Violence and Tolerance

Leftists couldn’t raise a finger to object to political violence all summer, but feel they are in a moral position to do so now? Blame Herbert Marcuse…

by Shaun Kenney

Herbert Marcuse is a name you might vaguely know.

Marcuse was the darling of violent leftist radicals during the 1960s who found new currency and utility after the rise of postmodern politics on college campuses during the last decade.

In his essay Repressive Tolerance, Marcuse touches on the reasons why toleration is a vice, why it enshrines the status quo, and how it serves as the enemy of the left:

Tolerance is an end unto itself.

Short break in the introductory paragraph, because these two ideas need to be parsed out:

The elimination of violence, and the reduction of suppression to the extent required for protecting man and animals from cruelty and aggression are preconditions for the creation of a humane society.

If the society does not eliminate violence, cruelty and aggression as preconditions (not ends) of a humane society? Then the society is not humane… and ergo can and by rights ought to be destroyed.

Tolerance of a status quo merely enshrines the violence, cruelty and aggression in human society today, whether that is racism, bigotry, transphobia, intersectionality, homophobia, prejudice, bias or any other sort of -ism that needs to be driven out in order to achieve the humane society.

Such a society does not yet exist; progress towards it is perhaps more than before arrested by violence and suppression on a global scale.

How does the inhumane society perpetuate itself? Through violence, cruelty and aggression (of course) in thousands of everyday acts. Call them microaggressions, if you will.

Tolerance is extended to policies, conditions, and modes of behavior which should not be tolerated because they are impeding, if not destroying, the chances of creating an existence without fear and misery.

This sort of tolerance strengthens the tyranny of the majority against which authentic liberals protested.

A tyranny from which you, dear reader, have benefited. Ergo, your tolerance — your silence in the face of tyranny — is indeed a form of violence.

Sounds familiar, does it not?

Read on and read every word, because you’re going to find an admixture of things to agree and disagree with here:

Tolerance towards that which is radically evil now appears as it good because it serves the cohesion of the whole on the road to affluence or more affluence. The toleration of the systemic moronization of children and adults alike by publicity and propaganda, the release of destructiveness in aggressive driving, the recruitment for and training of special forces, the impotent and benevolent tolerance towards outright deception in merchandizing, waste, and planned obsolescence are not distortions and aberrations, they are the essence of a system which fosters tolerance as a means for perpetuating the struggle for existence and suppressing the alternatives. The authorities in education, morals, and psychology are vociferous against the increase in juvenile delinquency; they are less vociferous against the proud presentation, in word and deed and pictures, of ever more powerful missiles, rockets, bombs — the mature delinquency of a whole civilization.

What we have here is a sandwich of sorts, a variation on the “motte and bailey” technique where if one can convince you of the weaker arguments (the motte) then we can convince you of the harder arguments (the bailey). Only in this instance, if you like the meat of this argument, the bread is going to be tolerable. Here’s your meat:

  • The moronization of children and adults? Check.
  • The problem of marketing, celebrity, and propaganda? Check.
  • Aggressive driving? Check.
  • Recruitment for and training special forces? How many “stolen valor” types do you see walking around? Folks borrowing credentials to pretend they are something they are not? Check.
  • Deception in merchandizing? Check.
  • Planned obsolescence in car parts, appliances, and electronics? Check.

Who doesn’t bemoan the state of education in America? Who doesn’t hold in contempt TikTok and OnlyFans culture (don’t look) combined with mass marketing? Who doesn’t despise aggressive driving? How many times have we bought something online only to discover it was cheap and plastic crap? The list is interminable…

Life, it turns out, is disappointing and ephemeral. Who knew?!

For Marcuse’s audience — young twenty-somethings — this is new information. The optimism instilled in them by parents and teachers yields to disappointment and then pessimism, then anger at a society which promised the world and delivered college.

About those twenty-somethings… Marcuse writes that these less-optimistic and now-pessimistic juveniles are scolded by those “vociferous against the increase in juvenile delinquency” while the “mature delinquency of a whole civilization” — that’s you, dear reader — is tolerated.

