“…Oh! You’ve nothing to say
They’ll drag you away!
If you listen to fools:
The mob rules, …the mob rules…”
(‘The Mob Rules‘ by Black Sabbath; 1981)
One of my mother’s Top Five Sayings revolved around thinking for ourselves, and it had been drilled into her by the nuns when she was a child: “Right is Right even if NOBODY’s right, and Wrong is Wrong even if EVERYBODY’s wrong“. In other words, don’t let the current popular opinion sway your morals or judgement.
Or shorter: don’t follow the mob, no matter what.
Never in my life has the wisdom of that simple lesson been on more obvious display than recently.
This week we witnessed the Leftist Mob Of Tolerance call for the scalp of Mozilla’s CEO, …and scarier still, we saw them get it. Regardless of this man’s viewpoints on marriage or ANY other highly debated topic, this was an undeserving fate for anyone living in an allegedly Free Society.
But we don’t have one of those anymore, do we?
Once again, the words of Erick Erickson come back to haunt us: “We will be Made to Care“. No section of your life will be allowed to be walled-off from political examination; nothing is off-limits and, as we just saw, there exists no statute of limitations. Like a roaming pack of wild dogs, the Left has tasted blood and now will settle for nothing else (h/t HotAir).
Sure, this invites immediate comparisons to the attempted virtual-lynching of Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty fame, when the mob came to his show’s network and demanded Robertson be sacrificed. But the eventual outcome wasn’t a refutation of the mob: it was only when A&E figured they had more to gain by keeping him did they finally bring Robertson back.
Recall further that the mob wasn’t pleased or humbled by that turn of events, either.
The ironic aspect of all this up-to-the-nanosecond Political Correctness is that it runs completely counter to ALL of the verbiage of its primary proponents: the increasingly statist, liberal-leaning Left. The disconnect is striking: while they scream and agitate about “tolerance”, they’re simultaneously handing out Scarlet Letters for all non-adherents to wear.
A particularly prescient post from Jonah Goldberg last year covered this exquisitely (“The Myth of Live-and-Let-Live Liberalism“):
“…who else do people think are behind efforts to ban big sodas or sue hairdressers for charging women more than men? Who harasses little kids for making toy guns out of sticks, Pop Tarts, or their own fingers? Who wants to regulate the air you breathe, the food you eat, and the beverages you drink?
Who wants to control your thermostat? Take your guns? Your cigarettes? Heck, your candy cigarettes?
Who’s in favor of speech codes on campuses and “hate crime” laws everywhere? Who’s in favor of free speech when it comes to taxpayer-subsidized “art” and pornography (so long as you use a condom, if liberals get their way) but then bang their spoons on their high chairs for strict regulations when it comes to political speech? Who loves meddling, finger-wagging billionaires like Michael Bloomberg when they use state power and taxpayer money to herd, bully, and nudge people but thinks billionaires like the Koch brothers who want to shrink government are the root of all tyranny?…”
The answer to all of Jonah’s questions was the same then as it is today. It’s the very same “open-minded purveyors of tolerance” who were just demanding the Mozilla CEO’s head on a pike.
Ann Coulter went so far as to write an entire book on the subject, with ‘Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America‘. Just take these pull quotes for starters:
“…mob action has become so integral to the Left that it permeates every aspect of their political behavior. Don’t like Bush? Burn him in effigy. Upset the Kyoto treaty wasn’t signed by the United States? Throw rocks at cops. Don’t like the international monetary system? Smash a Starbucks window. A stripper claims she’s been raped by rich frat boys? Bang pots and pans outside of the athletes’ home…” — (page 153, ‘Demonic’)
“…The mob will never support defending America, only those who seek to undermine it. The mob will never side with those who seek to protect human life, only those who seek to destroy it. The mob will never support the creation of wealth, only those who seek to punish it. The mob will never defend traditional morality, only those who seek to subvert it.
And if you oppose the mob, it will come after you like a pack of ravenous hyenas. There is no coherence to the Left’s positions, except its will to destroy…” — (page 288, ‘Demonic’)
Sound familiar? Heck, examples of this litter our daily news as often as announcements of another Obamacare delay.
None of which is to say that we shouldn’t have the right to express ourselves about something in the public eye; far from it. But as (again allegedly) “Free People”, shouldn’t we then limit ourselves to what is expressly public behavior? After all, who among us will hold the exact same personal opinions as everyone else, on every topic? Why would we ever want to?
Make no mistake, that is where we’re rapidly headed: a forced uniformity of thought, where someone is made to pay a public penalty for the secular sin of possessing a contrary personal opinion. Empowering a mob to apply what amounts to an ideological purity test for everyone, on everything, can only result in one outcome.
And if you haven’t figured out what that outcome is yet, just pick up the nearest history book and turn to a century at random.
You won’t be searching for long, I promise…