer because of your beliefs.” Social media, of course, lends itself to this personalized shame culture attack. Our social media feeds, which prominently feature debates in which we’re involved, assures that our friends and colleagues now witness that we’ve thought or behaved shamefully.
But you know what? Shame culture is a dishonest Leftist tactic too far. It obviously doesn’t work for me (and I’m Jewish, so I really get guilt and shame) and it’s not going to work on others. America is not a shame culture. It’s never been a shame culture. And I’m for damn sure not going to accept it being turned into a shame culture now.
If you, Mr. Leftist, have a good argument to justify ignoring our nation’s immigration laws, just give it to me straight. Oh, wait. I forgot. You don’t have good arguments to justify ignoring laws when you lack the votes to change them. Never mind.
If you, Mr. Leftist, have a good emotional pitch, throw it at me. Oh, wait. That’s not going to work either. You’ve burned out those circuits in my brain. I’m not crying at your three-hankie movie anymore.
But whatever the heck you do, Mr. Leftist, when your old lines of attack fail you, do not — I repeat, do not — try to shame me for standing up for the rule of law and the good of my country. Do that and . . . well, you better hope you can run fast (rhetorically speaking) because I’m coming after you (rhetorically speaking). I won’t let your cheap, two-bit virtue-signalling turn into a vicious little shame attack against me. No, way. I’m not ashamed and I’m not alone.
Photo by PinkMoose