Toleration of such a radically (Latin: radix or at its root) evil society doesn’t surprise the Christian, because we are taught from a young age that the world is indeed imperfect and in need of a savior, that suffering and salvation are intrinsically linked, and that our imperfect sacrifices are never sufficient, yet they are made sufficient because God offered himself as a sacrifice in expiation of our own shortcomings (the Latin for sin being peccare or to miss the mark).

Yet it surprises Marcuse, and it surprises the acolytes of the secular left.

Worse than this? Such conditions are de facto intolerable. The opposition is, by definition as “radically evil” at their root — bad.

Those who see it otherwise are by definition antibad.

If you are antibad, your opposition immediately becomes bad. After all, it’s in the name: antibad. If you oppose antibad, you must be bad… and there is no tolerance for bad for Marcuse.

Give a boy a hammer (and sickle) and the world becomes a fascist nail. Yet worse still, you can in fact hate your opposition now… because they’re bad and you’re antibad (and there is genius in their hatred).

When you think of great moral critics, the poet Charles Bukowski rarely comes to mind. In fact, the man was an outright moral degenerate — oddly enough by choice, because that’s how he believed you could see the radix of human nature. Bukwoski’s Genius of the Crowd comes to mind as a criticism of Marcuse and the mediocre soul surprised by the imperfectability of the world:

but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude
they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own

For a more cinematic touch, you may want to listen to this in the quiet of your living room or office:

Problem here is that antibad — or in this case, Antifa — taught the far right that violence qua Marcuse is the new language of political discourse. That the Democrats made equivocations and excuses for five months does not help their cause.

Marcuse reveals his hand midway through his argument with this whopper of a line against the concept of freedom of speech:

The telos of tolerance is truth. Heresy, by itself, is no token of truth.

Marcuse struggles with a present day problem, namely that “the stupid opinion is treated with the same respect as the intelligent one, the misinformed may talk as long as the informed, and propaganda rides along with education, truth with falsehood.”

Objectivity, Marcuse writes, no longer becomes an objectivity with a view towards truth and falsehood, but rather a narrative. The neutralization of opposites that pure tolerance affords — where one error has the same rights as truth — is a violation of the old principle error non habitus ius.

Perhaps this may help.

Imagine a totalitarian democracy where error is given equal weight to truth, where error is allowed to prevail despite the arguments of truth due to institutional norms. Picture the American revolutionaries in 1775, or a conservative student in a college classroom, or the Jews after Kristalnacht (or a black kid in America who gets turned down in a job application because of his name).

• For the patriots of 1775, it was when the British began disarming the Americans.
• For conservatives in the college classroom, there are no options.
• For the Jews of Germany, it was exodus — and Marcuse was among them.
• For the black kid, it is another job application — or protest.

At what point, Marcuse asks, is violence acceptable in the face of injustice? Is tolerance an end unto itself? That’s the institutional bias and structural racism Marcuse is wagging his finger towards. This is the strike against pluralism and epistemic humility vs. the utopians gasping for the eschaton.

These questions that Marcuse raises are not anodyne ones. In fact, conservatives are asking themselves the very same questions in the wake of BLM/Antifa violence during the long summer of 2020.

Given the response in the Sacking of the US Capitol by as many vandals, the problem today is BLM/Antifa have taught the far-right that violence is the new language of political discourse.

So now the far right is talking back.

If the left couldn’t raise a finger to object to political violence all summer, by what rights are they in a moral position to do so now?

The problem here is that Marcuse strikes on a siren song that ultimately smashes us up against the rocks — namely that error has no rights. Yet none of us have a total grasp of the true. We may have facts, but we do not have a monopoly on capital-T truth.

Eric Voegelin writes of this phenomenon in Science, Politics & Gnosticism against the utopians and world builders:

Philosophy springs from the love of being; it is man’s loving endeavor to perceive the order of being and attune himself to it. Gnosis desires dominion over being; in order to seize control of being the gnostic constructs his system. The building of systems is a gnostic form of reasoning, not a philosophical one.

