The Left's Nutty, Irrational, Disruptive Opposition Tactics Almost Make Me Want to Switch Sides

I am embarrassed to admit that I initially supported the war in Iraq (though at least I admit that rather than try to rewrite history as do many public figures).   I got swept up in the post 9/11 nationalism and wasn't very sophisticated in my thinking about such interventions.  But I also think part of the  reason for my support was because the opposition was often so irrational and, well, loony.   At least subconsciously, I must have been thinking, "I can't be on the same side with these idiots."

This was a useful experience, though, because in the years since I have frequently found myself allied with the Left on certain issues where I have been appalled by their opposition tactics.  Black Lives Matter is a great case in point.  I absolutely agree with the premise that police forces need more accountability and that the costs of the current lack of accountability fall disproportionately on African Americans.  I thought this initial BLM 10-point plan was really very good.  But ugh, their tactics.  Blocking highways and threatening drivers, where does that get us?   Or the whole tactic of forcing someone to choose between "Black Lives Matter" and "All Lives Matter" -- I mean seriously, WTF?  How is this kind of social justice rhetorical trap at all useful?  And now the movement has so much cred that it has been hijacked by the Left to support climate change legislation and all sorts of unrelated matters, so it likely will never make any actual progress on police accountability.  It would be easy to recoil from all this and shy away from my passion for increasing police accountability because my allies are so off-putting in their tactics, but my Iraq War experience has taught me that this would be a mistake.

And now, we have the opposition to Trump, and all the same loony Left tactics are emerging.  We get lectured by celebrities, and discover that the deepest threat of Trump may be the marginalization of actresses who make $20 million a picture.  We get roads blocked and public violence.    I wonder if all this is driving folks who originally found Trump distasteful into his arms?

I fear that all the oxygen is getting sucked out of the room with protests of crazy hypothetical scenarios while ignoring the real problems that are occurring already.  So everyone is focusing on women marching on Washington, despite the fact that Trump is almost certainly no worse in his personal behavior towards women than Bill Clinton and is likely, on women's issues, the furthest to the Left of all of the 16 original GOP presidential candidates.    We focus on some hypothetical future slight to women while ignoring his economic nationalism, economic interventionism, corporatism, and cronyism that is already on display with Carrier and the auto makers.

As I wrote here, the ability to criticize public figures has limited bandwidth.  Sure, an infinite number of things can be discussed on the Internet, but only a few reach a general consciousness across society.  One way to look at it is to compare it to an NFL game.  In an NFL game, coaches only have two challenge flags they can throw to challenge a bad call by the referees -- after their challenge flags are used, they are out of luck.  The Left is using up all our challenge flags on their own social justice bogeymen, and causing everyone to miss the opportunity to challenge Trump on more relevant faults (of which there are many).

The other problem with the Left's tactics is that they are not well-matched to Trump and likely will be counter-productive.  All this crazy protest is more likely to cause Trump to petulantly lash back.  This one of his worst qualities as a leader, but it is a fact all the same.  Take abortion, for example.  My gut feel is that Trump has never had any problem with abortion, and likely has supported it in the past.  Hell, he's probably secretly paid for a few.  If women's groups had gone and sat down with him quietly and said, "hey, we are worried about creeping restrictions on abortion in many states", Trump probably would have been sympathetic.  This is the Trump, after all, who mythologizes himself as a deal-maker.  But groups on the Left can't seem to do this, in part because of tribal virtue-signalling on the Left.  The Left has decided that their tactic will be to treat Trump as illegitimate, so any group that goes to talk to him is marginalized and excoriated by the rest of the Left.  So rather than sit down and work with a likely-sympathetic Trump, they head out into the streets to denounce him in the craziest possible terms, tactics that may well drive him into exactly the actions that women fear.  If abortion was a big issue for me, I would be pissed at women's groups for their bone-headed tactics.


  1. CC:

    No politician ever has a totally valid and coherent set of policies. They are all idiots on some issue--at least according to any given person who has their own preferences and point of view. We all also have limited information on most topics that affects our views.
    The Left is enforcing extreme idiological conformity within their ranks. For example, a group of feminists who oppose abortion tried to join the DC march but were kicked out. No deviation is allowed. But the real world does not line up so nicely. In fact, the issues one must conform to don't even stay constant. But treating each issue separately does not lend itself to gathering a large block of irate, foaming at the mouth protesters.
    BLM certainly has valid concerns. Unarmed people should be neither tased nor shot just because they are noncompliant--they may be drunk or don't speak English or too many people are shouting at them. Maybe cops are shouting "put your hands up" and "lay down" and "turn around" all at the same time. Civil asset forfeiture and excessive civil fines for traffic violations and for failing to pay child support have turned our jails into debtor's prison. It would certainly be more useful if individual issues could be disentangled and discussed separately.

