In all the excitement of the death of Osama Bin Laden, there was another passing — one that will in all likelihood have a far greater and lasting effect on American politics. And it needs to be noted and observed.
For far too long, we’ve played the “guilt by association” game in politics. It’s occasionally appropriate, but in the past few years — say, a decade or so — it’s gotten way, way out of hand. Some examples are the calls for figures to “distance or denounce” others, others who have in some way done something disreputable.
The blogosphere offers a prime example — the once-great Charles Johnson (now best called “King Charles The Mad”) of Little Green Footballs determined that certain European groups had passed from entirely appropriate anti-Islamism into outright racism and white supremacy, and started denouncing them. Then, he escalated, calling out American bloggers who had spoken in support of some of these European groups’ actions and statements and demanding that they join him in “distancing and denouncing” them. When they balked to jump at Charles’ command, those bloggers — Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer were the most prominent — found themselves labeled as “white supremacists” and “hate bloggers.” And when others didn’t start “denouncing and distancing” themselves from Geller and Spencer, then that was obviously evidence that the white supremacist conspiracy was even greater than even Charles had thought.
Here’s another. Donald Trump took up the “birther” cause, at least slightly, and finally drove Obama to release his long-form birth certificate. But while he was pushing it, lots of conservatives found themselves pushed to “denounce and distance themselves” from Trump and his provocative positions.
Personally, I gave a Dogbert-style dismissive wave and “bah.” I had no interest in playing that game, but I did find it entertaining to watch.
And then there’s the biggie. The Tea Party movement. It seems that at pretty much every gathering, there were signs of racism, birtherism, and other unpleasantness — which, naturally, were focused on far out of proportion by the Lamestream Media. Some were even legitimate, and not liberal plants and infiltrators. Even when the majority of Tea Partiers explicitly played the game and “denounced and distanced themselves” from the whackjobs, it did no good — the mere fact that the nuts (and plants) showed up was enough to discredit the entire movement.
But in the last week, we finally saw sanity prevail and that wretched trend fail — and we have the liberals to thank.
Recently, in Los Angeles, President Obama’s favorite union, held a May Day rally. It was a glorious celebration of the worker and the labor movement. And quite prominent among the attendees were a whole host of Communists.
No, I’m not joking, I’m not exaggerating, I’m not fear-mongering, I’m not trying to start a new Red Scare. Actual, honest-to-God, self-proclaimed Communists. Side by side with the SEIU. Hell, quite a few were both union members and Commies — see for yourself.
But did you hear about how the SEIU (as well as the AFL-CIO and other unions who participated) is actually allied with Communism? Did you hear the ringing demands that the unions “denounce and distance themselves” from the Communists? Did the media focus on the red flags and the pictures of Lenin and Che, to the exclusion of pretty much all else?
Hell, no. Because the days of “guilt by association” are over, my friends. No longer do we have to spend most of our time looking suspiciously at those around us, paranoid that they might say or do (or have said or done) something somewhere that we might not like or agree with, and always be ready to “denounce and distance ourselves” from them at the drop of a hat. We can simply say that “we agree on these few points, and that is all what we care about today. By standing together this day, we say that and nothing more.”
Thank you, liberals. Thank you, unions. Thank you, Lamestream media. By putting an end to that ugly practice, you’ve done this nation a great service.