Herein lies Marcuse’s ultimate conundrum. Human beings are created; we live in and are a part of existence — existing in the logic of the world as Heidegger writes in Being and Time. None of us have a monopoly on truth.

Marcuse wants a perfect world without suffering. True, there are institutions that deserve resistance. Conservatives know this; minorities know this; Christians know this. Yet as Christians, how we resist is as important as what we resist (and I think that’s common among most faith traditions).

That’s the wisdom of Western civilization, one might say.

Yet the tension that Marcuse identifies between the ideal and the real shouldn’t be responded to with violence, not just for the reason that it doesn’t work.
Toleration of the ways people see the same problem is the best and most enduring solution; the balance of factions and the widest possible audience is the key — not to mention a touch of Jeffersonian hope after another contentious election in 1800:

If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve this Union or to change its republican form, let them stand undisturbed as monuments of the safety with which error of opinion may be tolerated where reason is left free to combat it.

I know, indeed, that some honest men fear that a republican government can not be strong, that this Government is not strong enough; but would the honest patriot, in the full tide of successful experiment, abandon a government which has so far kept us free and firm on the theoretic and visionary fear that this Government, the world’s best hope, may by possibility want energy to preserve itself? I trust not.

I believe this, on the contrary, the strongest Government on earth. I believe it the only one where every man, at the call of the law, would fly to the standard of the law, and would meet invasions of the public order as his own personal concern.

Sometimes it is said that man can not be trusted with the government of himself. Can he, then, be trusted with the government of others? Or have we found angels in the forms of kings to govern him? Let history answer this question.

We should tolerate the search for truth while respecting that no ideology, religion or viewpoint has a monopoly on truth.

Thomas Merton once noted that faith is not fanaticism because it is not free. Truth doesn’t coerce; truth persuades precisely because it is the truth. Truth does not require a logic outside of truth in order to make it more valid or appealing. Imperfect consciences strive for right thinking all the time. We settle these questions imperfectly, but always with the perfect in view knowing that when we miss the mark (i.e. that dangerous word sin) we owe to others a restitution — the Aristotelian definition of justice.

The notion of rights, it should be mentioned, is with respect to persons. Society cannot have a justice; persons can. This basic dignity of the human person “requires that in the conduct of his life a man should act on his own judgment, with freedom, out of an inner sense of duty, under immunity from outside pressures or coercions.”

Marcuse rejects this because he is a world-builder and gnostic at core, as are all the totalitarians. Violence as a positive act becomes a shortcut to thought.
So what is the antidote to this new option for violence?

One thought is to simply not play the game and surrender to the logic of power. Another is to commit to a process of discernment that sees lawmaking as an inherently moral process; one that approves of moral laws, rejects immoral ones, and asks lawmakers to discern between the two. Or to see that faith (whether secular or sacred) informs conscience, and that conscience should never be checked at the statehouse or courthouse door. In short, a personal integralism that submits to Jeffersonian public square free of coercion, but one that admits that the ideal culture Marcuse is striving for has competitors who are — to quote Aquinas — all madly in love with the same God.

Of course, we have to want these things. Otherwise we enter a Hobbesian world very quickly more akin to the advice of Shakespeare’s Richard III:

Conscience is but a word that cowards use,
Devised at first to keep the strong in awe.
Our strong arms be our conscience, swords our law.
March on. Join bravely. Let us to it pell-mell
If not to heaven, then hand in hand to hell.

There’s that sticky word conscience again.

Perhaps then we need to consider that those in power and affluence have a moral duty to share empathy with their critics.

To date, the political left in this country has shown an utter lack of empathy with the 74 million people who voted for Donald J. Trump — and it shows. Some on the left might argue in kind that defenders of the status quo have shown an utter lack of empathy with the 78 million non-white minorities in America…

Sometimes that shows too.

