A Progressive makes the illogical argument that civil disobedience is good in the cause of illegal immigration, but bad in the cause of abortion.
A good rule of thumb is that you should never trust a Leftist who makes an argument under the morality banner. That’s certainly the case with Jay Michaelson who claims to be a “rabbi . . . and Jew” — which, if you think about it, is an oddly redundant pairing, given that one would think that the former would presuppose the latter. I mention that peculiar pairing because it foreshadows Michaelson’s subsequent “moral” argument, which is either very devious or very stupid.
Michaelson’s contention is that the only moral position “a rabbi, journalist, and Jew” can take in today’s world is to defy federal law on immigration. As a predicate to appreciating how dreadful is argument is going to be, please recall that, despite owning Congress and the White House during the first two years of Obama’s presidency, Progressives never managed to take the obvious “moral” step of doing away with America’s southern border and just letting everyone in.
Of course, Michaelson has nothing to say about Progressive passivity six to eight years ago when the Left truly had the power to change America’s immigration dynamic. Instead, he offers this argument to justify what he would have us believe is a “principled” resistance to an “unjust” law:
I was saddened to read my colleague, boss and friend Jane Eisner recently making the same argument as King’s critics. Religious institutions, she writes in a column about the burgeoning sanctuary movement, “serve as a prophetic voice against government corruption and cruelty. That standing comes from respecting the law and working within the system. If the good guys step away from that compact, the bad guys will surely follow.”
As a rabbi, journalist, and Jew, I totally disagree with that statement. It is wrong on religious morality, wrong on politics, and wrong on the aim of the sanctuary movement.
First, the moral value of civil disobedience does not derive from whether it breaks or obeys the law. On the contrary, precisely the point of such disobedience is that the laws it disobeys – be they segregation orders in the 1960s or deportation orders today – are themselves unjust.
If the underlying law is immoral, it is moral to resist it.
According to the theories of nonviolent resistance put forth by Dr. King, Gandhi, Emerson, and others, when the injustice of those laws is laid bare, in all its sickening, violent glory, good people will oppose them. But it takes what Dr. Heschel called moral audacity to reveal such laws for what they are.
This is true on right and left. Jane worries that churches might break the law in the name of “protecting the unborn,” for example. But that’s been happening for years. And as long as they aren’t interfering with the rights of others, I have no problem with that. It’s only when their actions torment women, threaten doctors, or restrict other people’s choices that I object to them.
Did you catch the tip-off that he’s lying about his support for civil disobedience? It’s in the last paragraph. Cut through his meaningless chatter and here’s the core: When it comes to religious people protesting abortion, he’s okay with protest, provided that this protest doesn’t actually involve any actions to prevent abortion — in other words, it’s objectionable when conservatives practice civil disobedience.
Oh, how different it is when you’re a Progressive. When you own Washington, D.C. for two years, you don’t have to do diddly-squat about illegal immigration. However, once you’re out of power, not only is it moral for you to speak out against the laws you never bothered to change, you also get to violate the law with impunity.
I use the word “impunity” purposefully. The Left really does grant itself the extraordinary right, when it doesn’t like a law, to violate that law certain that there will be no consequences. True civil disobedience, whether Thoreau’s or Gandhi’s or King’s, means forcing an unjust society to expose how foul it is because it imprisons people with clear moral right. Having sat about doing nothing during the years they owned D.C., Michaelson and his peers are comfortably certain prison will never be a thing for their white middle-class selves.
Once I saw Michaelson’s Progressive logic bent to the service of illegal immigration, I ignored the remainder of his article. He is either dumb or duplicitous, neither of which inclines me to spend any more of my time with him. I’ll say only that a country that abandons the rule of law is a country that swiftly becomes a Darwinian nightmare, with those holding the reins of power preying on the weak.
Until I see people like Michaelson weeping the same tears for the children of a bank robbing felon, who are left to the tender mercies of the foster care system, as he does for an illegal immigrant felon’s children, I know that he’s lying when he says it’s about mercy, and children, and compassion. Likewise, until I see him care about Americans murdered by illegal immigrants who ought not to have been here in the first place, assaulted or raped by illegal immigrants who ought not to have been here in the first place, or made the objects of pedophile sexual abuse by illegal immigrants who ought not to have been here in the first place, I’ll know he’s lying when he claims a principled position for forcing a country to abandon its obligation to protect its citizens.
It’s about raw political power. The bank robbing felon is unlikely to vote. The dead American is irrelevant. But you can go into any big city barrio and buy all the illegal votes you want when you’re a Democrat holding a purse stuffed with taxpayer dollars.
Kurt Schlichter has said before, as others have, that the best way to understand Progressives is to look at the accusations they hurl at conservatives. Another way to understand them is to appreciate the license that they grant themselves, while denying it to others.
Still, I shouldn’t be too hard on Michaelson. As is true for too many American Jews, he’s abandoned Jewish law and logic for Progressivism. That means he’s put his brain in a blender and then tried to stuff it back into his head by leaking it in through his ears. Operations like that are always only marginally successful.
For example, a week ago, Michaelson opined hardily that alt-Right Trump trolls are responsible for antisemitic threats and graveyard attacks across America. As best as I can tell, he’s been silent about the fact that the only person arrested so far for a number of the threats phoned into Jewish community centers is an antisemitic, black, Muslim, Leftist journalist who was fired for committing fake news.
Michaelson seems resistant to the idea that, if you hear hoof beats, unless you’re in Africa, not America, the likeliest cause is going to be a horse. Here in America, when we’re talking antisemitic attacks and horses, the horse is likely to be a Progressive or a Muslim, just as is true for the herds of antisemitic horses pounding their way through Europe’s streets.
What the Michaelsons of the world will not acknowledge is that all 5,000 or so American Neo-Nazis (that’s 0.002% of the American population) are mostly obsessed with blacks — and even then, they’re blathering at little meetings in nowhere places about their future greatness without actually doing anything.
In America, while most Muslims and Progressives are not active antisemites, it’s hard to ignore the fact that, on college campuses and in street protests, it’s the Muslims and the Progressives who can’t keep their minds off the Jews — and it’s the Muslim holy book that mandates that Jews die. Horses all the way.