For starters, let me say that (1) I fully support boycotts, because people can do whatever the hell they want, (2) it’s nigh impossible to make “voting with your dollar” have any impact if there aren’t enough dollars involved, and (3) your pious market-worshipping friend who can’t stop pleasuring him- or herself to Kirk’s ten principles can cram their bowtie up their rear end as they whine about “stooping to their tactics.”
People who hate you and everything you stand for tend not to respond to self-satisfied virtue, no matter how forcefully asserted. In fact, your principles make them dig in even further. People respond best to pain. And I’m a civilized society, economic pain is far more preferable to physical pain.
This is why we “can’t have nice things,” as the cliche goes. This is also why I am a full proponent of retaliating in kind. Every single side in this sick, sad country will not learn until we’re all poorer, more unhappy, and less-willing to share what we think.
Yes, this means things will get worse before they get better. Boo hoo. The world is not a perfect place. Deal with it.
Now, I don’t know for sure what it is about those twin refuse piles known as politics and ideology that turns otherwise rational and moral people into red-faced, screeching, feral animals, but it’s ugly and it’s real and it will never stop unless directly confronted with the only thing that can stop it dead in its tracks: liberally and forcefully administered application of its own bullshit.
If you’re on the political right and lament that the political left shouts your side down, “no-platforms” them, and crowds you out of every sphere of public life, the only sane, logical, rational, and effective thing to do is to do the exact same thing to them. Don’t bitch about “the culture war” while creating no culture, or worse, shouting down culture that anyone on your side attempts to put out there. Either do something or get out of the way. Otherwise, you might as well join the other side, whatever that side happens to be.
This is why the political left is so effective at calling out sanctimonious holy rollers on their hypocrisy: because the people they are calling out are sanctimonious hypocrites. Do the same to them. Or to whomever. I don’t see how we can walk this back now when to unilaterally disarm is to invite destruction.
One reason I am immensely enjoying the implosion of Hollywood and media at the hands of pervy men is two-fold: First, justice is being done and brave women and men are speaking out against the rampant abuse. Second, these obnoxiously self-righteous morons are getting their own shitty medicine rammed down their throats.
Oh boy, I’m cranky.
Listen: Every side sucks, and none of them will realize it until they see the utter devastation and destruction caused by the world as it operates under the rules that they themselves created. Even the uber-principled (and short) Ben Shapiro has finally come around to this reality. He’s late to the party, but better late than never.
It’s what I call Schoolyard 101, or the Road House Principle: Be nice . . . until it’s time to not be nice anymore.
Look, I know that your outrage only feeds the machine. The best way to react, then, is to take action. Cool, calm, calculated action. Boycott, fight back, retaliate in kind. Maybe when everything sucks even more than it already does we’ll finally be able to step back, take a sobering look at what remains of our civic culture and institutions, and say, “Maybe we made a mistake.”
And then, even better, maybe we can start to fix it.
Until then, bust out your (rhetorical) brass knuckles, sharpen your (metaphorical) knives, load up on (intellectual) ammo, and let the dogs of (argumentative) war fly.
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