One thing is clear at this rate. The war on toleration and tolerance isn’t exactly building the utopia that either camps purport to sell to their believers. Utopias promise everything and deliver nothing. Free societies promise nothing and let you build the world you want for your children and grandchildren.

Error may have no rights with respect to truth, but the whole purpose of a true education (again, Latin: ex ducare or to lead forth) is critical if not everything. We can only educate in a sphere where opinions and viewpoints are indeed tolerated.

The alternative is called indoctrination and censorship. Safe to say, that’s not my idea of a society built on truth, much less one respecting the dignity and rights of human persons.

Shaun Kenney is the editor of The Republican Standard, former chairman of the Board of Supervisors for Fluvanna County, and a former executive director of the Republican Party of Virginia. This column has been republished with permission from The Republican Standard.

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59 responses to “Violence and Tolerance

  1. Ah, whataboutism.

    Yep, dem dar Democrats were calling for change using 1st Amendment protest and redress.

    Trump sought to overthrow the democratic process and retain power by violent means.

    Yep, same thing. Hanging Mike Pence seems to be a common thread. Operation Hummingbird

    • Revisionism at its best. Sorry. We’re old enough to remember 2020.

      FLASHBACK: Just Months Ago, Democrats Blocked a Resolution Condemning Mob Violence

      “When a mob of rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol building on Thursday, leaders from both political parties universally condemned the historic act of political violence.”

      “To those who wreaked havoc in our Capitol today- you did not win,” Vice-President Mike Pence stated to the chamber shortly after the rioters were expelled from the building by police using tear gas and percussion grenades. “Violence never wins.” He was joined by the Republican senators across the board, including those who had backed plans to object to the election’s certification.

      After months ignoring and justifying Black Lives Matter and Antifa riots, Democrats also condemned the Capitol violence. “This assault is just that. It shows the weakness of those who’ve had to show through violence what their message was,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said.

      Senate Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., echoed the sentiment, arguing those who using political violence should face the harshest penalties available. “Those who performed these reprehensible acts cannot be called protesters – no, these were rioters and insurrectionists, goons and thugs, domestic terrorists… they must and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”

      The cross-party condemnations came as a welcomed move. But that very the same Congress was anything but united on the issue of mob violence remarkably recently.

      This July, those same congressional Democrats killed a resolution aimed at curbing mob violence. The bill, which was spearheaded by Utah Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, came about after an unarmed Utah man was murdered by a mob of left-wing activists. At least 30 people, ranging in age from 14-77, were killed in largely left-wing riots in summer 2020.

  2. Say.. did you hear that the President of the US incited a mob to attack the Capitol?

    ” That’s beside the point.. the Dems have done bad stuff too”.


    and so it goes… nothing to see here.. move along..

    • The Democrats were generally those who tried to dissolve the Union to preserve slavery. Some are looking back that far to assign blame for today’s problems. For example, some colleges and universities are acknowledging their role in slavery and making “amends” by renaming buildings, granting more scholarships to black students, etc. So, shouldn’t today’s Democrats still be on the hook? What’s the difference between Joe Biden and Johns Hopkins University?

      • Well, to get started, Joe Biden is a person that never has held slaves, but Johns Hopkins is an institution that did in the past.

        Regardless, I think there are a lot of Democrats who would agree with you that its past actions as a political party should be acknowledged and apologized for.

        Also – more Whataboutism! I see you are still struggling to come up with substantive refutations of points you don’t agree with.

        • Biden is the leader of the political party that supported slavery and the breakup of the Union. Many members of his party brought about racial segregation and the black codes. They fought to keep blacks out of the trades and supported de jure segregation in public schools. Doesn’t this take more than apologies? Shouldn’t Biden make some personal amends as leader of this party? Shouldn’t he do more than Northam, who, instead of making personal amends for his conduct, has been using public money and power to patch over his conduct?

