Mitch Berg noticed:
The other day, a “progressive” – a onetime prog-blogger, who seems to have gone to intellectual seed just a bit – snarked at me on social media; “I haven’t seen your resounding denunciation of the Nazis”. (A lesser light who started his political life well in the “To Seed” camp asked me a parallel question – “Did you ever vote for David Duke?”).I generally avoid the political threads on Facebook and other social media, especially since FB has a tendency to place any comment you make on someone else's timeline. But increasingly I'm getting the same sense Mitch expresses in his post -- it's not enough to oppose Nazis, or to find some of Le Grand Orange's ruminations irritating. You'd better be denouncing it entirely, or are you a Nazi sympathizer?
You’d think you progs would be more aware of the history of rhetoric like “did you denounce them with satisfactory fervor? Hm? No? What does THAT tell us?” Orwell wrote a book about it. Stalin held show trials over it. Millions disappeared from this earth over it. (Did you ever denounce that? Send the cite, please).
The only way I know to express myself on FB without having the Furies unleashed on me is to post songs in a gnomic fashion. For example, this one:
Don't ask me what I think of you/I might not give the answer that you want me to. Fortunately, you can momentarily distract a would-be commissar with some tasty Peter Green guitar work. Oh well.
I'm not sure we have the luxury of silence, of a social media Miranda right, at least at the moment. Free speech does not mean you are compelled to speak just because a pixel-driven commissar demands you do, but the trend lines are disturbing. Lately I've been reminded free speech has consequences. XKCD explains it well enough.
That's true enough. But it doesn't work the other way all that often, and increasingly, silence has consequences. As our pal Crankbait has noted elsewhere, the formulation is "I found your silence disturbing." Don't think they're not keeping score, brother.
The socially maladjusted dorks with the tiki torches and the J.C. Penney polo shirts who were in Charlottesville last weekend are not people I'd want to see running the country, because I think they are sincere in their hateful beliefs and, if they ever were in power, would run roughshod over people. It's difficult to imagine they'd be much worse than the thought police currently running amok.