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Being Leftist Means Not Having To Be Civil

By Warner Todd Huston

February 8, 2006

If you are a leftist, you do not have to be civil. Your hate, your ire, you incivility, your just plain not being nice can be on full display at any time, whether it is an "appropriate" time to display these character traits and emotions or not.


James Burnham once said of leftism that it "... is not a consciously understood set of rational beliefs, but a bundle of unexamined prejudices and conjoined sentiments. The basic ideas and beliefs seem more satisfactory when they are not made fully explicit, when they merely lurk rather obscurely in the background, coloring the rhetoric and adding a certain emotive glow.”


Apparently, that emotive glow trumps civility and comportment. A leftist is not required to be reserved or to observe public composure or rationality. Today we were once again treated to this inability to know how to act in public by leftists during the <a href="">"funeral" rally for Coretta Scott King on the 7th</a>.


During this rally -- I say rally because it didn't seem much like the somber reflection on Mrs. King's life and works that would generally denote a funeral program -- two stood out for the inappropriate comments they made; The Reverend Joseph Lowery and ex-President Jimmy Carter.


Lowery couldn't just celebrate Mrs. King's life. No he had to grandstand and take the opportunity to bash President Bush, and right in front of Bush at that. Ostensibly about Mrs. King, Lowery said during his comments, "We know now there were no weapons of mass destruction over there / But Coretta knew and we knew that there are weapons of misdirection right down here / Millions without health insurance. Poverty abounds. For war billions more but no more for the poor."


Sure. Mrs. King's entire life's work was all about Weapons of mass destruction. And it sounded like Lowery had been invested with a desire to channel Muhammad Ali with this poor attempt at verse.


Ex-president Carter was worse because he should know better than a wild eyed preacher might be expected to know.


"It was difficult for them personally with the civil liberties of both husband and wife violated, and they became the targets of secret government wiretapping and other surveillance", Carter droned, conveniently forgetting, of course, that it was a Democratic administration that did that wire-tapping, naturally.


This King rally isn't a lone example, either. In the recent past we had rapper Kanye West using a charity telethon as a platform to make the claim that Bush hates black people. Numerous award shows where those being "honored" or those announcing the honored shout out obscenities and political slogans. Not to mention the disastrous Paul Wellstone "memorial" at which the fallen man's son went straight for the partisan jugular to the frenzied applause of the audience.


And let us never forget how inappropriate leftist anti-war groups were when they picketed outside Walter Reed hospital, harassing injured soldiers and their families as they came to convalesce after being seriously wounded in service to their country. The unmitigated gall these leftists have to accost soldiers and their families who need to focus on healing is astonishing.


And it isn't just celebrities, protest groups, and the odd itinerant Preacher who do not know how to comport themselves in public or civil discussion. Most of the Senate's Democrats have alternated from calling Bush a murderer and liar to doubting his humanity where it concerns the poor and disadvantaged, despite the fact that he spends money on causes for those "aggrieved" classes like a drunken sailor on shore leave.


All this amounts to a pattern of an accepted way of acting in public for leftists. In public, as in private, anything goes. You may call names, act outrageously, inject your partisan feelings into any situation regardless of the venue or occasion. Picket hospitals, turn funerals into hate-spewing, raucous political rallies, re-make award ceremonies into platforms for yelling and screaming, and use the hallowed halls of Congress to call your opponents names.


Yes, being a leftist means never having to be civil. After all, acting civil surely means you have no principles, right?


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