          My purpose of pointing out these “whatabouts” is to point out inconsistencies in positions many elected officials, members of the media and the so-called glitterati take. It’s quite like Bill Gates buying a private jet operator when he’s just about ready to bring his book on climate change to the market.

          I’ve been a regulatory advocate for most of my career. Being inconsistent is generally a death knell for an advocate.

          • Virginia Martin

            “Biden is the leader of the political party that supported slavery and the breakup of the Union. Many members of his party brought about racial segregation and the black codes. They fought to keep blacks out of the trades and supported de jure segregation in public schools. Doesn’t this take more than apologies? Shouldn’t Biden make some personal amends as leader of this party? Shouldn’t he do more than Northam, who, instead of making personal amends for his conduct, has been using public money and power to patch over his conduct?” Are you trying to catch me in hypocrisy by bringing up new topics (racist policies other than slavery, Northam) that were not in your original comment and that I did not make any reference to mine? Anyway, no, I don’t think Joe Biden needs to take personal responsibility for slavery. I can’t believe I just had to write that. I’m sure there are other racist policies he has supported in his long political career, and of course should take personal responsibility for those.

            You say that your “whatabouts” are to point out “inconsistencies.” What I am saying is that doing so is a failed rhetorical strategy that doesn’t actually present your own argument or refute anyone else’s. Obviously you should feel free to continue this strategy if you wish. However, I think most readers of BR are well aware of the hypocrisy on both sides of the aisle in politics, from national on down to the local level, so I don’t know why you think it is so essential to point these “inconsistencies” out. I also notice that you’re a lot more preoccupied with Democratic inconsistencies than Republican ones. Are you inconsistent yourself?

          • Virginia,

            This is what you said:

            “You say that your ‘whatabouts’ are to point out ‘inconsistencies.’ What I am saying is that doing so is a failed rhetorical strategy that doesn’t actually present your own argument or refute anyone else’s.”

            Accusations of whataboutism can also be a rhetorical strategy to dismiss an opponent’s arguments without dealing with the issue.

            Condemnation like a law only works if it can be applied across the board. If that can’t be done, then the basis for condemnation comes into question.

            If one holds that slavery is the bedrock of the United States, and the institution is therefore permanently stained by it in a way that cannot ever be removed (such as when people say it’s in our very DNA), then by using that same rubric the Democratic Party is far more so.

            If an institution like UVA is similarly tainted because it benefited from slavery in the past, then the Democratic Party is FAR FAR more tainted. Slavery was central to its very existence for many years.

            Are institutions to be judged by their historic past or not? What’s your view?

            It should work similarly for people. Should you and I be judged for what our ancestors may have done long before we were born or not? I think not, but if so, then our VP elect has some accounting to do. See my post below about her ancestors.

            It would be helpful to understand your views.

        • Your quite welcome to support the Biden/Harris administration if you choose, but I’m not sure you want to bring up who actually owned slaves.

          Reflections of a Jamaican Father
          By Donald J. Harris (Kamala’s father)

          “My roots go back, within my lifetime, to my paternal grandmother Miss Chrishy (née Christiana Brown, descendant of Hamilton Brown who is on record as plantation and slave owner and founder of Brown’s Town) and to my maternal grandmother Miss Iris (née Iris Finegan, farmer and educator, from Aenon Town and Inverness, ancestry unknown to me).”

          • Virginia Martin

            Why would I not want to bring up who actually owned slaves? Because Kamala Harris has ancestors who did? Just like a huge number of people alive in the US today? You seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that I live in an ahistorical delusion.

          • “You seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that I live in an ahistorical delusion.”

            I’m trying to figure discern your own views, which seem rather opaque at the moment. Perhaps that will come if I look at other posts you have written.

  3. Been a while since I’ve thought about Marcuse, but my recollection is he was a pop culture idiot all along. Trying to plow through this confirmed that….

  4. In Virginia, the profound corruption of our political system leads directly to an utter lack of strategy or indeed conscience in the most important political endeavors.

