John Hayward Profile picture
13 Jan, 15 tweets, 3 min read
Ever since 9/11, we've been instructed that tiny minorities of extremists are solely responsible for their reprehensible actions. There was no greater sin than blaming law-abiding people who share some of their beliefs.
That's how we got the "lone wolf terrorist" cliche. A great herd of lone wolves swept across the world, each completely isolated from anything but the most direct support for their heinous deeds. "Tiny minorities of extremists" were blamed for "hijacking" the beliefs of millions.
The Western world did backflips to completely firewall the actions of terrorists from the larger bodies of people they claimed to represent. We hired a legion of consultants to show us exactly where the line between extremism and legitimate belief was drawn.
We wouldn't even name the adversaries of civilization. We declared a "global war" on their methods, to avoid criticizing their beliefs. The Obama administration launched a huge, expensive "Countering Violent Extremism" initiative that pointedly treated extremism as generic.
The greatest of pains were taken to draw very sharp and bright lines between violent extremism and even the most provocative and incendiary acts of legitimate speech and political organization. This was true of the race riots in the Obama years, as well as terrorism.
Anyone who blamed the most fiery voices of racial hatred for inciting violence - even the ones who blatantly and repeatedly lied about the details of racially-charged criminal incidents, for the express purpose of whipping up violent hatred - was harshly slapped down.
This extended to the gigantic media apparatus that enthusiastically perpetuated the most divisive narratives and incendiary lies. We were not supposed to blame them for inciting violence in their mad rush for ratings and political gain.
This doctrine continued even after physical and verbal harassment was directed at Trump administration officials, and even after attempts were made to murder Republican lawmakers. Don't you DARE link those actions to the extremist rhetoric of Democrats and the media!
The media, and much of the left-wing Internet, actually thought it was amusing when Trump administration officials - even female ones - were confronted with violent threats from people hopped up on extreme Democrat rhetoric. No "safe spaces" for THOSE people!
Part of this strict division between heated rhetoric and violent extremism flows from the principle of zero tolerance for political violence. If you're going to have zero tolerance for something, it follows that you must define it very precisely. The line must be drawn clearly.
As we were told a thousand times after 9/11, if the line between legitimate expression and terrorism is not drawn very clearly, the actions of terrorists could be used to discredit, harass, and persecute law-abiding people. Likewise with rioters and looters vs. "activists."
As soon as someone steps across that line, they become a criminal, not an activist - and the people who stayed on the right side of the line were to be held completely blameless for their actions. Only the most explicit calls for violence should be denounced and punished.
During the racially charged riots of the Obama and Trump eras, we were told that even wildly out-of-control street actions that spawned riots and killings were beyond criticism. Only the specific people who looted and killed were to blame, and even THEY deserved latitude.
It was absolutely unthinkable to blame the people who organized those "protests," no matter how frequently they erupted into violence and destruction, as long as they didn't directly order destruction and murder in very specific terms. Otherwise they were legit "activists."
The speed with which that decades-old principle has been abandoned is breathtaking, and clearly indicates it was never a serious principle to begin with. But we SHOULD be absolutely intolerant of political violence, and very clear about where the line is drawn. /end

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More from @Doc_0

15 Jan
Time once again to emphasize the differences between totalitarianism, authoritarianism, and fascism. They're often used as synonyms but they are different, although they do tend to lead to each other. Order one, and the other two are usually delivered soon enough.
Totalitarianism is best understood as the politicization of everything. Every facet of life is infused with political meaning... and subjected to political control. There is little room for privacy or individualism. Every word and deed is seen as a political action.
Totalitarianism does *not* require authoritarian government, although it usually leads to such. You can be totalitarian without having any real government power at all, enforcing your political will through mob actions and corporate power. Examples from recent history abound.
Read 21 tweets
15 Jan
The coming year will see Biden Democrats walking slowly through a vast field of small businesses exhausted by the battle with the coronavirus, shooting any who can still move. Big Tech will hold a pillow over the faces of those who cry out too loudly.
The destruction of the independent American middle class is one of the highest policy goals of the hard Left. It is finally at hand, thanks to the coronavirus and its political aftershocks. A year ago, they could not have dreamed they would get such a perfect kill shot.
A true middle class has economic interests that run counter to command economics, confiscatory taxation, centralized power, and other features of socialism. It also has the numbers to protect those interests at the ballot box. Of COURSE the Left hates it and wants to subdue it.
Read 15 tweets
12 Jan
One problem with the GOP's inability to understand or process populism is that it gets walloped by the all-populist all-the-time Democrats. Another problem is that when Republican populists do appear, they tend to be rather unfocused and undisciplined.
Political focus and discipline are very hard to come by. It takes a huge organization that spreads across both the political and private spheres to harness popularity and convert it into effective policy action. The Left spend decades building and refining its machinery.
The Left's machine spots populist talent early and begins guiding it toward politically productive ends. Detailed plans are made to move the country toward the populist's goals across multiple election cycles. Money and media influence is lined up to achieve concrete goals.
Read 12 tweets
11 Jan
Our pretensions to civilization have become very thin. Political violence was legitimized last year and is spreading wildly now. "Might makes right" is clearly the only "principle" behind freedom of speech. That's why Chinese Communists will never be censored by Big Tech.
When every "principle" becomes nothing but a ruthless exercise of power, it's not surprising that a growing number of people conclude they must demonstrate some sort of power in order to be taken seriously. Violence is the crudest exercise of power.
A well-run civilization makes it clear *universally* that violence is absolutely unacceptable. Giving free passes for irresponsible rhetoric and destruction to groups favored by the dominant political ideology of the State undermines that message.
Read 16 tweets
7 Jan
Speaking of principles we should all agree on, let's have a full stop to Democrat politicians describing America as an illegitimate nation when it suits them, and to left-wing teachers imparting that message to our children. No more flag-burning and kneeling theatrics.
We cannot indulge irresponsible rhetoric and teaching about the legitimacy of America for 99% of the year from lefties and then suddenly start yelling at rioters who break into the Capitol for trespassing upon the sacred ground of democracy.
We were just subjected to four years of idiotic "Resistance" role-playing - and serious destructive action by Democrat loyalists in our vast bureaucracies and courts - based on the notion that America stops being a legitimate nation when Democrats lose elections.
Read 6 tweets
7 Jan
Political violence is always wrong and should never be tolerated from anyone. Once "protesters" threaten lives and property, their grievances and ideology should become absolutely irrelevant to the situation.

That is, obviously, not the country we live in.
Long ago, we had an attitude of zero tolerance for terrorism, "we do not negotiate with terrorists," etc. One reason for this was the implicit understanding that negotiating with terrorism legitimizes it. Violence becomes an instrument of politics.
Some of us warned all last year that treating violence as acceptable, even laudable, from SOME people would mainstream it and touch off an arms race. Everyone would start getting the idea that only groups with a demonstrated capacity for violence are taken seriously.
Read 17 tweets

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