For a More Civil Public Discourse, We Could Try Honesty

Sometimes we hear weak, plaintive voices urging us to be more civil toward each other.  All know that political discourse in this country has become disgracefully foul, not just on social media, but in the MSM.

I’m not nearly as distressed about the tone of commentary as by its frank dishonesty.  Time and again the most obviously false charges are levelled at one person, company, institution, etc., or another.  That’s usually done to gain, oh, perhaps five seconds of attention on Twitter and to further convince those who already agree with the tweeter’s point of view.  If anyone truly wants a more moderate public discourse, a good place to start would be with basic honesty.

Few recent events demonstrate the fact like the Left’s response to the awful, tragic slaying of 10 people in Buffalo, NY.  The apparent killer, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, is the Left’s ideal - a white male with explicit anti-black beliefs.  They’ve been looking for him for a long time (Derek Chauvin?  No.  Kyle Rittenhouse?  No.)  and, now that he’s arrived, they’re not about to let him go without capitalizing on his crimes.  And if that means making stuff up, well, so be it.

Their patent disdain for the truth about Gendron and his motivation has been evident from the start - as early as four hours after the shooting.  Commentator Glenn Greenwald mentions several leftists who, long before they’d read a word of Gendron’s “manifesto” that runs to 180 pages (much less his 600+-page diary) excoriated Greenwald for not drawing conclusions about the incident in lockstep with their ideology on race.  So naturally, they got a lot wrong, but getting facts right and forming reasoned judgments thereon isn’t exactly their stock in trade.

The core leftist take on Gendron and his crimes is guilt by association.  Because he believes in “replacement theory,” all people who also do have the blood of his crime on their hands.  It’s like CRT, that holds all white people guilty for all wrongs committed by white people, particularly those that victimized black people.  Why would they think anything different about Gendron?

Well, one reason could have been - but of course wasn’t - that Gendron has long described himself as somewhat liberal and strongly anti-conservative.  

“CONSERVATISM IS DEAD, THANK GOD,” he wrote: "Not a thing has been conserved other than corporate profits and the ever increasing wealth of the 1% that exploit the people for their own benefit. Conservatism is dead. Thank god. Now let us bury it and move on to something of worth.” 

In short, Gendron is a self-described centrist liberal and virulent anti-black racist.  But leftists, including the leftist press, have been all but unanimous in failing/refusing to admit the fact.  For them, if you’re a racist, you must be a conservative, contradictory facts notwithstanding.

More important is Gendron’s adherence to replacement theory, that holds that, via low white birth rates and immigration, whites in the U.S. are, as a percentage of the total population, dwindling.  By itself, that’s nothing but a fact, as Census Bureau data demonstrate.  Where some replacement theorists, including Gendron go off the rails though is in their belief that falling percentages of whites is a catastrophe that requires reversing, apparently by any means necessary.

So, before the shooting, leftists were ready with their talking points which they began to parrot immediately afterward.  Their “thinking” holds that, because Gendron adheres to replacement theory, anyone else who does is responsible for his crimes.

And that includes … wait for it … Fox commentator Tucker Carlson.  Yes, dear reader, Tucker Carlson has the blood of 10 people on his hands because he has, in the past, pointed out certain demographic facts of life in the U.S.  I know this because many on the left, including Washington Post stalwarts, say so.  As Greenwald so accurately points out,

The attempt to blame Carlson for the Buffalo shootings depended entirely on one claim: Carlson has previously talked about and defended the view that immigration is a scheme to “replace” Americans, and this same view was central to Gendron's ideology.

But where Gendron took the concept, and where Carlson never has or would, is race.  Gendron’s view of the matter is explicitly racist, i.e., that non-whites must have their numbers reduced in order for the U.S. to remain a predominantly white nation. 

Carlson is the exact opposite.  He clearly values Americans of whatever race and says so repeatedly.  His problem is not with immigration, but with illegal immigration that, he says, Democrats promote in order to increase the number of likely Democratic voters.  Gendron didn’t attack illegal immigrants, he attacked black Americans.  Carlson of course opposes murder in any form and nothing he’s said is amenable to any other interpretation.

But many on the left didn’t care.  They seized on Gendron’s crime not only to try to score political points, an entirely despicable act, but to lie outright about Tucker Carlson. 

Me?  I’m not a big fan of Carlson although he often makes salient points.  His “America first” point of view I consider too limited to be of as much service as he thinks.  Plus, he’s part entertainer and part news analyst a combination that sometimes leads him to his own form of dishonesty.  Carlson used a clip of the president talking about immigrants as the strong backbone of the U.S., to suggest that he was promoting the “replacement” of existing Americans.  In fact, he was just doing what countless people have done before – pointing out that those who risk all to come here often turn out to be our most solid and devoted citizens.

At some point, the adults, if there are any left, need to return, spank the children and send them to their rooms to contemplate their many misdeeds.  Meanwhile, both parties and the entirety of the news media need to understand that basic honesty is the foundation of their trades.  Lose that and you lose Americans’ trust.  Record-low levels of respect for Congress and the Fourth Estate are sure signs of a sick society and an angry body politic.  We the People demand better and will have it, one way or another.


1 comment

Jeff Golden

Payton Gendron’s political leaning is immaterial. The fact is that he is 18 years old. His brain won’t be fully developed for another 8 to 10 years, if ever.

His lifestyle is that he was raised in a household with two civil servant parents. After graduating high school he worked at a supermarket for a few months, then quit. While in high school he created an incident by using the words “murder” and “suicide” in an inappropriate, threatening way, and wound up being brought to a mental hospital by state police for an “evaluation.” The psychs released him within a couple of days.

Now we hear about a 180 page “manifesto” and a 600 page diary. Why didn’t the state police, or the psychs, or Payton Gendron’s parents find that?

I am working with a family right now where a 17 year old high school boy has made threatening remarks, and acts that were abusive of younger siblings and pets. His parents are divorced. His father died suddenly less than a year ago. The father alienated the boy from his mother, and he now refuses to communicate with her. The boy is living with his adult brother and his late father’s paramour. He has had interactions with child protective services and two local police departments. Mom wants to get him into some kind or a residential environment where he will be supervised by and have to communicate with people who are interested in his welfare, but child protective services refuses.

In less than a year, this boy will age out and become an 18 year old adult, just as Payton Gendron did. What will happen with him then?

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