The Climate of Fear & Powerlessness
In this once free country, we have settled into a “permanent revolution” of non-stop fear and anxiety paralysis, induced by the mainstream media’s terrorist tactics so that citizens learn to stop standing up for their rights and give in to unlimited government.
We are now pointing at inanimate objects and as amorphous a thing as “the culture” to explain the actions of a single, sick shooter. America is to blame for the miscreants and fluke tragedies of everyday life in a nation of more than 300 million people in one of the largest countries in the world.
Every last individual is to be suspected as a potential criminal, because we have depraved criminals. Every American must be asked to give up his rights, because some don’t know how to responsibly exercise their rights.
Those responsible citizens who believe in such well-accepted things as free speech, the right to adequate self-defense, and a government that spends within our means have all of a sudden become “extreme.” Because of the widespread acceptance of the truism that opinions are subjective, the perspective of what is extreme depends on the mind’s eye of the viewer. There are no objective standards for willful ignoramuses (and that is one reason why conservatives should take seriously the philosophy of Objectivism).
The right wants us to fear others. The left wants us to fear ourselves. What we should fear is the government. The behavior of the media and the government make it apparent that both parties have ulterior motives, and are exploiting tragedies for political gain in a way that would make terrorists proud.
The former hippie burnouts that make up today’s left-wing intelligentsia have gone from fighting the power to fighting for power; instead of opposing the man, they want to be the man.
In a masterstroke of irony, the same tree-hugging, weed-smoking, communal-living lefties who once wanted to “drop out” of the system now clammer for a micro-managing, hyper-regulatory, tax-and-spend government with powers tantamount to a police state. People can no longer trust themselves is the underlying message; they should trust the government with complete power in the blind faith that it will never be abused.
This is a great puzzle — something akin to playing Jenga drunk and blindfolded. But it is simply beyond the scope of a blog piece to explore why the liberal mind is a relativistic maze of internal contradictions strung together by fuzzy yarns of emotion and repressive tolerance. Simply pulling that thread would result in a mess requiring a psychotherapist on the order of Freud years to put back together. Instead of probing those irrational depths with the dim flashlight of rational thought, we will simply look at how the media manipulate non-objective minded souls on both the left and the right.
Fear. America witnessed it after 9/11. The feeling of awestruck terror, the initial shock bleeding into helplessness, as the second plane made it abundantly clear that it wasn’t an accident. Somebody had hijacked those planes and intended for Americans to die. The insecurity smoldering in the wreckage settled into a palpable way of life for years afterwards; and the event’s aftershocks are still felt today.
Unsureness as an American way of life was rare throughout the Clinton years prior; although the horrifying Oklahoma City bombing and the Columbine shooting provoked an intense sense of tragedy in the public at large. Other events were more memorable for political junkies: Waco, Ruby Ridge, the Unabomber — these events strangely came to symbolize a subculture where those who feared the government became branded by the media as nutjobs. Argument by anecdote is a left-wing media forte.
In that bygone era, mobilization to enact sweeping changes, such as something radical like gun confiscation, was clumsy and ineffectual. The populace was not sufficiently terrorized to give up its right to self-defense, whether from a criminal or the state (then again, I repeat myself)..
The hard left was once again forced to take the incrementalist road. People were alarmed and therefore wanted to “cling to their guns.” What the left needed were alarming tragedies that would persuade people their guns needed to be pried away. Left-wing agitators didn’t need to conjure up a catastrophe; they merely needed to observe the maxim “never let a good crisis go to waste.”
What gives the mainstream media game away to some extent are those things they choose to highlight and those they choose to ignore. Some things promote the left-wing media agenda, others do not. It’s in some ways a matter of timing, but also one of editorial discretion.
There had been the first WTC bombing attack in 1993, the Khobar Towers bombing of 1996, the U.S. embassy bombings of 1998, and the U.S.S. Cole bombing as Clinton was departing — but these events were intentionally muted by media that were more concerned with the president’s legacy than with effective and factual reporting.