    Virginia Democrats think they have a strategy. In my experience they do not. Look at the bills they sponsor and see if you can find one? For example, empty the jails is a tactic. What is the strategy behind it?

    Look at bills Democrats have opposed and see if you can find a strategy or a conscience. Voting against health enterprise zones, a profoundly successful Democratic initiative in Maryland raised for a vote by Republicans in the Virginia General Assembly, is a tactic of Virginia Democrats driven by the deep pockets and blatant political power of the hospitals. Where is the strategy or conscience in that?

    Virginia Republicans come up similarly empty. Every politician as an independent actor is not a strategy, it is the lack of one. Some Republicans are also guided in key votes by their biggest donors, not by the best interests of their constituents. They have a wide open opportunity to offer practical solutions to help the poor as a counterweight to appeals to race, yet many cannot see that. There are ways to do it that align with traditional Republican values, but, like the Democrats, many but not all are too busy trumpeting social issues and raising campaign donations to see that.

    In both parties, being loud about social issues is cover for skullduggery on issues more basically important to the day-to-day lives of Virginians.

    Both parties have elected officials who try do the right thing for the right reasons, just not nearly enough of them.

    How can either political party have a strategy, or indeed, a political conscience, if most bills that matter are written by a donor and many important votes are transactional?

    Until we solve the corruption problem in Richmond with limits on campaign donations, political conscience, strategy, solutions and social peace will escape us.

    Finally, at some point we will need to improve the ability of the General Assembly to do its work with far more professional staff, real hearings, real investigations and longer sessions.

    • The politicians in Richmond DO, in fact, have a strategy. The end goal is acquire as much power and wealth as possible.

    • I suppose it could be said that the definition of “peace” is only when both sides are “on the take”.

    • Mr. Sherlock,

      Del. Lee Carter put up a bill to restrict contributions. I sent a note to the committee about not supporting it and why. You have hit a nail on the head.

    • Bravo, Jame’s Sherlock, for your highly substantive, informed, and practical critique of the self interested tactics and vapid gas driving today’s Virginia Democratic Party. And how this also holds true for a significant number of today’s leaders in the Virginia’s Republican Party who seem far more interested in attacking Donald Trump who blew up himself up into a heap last week, likely never to return, than they are in fighting the ongoing collapse on their state under democratic leadership, by, among other things adopting many of Trumps policies, and incorporating Trumps base into the own newly reformed Republican Party in the State.

      These tactics strike me as sterile, unprincipled, counter productive and, frankly, unworthy of anyone’s serious support or vote. Indeed, the undertone here is that these Republican leaders in Virginia are intimidated by the Democrats. And that they are clueless on how to counter the Democrats and that they are without the will and courage to turn the state around with new Republican policies that benefit all citizens of state. And so now they are motivated and capable of only to serving their own selfish private interests by whatever means necessary including tossing Trumps enormous base under the bus, which includes sacrificing much, if not all, of the interests of their own citizen constituency in Virginia as they think that promotes their own preservation that will otherwise be liquidated by the Democratic regime. Hence, most of Virginia’s Republican leader are becoming fellow travelers who play along to get along, under a leftist regime.

      This latter view, comes my reading of Bearing Drift today at Mom’s suggestion. See that linked in at:

  5. Shaun. Are you old enough to remember the 1960s? Or did you just read about it?

  6. “To date, the political left in this country has shown an utter lack of empathy with the 74 million people who voted for Donald J. Trump…”

    If you plant ice, you’re gonna harvest wind…

    • With me, it’s raw onions. Wife finally stopped adding them to salads. Price in the night is too great to pay.

      He has a point. The Americans with Disabilities Act kind of demands we treated them more equally.

    • Perhaps some of the votes for Trump were actually votes against the Democrat’s VP candidate, an open anti-Catholic bigot. I have a friend who says that some bigotry is more acceptable than other bigotry. Fred Hiatt will confirm that.

    • “Don’t lend a hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools”

  7. Captain Jim. You blame Democrats for not acting on health reform but it was the GOP that blocked Medicaid expansion. Northam finally got it through. Imagine the pandemic without it.

