Via Morgan at House of Eratosthenes, we learn that the bandying about of Secondhand Hate is the liberal’s new political hammer and if in any way you disagree with statism, you my friend are the nail:
“They have ardent supporters who are nearly hysterical at the very election of President Barack Obama,” Senator Sheldon Whitehouse roared about his Republican opponents in the closing hours of the Senate health care debate on December 20. “The birthers, the fanatics, the people running around in right-wing militia and Aryan support groups. It is unbearable to them that President Barack Obama should exist.” Two weeks earlier, Majority Leader Harry Reid likened opponents of his bill to those who opposed the end of slavery. On August 10, met by angry protesters at a town hall meeting, Michigan Democrat John Dingell told journalists, “The last time I had to confront something like this was when I voted for the civil rights bill and my opponent voted against it. At that time, we had a lot of Ku Klux Klan folks and white supremacists and folks in white sheets and other things running around.”
For years now, those on the left have conflated resistance to any item of their agenda–high taxes, extravagant spending, laxity on crime, what have you–with motives of a dark nature: racism, nativism, fear of “the other,” and various species of “hate.” Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980, a reaction to overregulation, stagflation, and the foreign policy failures and weakness of one James Earl Carter, was described as the bigots’ revenge for the civil rights era. The midterm elections of 1994, a reaction against Hillarycare and the Clintons’ malfeasance, were seen as a Confederate renaissance. After Bill Clinton was impeached for lies under oath (and terminal tackiness), his allies floated the theory that some of the votes against him came from Southern conservatives, because he was friendly to blacks. (As the “first black president”–vide Toni Morrison–Clinton was fond of this sort of rhetorical legerdemain until 2008, when his wife ran against a real black for president, and these tactics were turned against him.)
But it was the appearance in 2009 of the real first black president that lifted this theme to a whole new level: The left, which invented first “hate speech” (opinions they didn’t like) and then “hate crimes” (crimes judged less on the criminal’s actions than on what he was presumed to be thinking), has now gone on to its epiphany, which is “hate” defined not by your words or deeds but by what other people have decided you really think. “Hate” is no longer what you do or say, but what a liberal says that you think and projects on to you. You are punished for what someone else claims you were thinking. It hardly makes sense, but it does serve a political purpose. You could call it Secondhand Hate.
It’s a carcinogen, let there be no doubt and readers of 1984, as pointed out by Gerard at Morgan’s place, will recognize the theme:
Get ready for the Olbermann gambit going nationwide: Two Minutes Hate
“In George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the Two Minutes Hate (more properly, “Two Minutes’ Hate” or “Two-Minute Hate”) is a daily period in which Party members of the society of Oceania must watch a film depicting The Party’s enemies (notably Emmanuel Goldstein and his followers) and express their hatred for them and the principles of democracy.”
It’s happening… and it’s happening now.