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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Progressive Climate of Hate

After the shooting of the Congresswoman from Arizona this weekend, I was contacted out of the blue by someone who thought I should be punished for advertising my business on Alex Jones' "hateful" sites and radio programs. It took me a while of back and forth dialog to get to a more substantive explanation for why this woman thought I should pull my Safecastle ads from the Jones sites.

The challenge was that she would not provide me even a single example of the "hatred" she claimed takes place there at InfoWars and PrisonPlanet. Finally, she offered this much that displayed the political bent behind her complaint:

"... I'm sure when you hear from more people about the same problem they have with Alex Jones that I have, you will be able to ascertain an idea of what we hear from Mr. Jones and what our concerns are. The rant is not nice. It is in the same frame as the limbaughs, hannitys, becks and palins. AND in light of the recent tragedy in Arizona, I am scrutinizing who I patronize."

I give this woman credit at least for not going gonzo on me. We were able to keep our dialog civil enough. But when she disclosed her angle was pure politics, well ... I concluded our discussion with this:

"You're the first person who has ever contacted me about Alex Jones. And I still don't have an example from you about what it is you are complaining about. (It is your complaint--I am unqualified to read your mind or leap to the conclusion you seem to want me to come to without a solid reference point that would be the basis of a complaint like yours.)

"Near as I can tell, given this last comment--you are politically, diametrically opposed to the conservative viewpoint. Rhetoric and hyperbole in today's world is universal across the spectrum, in my experience.

"If you come across an example of what illustrates your dislike and fear of Alex Jones or the hatred you mention, please forward it on to me."

Anyway, my experience with Alex is that he is neither conservative nor liberal. I see him occupying a space largely to himself on the spectrum. I don't agree with everything Alex has to say, but I appreciate his untiring efforts to get at truth. He uses his right to free speech and I support him for that.

For the record--I am conservative in my politics. I keep it out of my business dealings. And I respect folks out there who conduct themselves in a reasonable and mutually respectful fashion no matter their views.

There are kooks in every corner and niche, obviously. My opinion--it's pretty much up to those groups they affiliate themselves with to police or at least disassociate from and condemn the violent wackos.

The kooks do show themselves early and often before generally either going overboard or just finally going away. If the organizations fail to manage their people, that's how the blame when things go tragically wrong can be more broadly brushed, to include those who wanted to ride the wave of emotion for political gain.

This got longer than I intended. I really wanted to simply introduce this excellent reminder of how perhaps one side of the political spectrum more vigorously agitates the waters, given real examples from the last 10 years:


Phelps said...

Alex Jones tends towards the libertarian end of the scale (fiscally conservative, socially liberal) but, like you said, his worldview is so far away from most people that there really isn't any way to hang the standard categories on him.

As a libertarian, the main difference I have with Jones is that he tends to ascribe things to malice on the part of our leaders, where I get to the same results from expecting total, catastrophic incompetence in everything government touches. I'm rarely wrong.

G. Pazzesco said...

The major malfunction of most, if not all, progressives is their tendency to lean towards the hypocritical side of things - a malady that comes with their political leanings unfortunately. You did well countering her threat towards you - that of course being that she will not do business with you. I wonder, did you check to see if she ever had? I suspect you will find that she had not.

Jeff Varnell said...

No--she was not a customer. She was not going to be a customer regardless.