  2. jimc5499:

    It is kind of fun, watching the Left implode. I didn't vote for Trump, I voted against Hilary. That vote is looking better and better all of the time.

  3. August Hurtel:

    Remember that brief moment of clarity when Trump won, and you realized you did not have an accurate assessment of reality?

    You may think you are on 'their side' but the left is not on your side. They are your enemy. They consider you 'right.' It doesn't matter what you do. Oh, they'll leave you alone until after they kill the more dangerous people, but they'll come for you eventually. To normal humans, the point of black lives matter should be to reduce black deaths and improve black lives. But no. This is a leftist organization- they want black lives to matter so that when they are SACRIFICED the SACRIFICE will be regarded as VALID. They are out to kill more for the sake of politics. You should always remember these people laud out-right murderers- Che, Fidel, etc...

    Even thinking you are on that side means you are suffering from some sort of reality distortion. Not that the right is even much of a side. Trump is going to try and do his best. which may not be perfect, but they won't attempt to invert reality like the left does.

  4. GoneWithTheWind:

    A better way to understand leftist beliefs is to acknowledge that they often put nefarious intent into reasonable sounding statements of intent. Kind of like the "Affordable Care Act" which as it turns out is not affordable at all and was always intended to destroy our quite good health care system. Or like Title IX of the "Equal Opportunity in Education Act" sounds really good but in reality it was the create chaos act and mandate discrimination against white men act. The BLM movement has a sweet sounding title but that isn't what they are after, The want unfettered anarchy in inner city black communities or black no-go zones. Black lives don't matter to them, black lives never mattered to them but it sounded good. Good enough that it was easy to criticize anyone who disagreed with it. It was all based on the false premise that Eric Garner was just a gentle giant who was shot by a racist cop while he had his hands up. The BLM is a racist organization that has backing of multiple anti-American communist groups and it's real purpose it to create anarchy and destroy our constitutional republic.

  5. Ike Evans:

    I agree very strongly with almost every single point of this column. I opposed Trump from almost the day he announced his candidacy because I recognized that his pseudo-liberalism will destroy conservatism from the inside out. The Left's reaction to Trump, however, is comical to the extreme. I suddenly find myself in a position where I have to defend Trump, and I hate doing that.

  6. Patrick Henry,The2nd:

    Agreed wholeheartedly with this post. From supporting BLM's original purpose but being disgusted about ALM and their tactics, to the left's tactics in general and being pushed to support Trump.

    I'm a Never Trumper of the highest order, but I can't help but smile at how he drives the left wild. In fact I bet a large part of Trump's support is a reaction to their tactics. From calling every Republican a racist to a Nazi, that doesn't help their side. Most of the right is not racist, so when they get called that, they reject anything else said because that point is so wrong.

  7. Bistro:

    I spent many years in the middle east as a young man and then as a middle aged man. The plan to war with Iraq was merited and very well done. Bush and we screwed up when he decided to appoint a viceroy and attempt to 'make Iraq better.' We should have marched right back out after destroying it as we had marching in. Leave the devil to clean up his own mess and it would have cost peanuts to knock it down again, and again and again until Iraq figured it out.
    Abortion is black and white issue. I happen to view it as out and out child murder. It is no different to me than a woman bearing a child alive and then promptly killing it. How could it be other?
    BLM, PP, et al, and the left have sacrificed ALL in order to raise up their one single issue to the top of their pile. It and they still rest in hell as far as I am concerned. I'll buy blm as an issue when they stop gunning each other (and us) down in their murderous crossfires. Chicago isn't an example, it's the rule.

  8. sean2829:

    I think the new motto of the left should be "It takes a villian". By treating anyone who disagrees with them as evil, they justify the tremendous latitude they take in opposition. I used to think this was a smart strategy as it shut down dissent but it probably created the opening for a thick skinned person like Trump who refused to silenced by consensus of all the important people and the media.