None of these pre-9/11 terrorist attacks had provoked quite the level of hysterical crying out for action, removed from any context or rational discussion, as the recent Newtown massacre. And in some ways, the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting was outrageously brutal and inexplicable on a level uncountenanced since the Oklahoma City bombing. (And certainly since the Bath School bombing of 1927, which had killed 37 schoolchildren).
But the calls for gun control within hours of the terrible news comes off as both contrived and classless. The normal reaction for a human being upon learning of such rare and chilling news is to mourn and to pray for the families and victims. It’s not to beat the war drums of left-wing issue group causes and to instantly vilify known political adversaries like the NRA.
So, it’s hard for me to figure out who is sicker: Adam Lanza or those in the mainstream media who know the facts about gun control and immediately try to use the deaths of 20 children to promote a cause that has lost after long-standing rational and fact-based deliberation. It was the same mainstream media terrorist tactic that was seen with 9/11 and the ill-conceived Patriot Act (renewed twice by former opponent Barack Obama) — take a statistically rare but psychologically traumatic occurrence and exploit it to the utmost for more government power.
The left didn’t mind renewing the Patriot Act, because the Department of Homeland Security is like a mini-KGB for spying on Americans and running depraved operations like Fast & Furious, which deliberately put assault weapons in the hands of drug cartel members. These fine folks then predictably used those untraced weapons to kill dozens of Mexican citizens and at least one American, border patrol agent Brian Terry. Horrific, right? Well, the scandal doesn’t promote the gun control agenda, so you won’t hear about it.
And what about Benghazi? The administration refused to clearly call the security debacle the result of a “terrorist attack” for weeks, meanwhile blaming a pathetic anti-Islamic video. It was our fault for allowing wiseguys like that movie’s director to speak his stupid mind about Islam, and the president basically did the terrorists a service by promoting the al-Qaeda-preferred message: we are to blame.
The lapdog media lapped up and repeated the idiotic, implausible meme that a ridiculous YouTube video was the cause of the 9/11 anniversary attacks (after all, it helped promote the notion that al Qaeda was all but defeated in the president’s all-important re-election year). It’s our insensitive First Amendment that should be scrutinized, and not the Muslim extremists rioting at embassies and burning our flags — this was the media’s implicit chide. The future doesn’t belong to those who slander the prophet Muhammad, as the president so eloquently put it in his UN address.
And due to those reasons, the media are barely interested in the Benghazi attack that killed four Americans: Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stephens, diplomat Sean Smith, and security personnel Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty. The heroic story of how Woods and Doherty disobeyed multiple stand-down orders, which were almost certainly known by and possibly given by the executive branch, is the stuff of Hollywood gold. But the mainstream media don’t care about their deaths, because they don’t help take away free speech or gun rights.
What does promote the gun control narrative? Slain children. It’s a harrowing image the mainstream media can project, and it is on that basis they can make their irrational arguments. (There are other images — like the conjuring up of a “fiscal cliff.”) Uber-tolerant leftists now want to fundamentally transform our culture into one that permits the petty manipulators in government to have their way with us. And yet there is absolutely no evidence to suggest that violent video games, movies, or music caused the rampage killing at Sandy Hook.
How can that be? Because as usual, mentally obtuse people only see what they see, and not what they don’t see. It’s the same with the economy as it is with violent crime: there is the fallacy of the seen and the unseen. People see the similarities among spree killers and conclude those similarities must cause them to kill; they don’t consider just how rare these spree killings are and just how many millions of people share those same characteristics and yet find a way not to kill classrooms of innocent children.
Activists in the mainstream media want to convince us that we are sick, that America is sick, and that we cannot be trusted with freedom. On the contrary, they are the ones who are sick. The control freaks of the left are intrinsically without shame and will exploit any tragedy to further their unquenchable powerlust.