Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Is the Left inherently violent?

I watched a segment of MSNBC's Morning Joe today that really made my skin crawl. It started out fair enough, raising the idea that political violence is perhaps evenly matched on both sides of the political spectrum. I can accept that, even though their immediate examples seem a bit lop-sided to me: A racial epithet and a case of spitting on the Right side vs. death threats against a Republican senator and his family on the Left.

But then the segment took a quick turn into "yes, but" mode by making the apparent claim that the Right's violence is somehow worse because there are Right-leaning pundits on talk radio that incite rage against the government. They placed the burden of proof on Pat Buchanan that the Left is just as bad, then continually discounted his examples because there was no single voice advocating those acts. (I beg to differ; there are incitements aplenty from the Left, including from the Chief Executive himself.)

Think about that for a second. If there is a similar amount of political violence, and such violence from the Right is incited by a few self-proclaimed spokesmen, while such violence from the Left is unorganized and organic, does that not imply that people on the Left are inherently violent? People on the Right have to be stirred up to violence, but people on the Left just commit violence without instigation? Is that really what they want to say, regardless of whether it true?

Is that what amounts to a defense? It's in effect sending a note to the teacher saying "Please forgive Johnny for hitting Suzie yesterday at school. This is not something he learned from TV or from watching us, he's just a naturally violent kid and will sometimes hit others without provocation. But please forgive that, because Seth is also violent at school because of things he learns on Television and from his parents."

Violence is violence, regardless of impetus. The Right continually apologizes for it, condemns it, and warns against it, while the left refuses to even acknowledge it. As any behavioral specialist can tell you, recognizing you have a problem is the first step to overcoming it. In that case, the Right is the more mature, responsible side. The Left is still in denial.

No comments: