Are all environmentalists misanthropic, homicidal maniacs? There have been more than a few eco-terrorists who have killed and terrorized. Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, is one such example. But you would right is saying that such a suggestion is insane.
The US has a population of 330 million people. With a population that large, you are bound to be able to find a small group of people who will believe…well…just about anything! The great and bad thing about the internet is it allows like-minded people to find and connect with one another. We all naturally think that is wonderful when, say, patient suffering from a rare disease can find one another and share information and find much-needed emotional support. Unfortunately, the internet can also be a place where hateful people on the fringes of society can share misinformation and drag each other into the abyss.
Social media and the internet are still fairly new and so it is not entirely clear what their impacts will have on society. The early returns are not looking good. Social media and the internet allow people to isolate themselves into tribes where they are less likely to be exposed to people with different opinions. The tribes become less trusting of one another, and with distrust, comes hate.
There are tendencies within the progressive movement which systematically “otherize” those with whom progressives disagree. We have documented some of these tendencies and will continue to do so in the hopes that some will see the folly of this. The latest example is the extremely wrong-headed response progressives have taken to the El Paso tragedy. Progressives are using this tragic killing to marginalize their political opponents as dangerous white supremacists.
Guess who made these statements:
“Many [non-whites] have been here at least as long as the whites, and have done as much to build our country.”
“Urban sprawl creates inefficient cities which unnecessarily destroys millions of acres of land,”
“The cost of college degrees has exploded as their value has plummeted [and] a generation of indebted, overqualified students [are] filling menial, low paying, and unfulfilling jobs.”
Are these the words of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren or a white supremacist. Here’s a hint: it is the same guy who wrote this:
“This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas. … I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion.”
The El Paso shooter was not likely a white supremacist. White supremacists do not concede that non-white have done as much to build the US as whites. However, in the twisted reasoning of the El Paso shooter, he thought he was doing good by stopping an “invasion” of Hispanics into Texas. Reasonable people on both sides of the immigration debate can disagree on the merits of immigration and open borders. However, it goes without saying that the red line is draw at the use of violence. If there are lessons here it is these:
- much harm can be done by those who think they are doing good;
- no matter how much one may believe in a cause, hurting others in the service of that cause is very rarely justified;
- a lack of humility prevents us from questioning our own moral positions and can lead us to taking extreme actions
However, to progressives the lessons are: Trump is a dangerous white supremacist and so is anyone who supports him.
The political process does not function when one or both sides engages in this sort of behavior. Society, to function, depends on a certain degree of trust and goodwill. When that trust and goodwill breakdown, so does society. When progressives made the decision to oppose Trump “by any means necessary”, they essentially made the decision to destroy the very fabric of a functioning society.