Not through argument or conviction, but by bullying, intimidation and threats
Ben Shapiro does not like Barack Obama. Or, to be more precise: He detests him, and that is noticeable throughout the 325 pages of his recently published book Bullies, which through many examples and details describes how and by what means the American left among Americans, this group is described as liberals intimidates and subdues anyone challenging its rule.
A left wing in America? Ever since 1896, when the German economist and sociologist Werner Sombart published his influential book Why is there no Socialism in the United States?, it has been common knowledge in Europe that the US has never had any socialist movement or a political left comparable to that in Europe.
That is not an issue that Ben Shapiro covers in his book, and its wrong anyway.
Up until World War I, the United States had a relatively powerful socialist party, and after the great crisis of 1929 broke out, the Communist Party was also strengthened. It never became large, but obtained significant influence in the labor unions and within the culture.
Today there hardly exist any socialist parties with numerical support worth mentioning, but that certainly does not mean that the left which includes a number of groups: anti-capitalists, hard feminists, radical gays and lesbians, haters of religion, anti-imperialists and more lack political and cultural influence. As Ben Shapiro documents, the far left in the broad sense is probably more influential now than at any other point in the history of the United States.
And the election of Barack Obama has granted the left power as never before. For, according to Ben Shapiro, Obama is the most leftist president ever in the US.
Unfortunately, and that is the point of his book, the left does not fight fair by using arguments, information, conviction but rather makes use of bullying.
They use scaremongering, character assassination and slander campaigns, and if that does not suffice, threats, intimidation or violence in order to make others fall into line. And there are many players on this stage: Largely the entire mainstream press, which sits solidly in the leftist camp (in this respect, the US situation is no different from that in the rest of the world, where one needs to do quite a bit of searching to find a journalist on the right); cultural life centered in Hollywood, where there is no chance of moving up unless you declare your love of Obama and the far left; the Democratic Party, which used to be controlled by the most reactionary forces in the country, now a mouthpiece for the left, for cultural relativism, mass immigration, state control of the economy, and radical views on climate, for example. Although temperatures have not risen during the last 15 years, as Shapiro notes, the left sticks to the propaganda of man-made global warming. Another favorite theme of the left is sex. There is and must not be any differences between the sexes. Further, religion should preferably be exterminated.
In order to run this game, visible victims are required, for whose sake society needs to be changed. Numerous well-funded interest organizations, the Democratic Party, Hollywood and the press are highly successful in marketing themselves as champions of all the oppressed and deprived in the world: women in general and lesbians in particular, gays, ethnic minorities and the middle class, to mention the most obvious. As Shapiro shows, much of this victimization is a cover for promotion of an agenda seeking to monopolize power in the hands of radical forces, which probably would not be able to win an election if they openly expressed their desires for state control, radical tax increases and opinion control.
On page after page and through numerous examples, Shapiro documents the bullying tactics of the left and its modus operandi. How argumentation is replace by scolding, shaming, name-calling and mud-slinging and if that does not suffice, threats of physical violence, social isolation and financial ruin.
If one opposes tax hikes, that must be due hatred for the poor. If one does not want to fund abortion, it is because one wants to start a war on women. If one does not desire to expose children to sexual propaganda, with the aim of making them practice gay sexuality as is the case in the schools of California or if one favors traditional marriage between woman and man, one must by necessity belong to the fascist reactionaries. And if one criticizes Obama, one must be a racist.
It is not sufficient for gay activists to promote the view that everyone should have the right to practice sex as they desire. Shapiro believes that people should. Nobody should interfere with what people do in their bedrooms or with whom which, by the way, is a point of view broadly accepted among the American public, regardless of whether one is a Democrat, a Republican, independent or without interest in politics. But gays and lesbians had barely won the right to practice sex as they saw fit before their leading spokesmen started lecturing others. Thus, one is forced to watch gays parading up an down Santa Monica Boulevard in California with bared buttocks. It sounds crass, but Shapiro lives in California, graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, and got his journalistic breakthrough working at the iconic web site Breitbart, which is also located in California. So he should know what he is talking about.
Gays and lesbians have also insisted successfully that American school children must be taught gay sex, and in California even gay history, whatever that may be.
American feminists are not content that women have obtained equal rights. Many of their ideological leaders insist that men and women are biologically equal, apart from being equipped with different genitals. God have mercy on anyone claiming that other differences exist! And as there are no differences, why shouldnt two men be able to marry or three men, or three women and one man?
If one does not want to dance to the tunes of the sex activists, one must expect severe consequences. The Komen Foundation came to realize that. Komen is a private organization funding the fight against breast cancer. The foundation had been so successful that it had some money to spare, which it then donated to the state-supported organization Planned Parenthood, which runs a series of abortion clinics. In 2011 Komen decided to halt it support, as abortion clinics do not have an obvious connection to the core mission of Komen. That made Planned Parenthood launch a major campaign for the purpose of making Komen resume its payments. That Komen did not want to donate money to Planned Parenthood must mean that the organization was opposed to abortion and hated women.
Pressure was applied to private companies that had donated to Komen, and several of them withdrew their support. Even the government, led by President Obama, joined the campaign to make Komen fall into line. Which it soon did. Komen resumed its payments and was forgiven by the left.
The bullies can largely act with impunity, for they are protected by the mainstream media, which eagerly take part in the ever noisier campaign to fundamentally change the American society into a kind of larger Sweden.
In the wake of this campaign follows hypocrisy. The left hates the former Republican vice president candidate Sarah Palin, and thus she gets no credit for having decided against the abortion of a child with Downs Syndrome. To the contrary, she is demonized at any given opportunity, and drenched with the foulest words of the language. But if one criticizes abortion, that constitutes war.
The book cannot be considered an easy read unless one is comfortable with the latest American slang. It is written in a jocular style which can be somewhat tiresome. But if one wants to learn of a political reality that rarely or never reaches European media, it can be warmly recommended.
Ben Shapiro reminds us that there is an America different from that of Obama, and that political opponents of the president are not necessarily idiots or reactionaries they just happen to have a different opinion than the left.
Ben Shapiro: Bullies: How the Lefts culture of fear and intimidation silences America. New York, NY, Threshold Editions, 2013. 325 pages.
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