For ages, conservatives have been told to root out the extremists in their movement. Now it is time for those on the left to distance themselves from their own whackos.
Both sides need to police their increasingly growing and vocal extremists. Unfortunately, today’s incentive structure is for the politicians and media to pander to their extremist voters and audiences, rather than to banish them to outer darkness. Rational and moderate people are increasingly incentivized to stay quiet and keep their heads down.
We are in for very troubling times.
I’m not looking for a verbal fire fight with Ms. Gerson, but the media have an obsession with looking at protest movements on the right side of the spectrum for ANY sign of bigotry and hatred. And guess what, look hard enough and the bigots will be found. Usually right out in plain view, there is no hiding behind anyone for a creep waving a nasty flag or placard. They WANT the attention to embarrass organizers and to flaunt their extreme ignorance by accessing someone else’s hard work.
Who’s to say that some of these people aren’t plants? Professional agitators who lurk in the group just long enough for discovery and then vanish. A Nazi flag made ONE brief, very visible, high elevation appearance at the Freedom Convoy. Just long enough for CBC to capture the image and then the outrageous flag disappeared, never to be seen again. The Convoy organizers denounced the flag and the phantom person carrying it, but the damage was done.
In todays antisemitic climate there are many progressive activists who are showing their true colours. Now we know where they stand and it isn’t a good look. As the author of this article explains, moderate progressives have an obligation to denounce these people and their policies. A cancellation contest on the left seems appropriate.
All of us not on the extremes need to call out two things: obviously bad faith arguments and poorly though out arguments -- even when the lean towards something we might agree with. Because both are the enemy of actual, meaningful, positive change.
The Ottawa Convoy had both, if memory serves. The broader issue of whether public health measures went too far was mainly a provincial issue; the feds only had purvue over government workers and federally-regulated sectors. IIRC, local in-province trucking was not covered by federal regulation (but was covered by provincial ones). And, cross-border trucking, which was also part of the protests (border crossings) was as much controlled by the US who mandated vaccinations.
So, there were "well intentioned" folks who just hated the restrictions and were likely protesting the wrong level of government. And, there are the folks who hate the Liberal government and took this opportunity to protest (hence the ridiculous call for the Governor General to somehow install a not-democratically elected government). That's a bad-faith argument.
Same thing is happening with the Gaza protests. Why are members of the unions or even the provincial government weighing on on this at all? What expertise -- or weight -- do they bring to the table here? Look, if people want to weigh in as individual citizens, have at it no matter how dumb your take is. But why are people whose organizations have no expertise or influence in this matter weighing in on behalf of their organizations? Again, a lot of this feels like a bad faith argument. As does the clearly anti-Semitic activity around protests -- that's not about a nuanced criticism on Isreali settlements, for example!
What gets lost in not calling out the bad faith -- and dumb take -- arguments is there often *are* more nuanced criticism and thoughtful solutions. We could have given people the option of rapid testing for COVID before entering public spaces -- and if they were willing to do what might have been daily testing instead of vaccinations, it would have provided an alternative that likely would have had a negligible pact on public health and it is an approach that worked elsewhere. Similarly, I think the calls to provide humanitarian pauses to allow aid in Gaza acknowledges Isreals right to defense while also making honest efforts to at least partially addess what is a significant humanitarian crisis. One can worry about the humanitarian crisis without being anti-Semitic!
What gets lost in not calling out the extremists is the opportunity to rally around meaningful solutions as all the focus goes on tribal fights and memes.
I approve and endorse this article.
"Progressive" often means something future generations will have to apologize for.
I've been shocked but not at all surprised by the eruption of Jew-hate Hamas's atrocities have brought out. We saw a similar reaction following 9/11, with conspiracy-minded anti-Americanism going mainstream and, dragged along with it, a rise in antisemitism, because you cannot have a rise in any kind of conspiracy thinking without the Jews getting dragged in.
For Jews, the Hamas atrocities have been a thousand times worse. Terrorist attacks like these force the political left to either fold or raise the stakes. After 9/11, do you get behind America or say America had it coming? The far left universally said, America had it coming. And in much of Western Europe, half of poll respondents said they thought it likely or very likely America had done it themselves. People do not give up on their villains easily.
Now we see the left - virtually the entire left, not just the hard left - coming out against Israel. The fig leaf for the easily embarrassed is they just want (another) ceasefire. It just happens to be a ceasefire that leaves Hamas with 240 prisoners and Israel living under the expectation that Hamas or Hezbollah or the Iranian Revolutionary Guard will soon - as explicitly promised - do it all again.
Forget Never again. The left has come out in favour of Again and Again.
Yep. Myself being a slopping pail of vitriol when confronted with stupidity "You know these people you are cheering on would happily curb stomp you" has really put a clamp on my already small social circles.
Enough with the fucking labels already ! A Fascist Asshole is just exactly that, whatever the 'label' du jour. Until they are dealt with the rest is just chatter.
Now is the moment when rational, thoughtful, measured and moderate people must speak out against this non- sensical tribalism which, taken to its logical endpoint , will destroy the social cohesion we enjoy in Canada. Universalism is a classical liberal ideal upon which the two World Wars were fought - equality under the law. Nothing less than our lofty and always risky social experiment called Canada s at stake. Wake up time. This is realpolitik.
Progressives, by nature, take increasingly extremists positions. They may need to stop identitying as progressive before they are willing to criticize their heroes.
Well said - an honest assessment of the hypocrisy in the progressive / woke world.
Don't let Gerson fool you into thinking your noble aims and pure morals are cancelled by serious wackos who attach themselves to virtuous causes.
If we use that logic Gerson needs to start apologizing for serious wacko journalists who comment on issues she defends.
She doesn't need to and neither should you.
We on the left absolutely need to call out and hold accountable intolerance hiding in our ranks. Though perhaps we are already? The specific examples Mr. Kadysh provides have all lost their jobs or been condemned for their views. Unlike the trucker convoy, the left’s “progressives” acknowledge and condemn anti-semitism, whereas the right represented that the Nazi flag in their midst was a leftist conspiracy run by the PMO’s office.
Of all the headline photos, slogans and ignorant hate- this one takes the biscuit. My Scotch Presbyterian mother would say slash that one's tires. My Irish Catholic father would say get her in a closed room and educate her. Decisions, decisions.
As long as Canada is ruled by a Quebec French Canadian elite who have had antisemitism bred in their bones for generations, you can expect any attempts to root antisemitism out to be only perfunctory at best and mostly limited to Ontario swing federal ridings when election time approaches. Google Wikipedia’s “antisemitism in Canada” and 1944 Quebec general election for an instructive outlook.