    • There are ways to do healthcare reform without the government becoming financially responsible for everyone’s healthcare.

      The Democrats talk a good game with regard to compromise, but seldom do it. With healthcare, I think they don’t want reform efforts to succeed. The end game is government sponsored universal care for everyone, so anything that improves the existing system is seen as an obstacle.

    • But, they do. If the poor get sick and die, all the better. That is GOP healthcare.

    • And why didn’t the Democrats push for no-fault medical error coverage, which would have reduced the number of unnecessary medical tests done solely to protect against malpractice claims and that push up medical spending? We’ve had a successful no-fault program for birth-related injuries in Virginia?

  8. With regard to getting along with political opponents, Brian Sicknick the U.S. Capitol Police officer who died Thursday in the Washington, D.C. speaks to us from the grave. (I wish flags were at half-mast for him.)

    Putting politics aside ‘to comfort a friend’

    “Among the tributes Friday was one from Caroline Behringer, a former staffer who worked for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She recalled Sicknick greeting her every morning when she arrived at the south entrance of the U.S. Capitol, bonding over their love of the outdoors.”

    “The day after the election, Nov. 9, 2016, Behringer recalled being devastated by the outcome and struggling to face the day as she approached the Capitol building. As she walked up, the doors had been thrown open by two other officers, a request made by Sicknick when he saw her approaching.”

    “I collapsed into him in tears, and I knew he was a Trump supporter — he was an outspoken Trump supporter — and he put that aside in that moment to comfort a friend, and it was a small gesture of kindness, but one that has always stuck with me,” she said.

    “Sicknick is survived by his parents, Charles and Gladys, two brothers, Ken and Craig, and his longtime girlfriend of 11 years, Sandra Garza. The Sicknick family requested that any donations in Brian’s memory be made to Shriner’s Children’s Hospital or the Dachshund Rescue of North America.”

  9. “…the problem today is BLM/Antifa have taught the far-right that violence is the new language of political discourse…”

    The far right spent the ’90s blowing up federal buildings and assassinating doctors.

    “… the political left in this country has shown an utter lack of empathy…”

    Always fun to see a call for empathy from the “f— your feelings, the problem is participation trophies, etc.” crowd.

  10. “To date, the political left in this country has shown an utter lack of empathy with the 74 million people who voted for Donald J. Trump”
    ~ Shaun Kenney, former executive director of the Republican Party of Virginia.

    So the entire world witnesses Donald Trump instigate a rally of some of the 74 million people who voted for Trump to rush the Capitol as a lawless mob, sees these people disregard the law, commit numerous felonies and federal crimes, resulting in destruction of property, theft, and 5 deaths, including the death of a law enforcement officer, and the best Mr. Kenney can do is blame the Democrats for lack of empathy towards the Trump voters. Have the actions of Trump and his followers provided us reason for empathy. Should the threats of violence and death towards Democrats and anyone disagreeing with Trump elicit empathy?

    Is the defense for the crimes that we witnessed simply that the mob was upset because the left lacked empathy for those that they disagreed with politically? Conservatives have strong disagreements with some liberal policies and liberals have strong disagreements with some conservative policies, but those disagreements do not justify rioting, violence, and destruction of property of any side. We have established democratic processes for changing policy, government, and even peaceful legal means to dispute election results and ensure justice is served. When a political loser asks his loyal followers to storm the Capitol to disrupt a legal political process and the consequence of that request puts the lives of police, citizens, and elected representatives at risk, it is clearly criminal.

    The five deaths that resulted from the Mob attack certainly should concern all Americans. The four deaths that resulted from our Benghazi embassy being attacked by terrorists caused a huge outcry from Republicans to investigate our State Department and Hillary Clinton, even though HRC did not direct the terrorists to attack our embassy and after 11 investigations, including 4 by the Republican Congress, no criminal charges resulted and no responsibility was found on HRC’s part. Empathy?