  9. irandom419:

    Kind of like watching the Sea Shepard versus the Japanese faux researchers, makes me want to side with the whalers.

  10. Pinebluff:

    Abortion is a worthless example with regards to Trump as abortion has been and continues to to be a struggle between the Federal judiciary and the states with the President and the Congress as interested spectators since the Supreme Court in Roe vs. Wade completely removed the Federal executive and Congress from the abortion arena.

  11. Chris Miles:

    Absolutely. My current theory is that the problem with the current left is their null hypothesis. They internalized the demographic destiny argument it became their default expectation that they will triumph, the progressive interpretation of the Marxist conception of history as progressing to their chosen ideology if you will.

    Once they really drank that koolaid their ability to maintain a discourse fell apart as why bother, they'll win anyways, better to shift attention to something else. Now it's all virtue signaling, purging those slow to stay on top of the latest acceptable expressions of the proper opinions and autistic screeching when they don't get their way. To use the 2016 word of the year (poorly), they are playing butt-tight, and it's all slipping away in front of them.

  12. jimc5499:

    Well said. A company that I worked for decided to send me to school for engineering. I was assigned one of our engineers as a mentor. Roger was one of the best Engineers that I ever worked with and I owe him a lot. Getting to the point, Roger is Black. He and his family are some of the nicest people that I know. Roger's parents still live in the house where he grew up. Roger will not take his children to visit their grandparents, instead he picks up his parents and brings them to his house. The people in the neighborhood where Roger grew up consider him to be a "sellout" for becoming successful. He is actually afraid for his children's safety if he takes them to his parents house.

  13. Stan:

    Cops tend to treat poor (or poor looking as I've found out the hard way) people like crap and tend to show more deference to people who look like they're generating tax revenue.

    Poor people tend to be in and around the same demo as the kind of people that commit a lot of violent crime so sometimes they unfairly get on the business end of the baton. Also, lots of blacks tend to be poor and blacks commit a disproportionate amount of violent crime (mostly against each other (see Chicago) even if you discount the stats a generously for systemic bias. Circa 2005 (the last year the Feds released figures this way and the most transparent administration ever obfuscated them) in a violent crime in the USA involving a white person and a black person, the perpetrator was ~80% more likely to be the black person.

    Cops beat the crap out of and/or kill non-black people all the time too, it just doesn't make for juicy news. Here are two particularly nasty incidents off the top of my head that I don't remember Obama expressing a need to have a "national dialog" about:

    Blacks probably get a larger percentage of cop beatings/killings than their %age share of the general population but that has to also be considered through the crime stats mentioned above.

    I'm quite certain that the #1 reason blacks get so caught up in violent crime, one way or another, is that most black males grow up with no live-in father and end up with (among other things) little sense of respect for male authority figures. And this condition is 100% the fault of the post-Great Society progressive Left who have encouraged poor, single parenthood at every turn for five decades.

    That said, giving local cops tons of second hand military gear and hardware was a terrible idea and a terrible consequence of our post 9/11, foreign and domestic, always-at-war mindset:

    I had friends die in 9/11 and I too was once pro-Iraq/Afghanistan war. I thought we'd learned our lesson from Vietnam etc. Bomb the crap out of Saddam, The Taliban and go home. If something just as bad rises from the ashes, rinse, repeat. Rubble don't make trouble. Instead we have (how many now?) endless, pointless wars with much worse results.

    My personal theory is that it's fine to ally corporate interests with the national prosecution of war and defense (see: WW II) as long as everyone is on the same page regarding the desired outcome. ONCE WINNING WARS BECAME POLITICALLY UNFASHIONABLE VESTED INTERESTS REVAMPED THEIR BUSINESS MODELS TO PROSECUTE PERPETUAL WAR.

  14. mlhouse:

    The Democratic/Liberal opposition strategy versus Trump is understandable if you look at the origination of it.

    Trump's primary political narratives were Immigration and Economic Nationalism. The problem of Trump as opposition for Democrats is that Trump's positions on immigration and economic nationalism has been their mainstream position for 5 decades, is the primary economic position of huge groups of their core constituencies, and still is. The elite left wing of the party, led by Barrack Obama, may have shifted their positions on immigration to try to drive more (illegal) voters into their coffers, but the blue collar workers were never part of this process and still view the competition of foreign products and immigrant (legal and illegal) as stiff competition to their livelihoods.

