Dana Loesch’s NRA Video Reveals the Left’s Good Cop, Bad Cop Routine

An NRA video featuring Dana Loesch recently went viral, & the reaction to it provides a fine microcosm of our public discussion for us to consider. Commentators for mainstream websites have called the video “terrifying,” “chilling,” “bleak” and “dystopian” by commentators for mainstream websites. Vox writer Zachary Beauchamp writes that the video “comes this close to calling for a civil war against liberals” (emphasis in original).

The Washington Post goes so far as to contrast the NRA’s video with a response video released by the NRA’s alleged Leftist counterpart, Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety. Peter Holley writes in The WaPo that “[e]arlier this year, the National Rifle Association released a recruitment video that painted a grim picture of life in the United States. Its stark imagery—coupled with Second Amendment advocate Dana Loesch’s severe language and scowl—left many critics with the impression that the video was designed to provoke fear, if not incite violence.” However, Everytown’s video “opts for a warm, softly lighted B-roll of families and smiling civil servants as an upbeat narrator calls for “a break from the politics of fear.”

Certainly the contrast in tone is real, and certainly the contrast follows from a deliberate PR decision made by Everytown. But the NRA and Everytown are only two players in an increasingly alarming public discussion. Groups like Everytown exist so that the Left can perform a good cop, bad cop routine. Reading all the condemnations of Loesch’s video, one gets the impression that the Left’s rhetoric is generally mild-mannered and responsible. But an actual examination of Leftist rhetoric—particularly following Trump’s rise to power—reveals claims that we might call “terrifying,” “chilling,” “bleak” and “dystopian” and even, “this close to calling for a civil war.”

A February writing by Joshua Holland in The Nation says that “[t]he widely held view that Trump is an illegitimate president who’s poised to enact an agenda combining the worst of House Speaker Paul Ryan’s ‘granny-starving’ fiscal conservatism with White House consigliere Steve Bannon’s ethno-nationalism has fueled the formation of dozens of new grassroots resistance groups.” Holland quotes Van Jones saying that the Trump agenda is “a blitzkrieg from above,” and continues writing that “[t]he Trump agenda threatens the welfare of women, immigrants, LGBTQ Americans and, through climate denial, the health of the planet itself,” and quotes the executive director of the ACLU saying that “[y]ou’re talking about the rights and lives of millions of Americans at stake.”

Recently, Bernie Sanders, the most popular politician in the country, said of the Republican health care bill that “we are not going to do horrendous things to millions and millions of working people” and that people need to act in a way that is “unprecedented.” There seems to be endless chatter suggesting that Donald Trump is a fascist or authoritarian—although authoritarianism has strangely become associated with the belief that children should obey their parents. An opposition movement to Trump calls itself “The Resistance”—a term which especially comes from French resistance to the Nazis during World War II. The official website of The Resistance Party describes it as “grassroots movement fighting against the hateful and authoritarian agenda of Donald Trump and the radical right.”

In a typical Leftist statement about race relations, Chauncey DeVega wrote, in a piece published by Salon on the recent Fourth of July, that “[i]n today’s America, white supremacy is like a ghost or shade that still haunts our democracy: Its ominous shadow looms over voting, the policing of black and brown communities, disparities in wealth and income, the labor market, housing, education, the courts and a society where a person’s skin color still impacts how they are marked as deserving full and equal dignity.”

Rhetoric like this reveals the mindset behind the increasing aggressiveness of Leftist political activists, to which Loesch refers in her NRA video. Recently, activists felt that they didn’t need a permit to protest on the anniversary of the death of Alton Sterling at the hands of police—a shooting that may have been justified. But with the rise of Antifa and the recent shooting of Republican congressmen by a Leftist activist, the literal political violence that Loesch warns us about is far from unfounded or absurd. These dangers are compounded by Leftist efforts to reign in the police, including issuing stand-down orders at political protests, but also litigation & legislation that could generally tie the hands of cops.

The consensus view seems to be that our society faces a crisis; so, it is understandable that the crisis would be reflected by public discussion. But, it would be nice if the Left dropped its holier-than-thou attitude with regard to rhetoric and noticed that its good cop, bad cop routine does not go unnoticed.

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