    From my observation, most participants here on this blog stand for lawbreakers and criminals of all stripes getting arrested and charged for their crimes and receiving an equal and fair hearing and just sentencing. Maybe Mr. Kenney would like to testify on some of the criminal mob’s behalf claiming lack of empathy caused the mob to commit crimes that resulted in federal felonies, death and destruction. But it is neither a logical or reasonable defense.

  11. Do you know why Cruz, Hawley, Trump, even Chase are so quiet now?

    Because they know the penalty for insurrection… in the countries they would emulate.

  12. re: ” “Biden is the leader of the political party that supported slavery and the breakup of the Union. Many members of his party brought about racial segregation and the black codes. They fought to keep blacks out of the trades and supported de jure segregation in public schools. Doesn’t this take more than apologies? ”

    Let just ignore the fact that the Dems and GOP changes their roles during slavery and go straight to today.

    When the Dems say there is still inequality and systemic racism and want to address it – guess who accuses them of being leftists pandering to people of color, denies the problem and, in general, obstructs efforts to address the problem?

  13. “The war on toleration and tolerance isn’t exactly building the utopia that either camps purport to sell to their believers. Utopias promise everything and deliver nothing. Free societies promise nothing and let you build the world you want for your children and grandchildren.”

    People understand America ass-backwards. When we analyze historical regimes, we (rightly) treat governing ideology as ephemeral phenomena that grease the wheels of power. The ideology is nonsense except in a literary sense — it’s material conditions that matter.

    But in 2021, we assume ~75-95% of our governing ideology is The Right And Proper Thing, and brother, once we cross the event horizon, a glorious future awaits! All this stuff about consumer debt, state capitalism, beta drowning out alpha, stagnant/declining life expectancy, stagnant wages, insane healthcare costs, plummeting family formation, poor economic mobility, political hyperpolarization — We Can Solve It! Harris 2024/Haley 2024!

    In actuality, the American regime has (legislatively) the incumbency rate of the Late Bourbons, a congressional seniority system that would get Chernenko hard, and the popularity of Idi Amin.

    ‘B-b-but the Revolution, comrades! Remember?’ didn’t do a thing for the ossifying Soviet regime. I suspect ‘B-b-but free enterprise and open discourse, patriots! Remember?’ won’t do a thing for ours.

    • The ability of a people and society to tolerate the expression of ideas through word or actions is a metric for individual freedom. Discerning the difference between respecting the right to express a view and respecting the idea itself is critical to reasoning and the search for truth. It is vital for the development and evolution of ideas that they be expressed unfettered by censorship.

      However, beyond the simple right of expression, for ideas and concepts to be accepted and respected, they must be debated. They must withstand the crucible of examination, argument, and antithesis to be considered credible. Any hesitancy to put an idea to this test indicates a lack of legitimacy and reveals the idea’s advocates seek acceptance by coercion rather than through reason.

      For example, the Flat Earth Society is guaranteed the freedom to express its theory of flatness, but receives little to no respect for this idea because it cannot withstand serious debate. In this sense, these ideas are unreasonable. This is the same case with the left’s pronouncements of social justice, structural racism, and Black Lives Matter. These slogans are simple enunciations of words with meaning twisting in the wind and therefore, unable to be tested and validated by debate. This is strong evidence of their advocates being motivated not by reason, but by coercion and intolerance.

  14. First, use the abilities of the NSA to identify those persons who comprise the origins and top tier of QAnon and the foreign country in which they reside and “wet work” ’em.

    • Strengthening the national security and intelligence apparatus is a ratchet — easy to go forward, hard to go back. Look at 2001.

      Meanwhile, for as long as we maintain some semblance of democracy, *control* of that security apparatus operates as a pendulum. Right or left, do you want that loose of a leash if Cotton ends up sleeping in the West Wing?

    • That’s pretty much how we got Ruby Ridge. Do you know the full story?

      I’m not that familiar with QAnon. What concrete evidence would support such an approach?

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