Pete's Prep: Monday, June 25, 2018

Refusing to serve people is progressive now

I'm old enough to remember when progressive ideology included demands that the Christian baker make the cake for the gay wedding -- because people should be compelled to serve others if they wanted to run their own business.

Of course, that was before a Virginia leftist kicked the White House Press Secretary out of her restaurant this weekend, and the left cheered.

Several Red Hen employees are gay, she said. They knew Sanders had defended Trump’s desire to bar transgender people from the military. This month, they had all watched her evade questions and defend a Trump policy that caused migrant children to be separated from their parents.

“Tell me what you want me to do. I can ask her to leave,” Wilkinson told her staff, she said. “They said ‘yes.’ ”

It  was important to Wilkinson, she said, that Sanders had already been  served — that her staff had not simply refused her on sight. And it was  important to her that Sanders was a public official, not just a customer  with whom she disagreed, many of whom were included in her regular  clientele.

All the same, she was tense as she walked up to the press secretary’s chair.

“I said, ‘I’m the owner,’ ” she recalled, ” ‘I’d like you to come out to the patio with me for a word.’ ”

They stepped outside, into another small enclosure, but at least out of the crowded restaurant.

“I  was babbling a little, but I got my point across in a polite and direct  fashion,” Wilkinson said. “I explained that the restaurant has certain  standards that I feel it has to uphold, such as honesty, and compassion,  and cooperation.

“I said, ‘I’d like to ask you to leave.’ ”

Wilkinson didn’t  know how Sanders would react, or whether Trump’s chief spokeswoman had  been called out in a restaurant before — as the president’s homeland  security secretary had been days earlier.

Sanders’s response was immediate, Wilkinson said: “ ‘ That’s fine. I’ll go.’ ”


The harassment and "shunning" is being celebrated by the American left - that sees it as necessary to rein in the Trump Administration after failing to defeat him at the ballot box.

Over the past week, leftists have targeted Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and Trump adviser Stephen Miller.

Calls for violence against Administration personnel and their families has increased in frequency and ferocity. Democrats and Hollywood (but I repeat myself) are whipping their outrage mob into a frothy frenzy.

Roger Simon posits this explanation:

Trump is what the shrinks call the "presenting complaint."  The real problem, as is often the case in psychotherapy, is something entirely different.  And it is this: The left is dead.  It's not only dead, it's decomposed with no there there or anywhere.

Only dopes or con artists believe in socialism anymore (hello, Venezuela!) and identity politics has been exposed as the racist shell game it is with blacks and Latinos actually doing better than they have in decades under the current pro-capitalist administration.

So the left has nothing to say, only most of them don't quite realize it yet.  But this blockage, this reluctance and even inability to deal with what is actually happening shuts down the brain and emerges as anger, the hamster wheel of constant rage against Trump.

And that, of course, feeds on itself, as we have seen for the past year and a half, making matters worse, not just for the obvious reason -- the aforementioned alienation of the public -- but for what it does to their own minds.

Cue: Congresswoman Maxine Waters:


So, these are the new rules, I guess.

Now that the phrase “total social warfare” has been coined, it’s time for us to admit that this genie isn’t going to be put back in the bottle. Who would be the influencing agents on the left available to bring such forces to heel? The Washington Post editorial board made a halfhearted effort at throwing a red flag this weekend. But while they claim that Sanders and company should be “allowed to eat in peace,” they pepper the argument with so many mealymouthed apologies, explaining why they totally get why you would want to attack these people during “private time” that it doesn’t come off as much of an admonishment. The same goes for cable news outlets where liberals are saying, “of course we don’t condone this,” but immediately going on to explain why it’s completely understandable.

As I said at the top, if this is the new normal then there sadly isn’t much recourse available beyond fighting fire with fire. In the past, when political speech has gone beyond acceptable, legal boundaries, it’s almost never been met in kind. When the Tea Party held rallies where they obtained permits and stayed within designated marching routes or gathering areas, the Black Lives Matter movement closed down highways and airports or organized “black brunch” where businesses were closed down. When the right gathers petitions to not have a statue of Lenin in the public square, the left simply goes and tears down symbols they don’t like. And now we’re at the point where government officials must be hounded out of public spaces when they are off the clock?

This isn’t going to end unless there is an actual incentive for it to end. And the media isn’t going to supply that incentive since most of those folks either openly support social warfare or convey signals that they privately do. 

Leftist groups - the organized, well-funded ones that are usually the architects of most progressive demonstrations - are advocating this kind of "resistance." They want more confrontations by random (and often-unhinged) citizens against Republicans and conservatives.

Obviously, dehumanization is necessary to encourage this behavior. Hence, the use of the "Republicans are Nazis" rhetoric. 

And, at some point, it moves beyond shouting and Moral-Monday-type harassment.

Indeed, it already has. It was about one year ago when a progressive tried to assassinate dozens of GOP lawmakers as they practices for a charity softball game.

Is this the beginning of our next civil war?

Glenn Reynolds wrote about it in USAToday:

To have a civil war, soft or otherwise, takes two sides. But as pseudonymous tweeter Thomas H. Crown notes, it’s childishly easy in these days to identify people in mobs, and then to dispatch similar mobs to their homes and workplaces. Eventually, he notes, it becomes “protesters all the way down, and if we haven't yet figured out that can lead to political violence, we're dumb.”

Apparently, some of us are dumb or else want violence. As Crown warns, “We carefully erected civil peace to avoid this sort of devolution-to-a-mob. It is a great civilizational achievement and it is intensely fragile.” Yes, it is indeed fragile, and many people will miss it when it’s entirely gone.

Political contempt is the problem

Marriage counselors say that when a couple view one another with contempt, it’s a top indicator that the relationship is likely to fail. Americans, who used to know how to disagree with one another without being mutually contemptuous, seem to be forgetting this. And the news media, which promote shrieking outrage in pursuit of ratings and page views, are making the problem worse.

Derek Hunter also explores the descent into violent rhetoric - and where it leads - at (as well as in his new book Outrage, Inc: How the Liberal Mob Ruined Science, Journalism, and Hollywood).

When the leadership of the party does not condemn mob action against a Cabinet Secretary while she’s having a meal or is at home, disrupting her entire neighborhood, the next steps are only more dangerous. And when the media willingly lies to advance the mob to those next steps, how do you pump the brakes on this runaway train?


Of course, I'm also old enough to remember when supporters of Donald Trump cheered on the same kind of not-so-subtle call for violence and nasty insults from their guy. 

But, wait! There's more!

Glenn Beck tries to tell CNN's Brian Stelter why Americans don't believe the media anymore. Stelter denies - while displaying - the very behavior Beck was talking about. So, Beck walked off the interview.

The US Supreme Court sent North Carolina Democrats' lawsuit over politically gerrymandering back to a lower court - telling it to re-examine whether the litigants had standing to sue.

Harley-Davidson is moving some of its manufacturing out of the USA. Because of the Don't-Call-It-A-Trade-War trade war.

Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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