FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Civility Fails For A Reason
The American political system (and Democracy in general) are ways by which potentially violent conflicts over deeply-held personal beliefs can be waged in non-violent fashion. When Democracy breaks down, or certain people think they can take a short-cut, the inevitable result is a reversion to violence. This has been coming for a long time. It may well get worse. I blog under a pseudonym for a reason.
I understand Brett Kimberlin. I grok where he and his ilk get their motivation and why they ultimately fall off the beam. There is a process by which civility breaks down and Democracy fails. I meant what I said above about Democracy. At its core, our democratic system is a dispute arbitration process that aims to stem violent conflict over our deepest and most fundamental disagreements. It only works until one party to the conflict stops willingly accepting unfavorable results from the arbitration.
Like the Unabomber, Eric Rudolph, Anders Breivik and Bill Ayers before him, Kimberlin has reacted to the fundamental fact that society rejects that which he believes in. Steeped in egoistic self-love and immaturity, Kimberlin has responded to this rejection with violence. He knows no god but himself and seeks divine retribution.
One particular aspect of the society that angers Brett Kimberlin, Dominus et Deus, is free speech. Why should this push Herr Kimberlin’s irascibility button? He has a right to free speech and is even bankrolled in the endeavor by The Tides Foundation.
Sadly, Mr. Kimberlin, that speech travels in two directions. People get to read Repair_Man_Jack’s words of wisdom* and weigh that profundity in the balance. As Rush once whimsically sang. “Some of our views are spacious, others merely spaced.” I deal with the occasional smack-downs that come my way while blogging because I’ve been informed that all feedback (even of the negative variety) is a gift.
Mr. Kimberlin is more particular in his acceptance of presents from others. He only accepts uncritical adulation (and perhaps TGI Friday’s gift cards). Strongly-presented views athwart his own are met with the hostility with which the ruling council of Hamas would greet a Nativity Scene. This hostility manifested itself in a particularly noxious form when he decided to harass well-known and effective Conservative Blogger Patterico. Erick and Dan provide sufficient detail in their front page posts. “Swatting” can now be added to the vocabulary of the political dirty trickster.
I see this turn of events as a particular turn of the screw that is in no way shocking. When hardliners don’t get what they want peacefully, they stop being peaceful. The Brett Kimberlins of the world love democracy when they are winning. It involves the other side’s capitulation without a shot being fired. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan once remarked, “Democracy is like a streetcar. When you come to your stop, you get off.” As soon as Kimberlin’s side started losing momentum, he decided it was time to get off.
Thus I write today to respond to Brett Kimberlin in the only fashion with which a civilized man can properly respond. I put my ideas and beliefs up against his. My mind challenges his thuggish reliance on brute force and intimidation. I believe revealing Brett Kimberlin for what he is and exposing that which he believes will destroy him as an effective agent of intimidation. Brett Stevens of Amerika.org in a post entitled “Not yours” describes best how we should handle the Brett Kimberlins of the world.
…we reserve the right to deny others entrance into our homes. We also reserve the right to deny them entrance into our bodily orifices, or to give them control over our minds. Not theirs.
When a liberal is confronted with an unemotional and rational “not yours,” their extreme behavior in response seems so out of place that it makes them look insane. The radical professor is suddenly a masked anarchist smashed the windows of stores he’d love to shop at.
In an instant, liberalism is debunked. All the fancy language about helping others, progress, tolerance, compassion, etc. goes out the window. It is replaced by a more concrete vision: a child having a tantrum because it is denied something that someone else achieved.
So I conclude by telling Brett Kimberlin that control over our safety and our right to speak freely is not his. It never was and it never will be. America is a Democracy. He is free to disagree with everything I think, all that I say and most of what I fundamentally believe. That does not entitle him to harass, threaten or deprive me (or Patterico) of the rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
*- People like Kimberlin are why I blog under a psuedonym.