Thursday, June 29, 2017

Dana Loesch

I don't keep up with these things, but a recent NRA ad was pointed out to me. I gather that Dana Loesch is or was a NRA representative. "I'm freedom's safest place." Urk.

Not quite.

Some of the things in the ad refer to significant problems. The brownshirts of anti-fa have had malign impact in places like Berkeley, and even here in Madison they allegedly ambushed and attacked a man coming out of a restaurant a block away from me, presumably "pour encourager les autres" (I've eaten at that restaurant a number of times). BLM has participated in and inspired some violent riots. Here in Madison their protest was peaceful. A startling proportion of the movers and shakers in media and arts seem to have started believing their own press releases, and consider Trump a racist and fascist and nazi and what-all else: and the rhetoric is often explicitly violent. But aside from Hodgkinson I don't see a lot of action based on it.

The dangers tend to be concentrated in a few places (I'm not forgetting that attack a block away!), and the rest of the country is calmer. The NRA has always been a bit on the shrill side, (like all such political organizations) but this is over the top. The violence problem in this town isn't from the political street thugs, but the Milwaukee and Chicago gangsters.

I've been predicting that if the existing political street thugs weren't dealt with, we'd start to get right- and center- political gangs as well, and that that wasn't going to end well. It sounds as though the NRA isn't waiting, but the call isn't explicit--plausible deniability. I'd be interested in seeing if Dana is still a representative next week. I hope not.


jaed said...

I'm somewhat less sanguine. The antifa blackshirt mobs are one thing; the refusal of some city governments to rein them in and protect dissenters is something else again. So is the attempted assassination of a tenth of Republican congressmen, followed by the event being tossed down the memory hole within a week, followed by the FBI claiming it was a "spontaneous" act.

All of that is new. All of it is frightening—personally, in my case, because I live in a city where there have been riots and whose mayor seems to think dissenters have no free speech rights he need respect.

In light of all this, Dana Loesch making an ad isn't exactly on my Top Ten list of concerns, if you see what I mean. I'll start worrying when I actually see some signs of political gangs who aren't left-wing.

kypAelfgar said...

"There's violent stuff on the left" is a nice example of defensive whataboutism. I live on the left and I ain't seen much that's this creepy, but there's fringe lunatics everywhere, so I'm sure there's leftist equivalent videos somewhere, and a growing handful of punchy antifa. It does certainly escalate, and needs attention.

The main difference is that the NRA is a powerful weapons sales organization with money, influence, political clout, and a devoted fan base. The left, and I say this with all the love I have for it, can't find its arse with both hands at the moment, and doesn't as a general rule encourage taking up arms, since so much of its base is enthusiastically anti-gun.

The only growing subset of violent crime we got in the country overall is the lone wolf or revenge killings, and those have skyrocketed. That's what I worry about this kind of ad inspiring. You take people who feel aggrieved, who've lost a sense of pride (And also who usually hate or abuse women, as an interesting demographic marker) and you tell them who is to blame ("them", as this ad explicitly calls the Other). You tell them they're destroying everything. If the guy is isolated enough, you don't have to tell them much more than that, as they'll stew on it themselves.

That's why we've had, in the last few months, murderers killing because they hate Muslims, because they hate Trump, because they hate black people, and plenty more disparate ideologies. The targets are almost incidental, because the process by which a lonely man gets radicalized is the basically the same across religions, political views, and backgrounds.

This is a call to vigilante justice against what is, right now, a mostly imaginary threat. Very few protesters are violent. Most are just exercising their first amendment rights. Again, I LIVE here on the left. I'm in these crowds. I get the newsletters and whatever. I drive to DC and stomp around and almost no violence ever occurs. There are just a WHOLE LOT of protests, so inevitably a few get scrummy.

And seeing an ad that uses stock footage of burning oil barrels and imagined bugaboos of modified children's curriculum or murderous gangs to try and incite violence against ME PERSONALLY is not something I'm gonna stand by and watch.

If you're not in the street every day seeing what's actually happening, don't make assumptions about the actions of millions of nonviolent individuals and organizations based on news reports of a couple dozen dudes scattered across the country.

Also! One last quibble: I'm a gay woman. I get harassment from right-wing fuckheads and neo-nazis. They exist! There's hooligans all around. I don't judge you by your hooligans. Don't judge me by mine.