    So, to combat Trump they chose instead to portray him, falsely, as a racist, anti-gay, and anti-semetic.

  15. LowcountryJoe:

    Perhaps the reason why you supported the use of force in Iraq was because of the bullet points in United Nations Security Resolution 1441. The 1st Gulf War was in a cease fire since 1991. He kept kicking out weapons inspectors, defying the conditions of the cease fire agreement. In a post 9-11 world, there would have been consequences to continue allowing the behavior from Iraq's 'leadership'.

  16. johnmoore:

    I mostly agree - the biggest failure was in the management of the victory. It could have been done much better.

    However, frankly, I don't think the left would ever allow us to win there. We would have had to keep troops in country for 20 years or so, and they would occasionally be involved in combat. The left learned in the '60s and '70s that they can force us out of any long lasting war. The only reason they didn't object to Afghanistan is because it was so hard to make a case when Afghanistan's government had, in fact, attacked us on 9-11. Now that Trump is in, they'll start whining about civilian casualties and atrocities and whatever.

  17. johnmoore:

    I think you fail to understand them. If you haven't, read Saul Alinsky's book. It isn't about bettering society, it is a manual for sociopaths to gain power by constantly finding causes. What the left is doing is completely consistent with their real goals. Only the "useful fools" on the left don't understand that.

    I encountered the true face of the left in the demonstrations against the Vietnam War. As a Vietnam veteran, I didn't need them to get me out of the draft. But, they had a large number of young fools whose activism was certainly goaded by the threat of having to fight for their country. I went to a number of demos, and met with some leaders.

    These folks fit into two categories: sheep, and radicals. That was it - there was no soft left at all - it was just a front. And, in those days, behind it in many cases were actual communists, some of them in cahoots with our enemies. Of course, the sheep didn't know that, and the real radicals never admitted it.

    Today, the left doesn't seek to persuade us. They seek to entrench their power in their base. Because the hard left now dominates academia while the slightly softer left controls the media, they will persuade through those organs, not through any sensible actions.

  18. JTW:

    pretty much the same here, though I never lived in the ME.
    The invasion of Iraq was wholly called for and justified, though the way it was sold to the public was poorly done. Iraq had been in violation of its cease fire agreements of 10 years prior for a long time, and under the UN mandate to enforce those agreements any nation with the capability was required to invade and force compliance.
    Under those mandates the US should have invaded Iraq several years earlier, when they kicked out the UN inspectorate for the first time. But Clinton of course never did.
    I supported the invasion of Iraq on those grounds, not on some moral high ground of "spreading democracy" or "fighting international terrorism".

    Abortion I mostly agree with you, though I'd make an exception for medical emergencies and rape. If an abortion is required to save the life of the mother, go ahead.
    If a pregnancy is the result of a proven rape, feel free to terminate it.
    But if you get pregnant through your own stupidity, tough luck.

  19. KenG453:

    You just can't help yourself, can you?
    "Hell, he's probably secretly paid for a few."
    You wasted a "Constructive Criticism" flag on that bone-headed throw-away line.

  20. jim jones:

    The problem with the Left is that it attracts violent lunatics

  21. wreckinball:

    I agree that police accountability is a problem. Its debatable that its racial other than high crime urban hell hole neighborhoods are predominantly black and are basically war zones. And when you enter a war zone good things never happen. Thus there will be more black incidents . And the reason their neighborhoods are war zones is because of the residents not the police. First order of business is to clean up the residents. The police are the least of their worries.

    BLM is a violent racist group that has marched around chanting about killing cops. Its like supporting the KKK because they support disabled children or some other worthy cause. Not sure if they do but my point is BLM has used police accountability as pretense to really abhorrent behavior. Sorry can't support them at all.

  22. wreckinball:

    That too!

  23. kidmugsy:

    The Iraqattack was a dishonest, cripplingly expensive act of reckless folly. Stupid, in fact, unless the motivation was something unspoken. To spend trillions of dollars on a humiliating defeat: you approve of that? God spare us all!

  24. Old Salt:

    Blocking highways and threatening drivers .....
    Assassinating police officers, flash-mobbing malls during Christmas, promoting the knock out game, kidnapping and torturing mentally disabled children, rioting, arson....

    Where does that get us?

    Coyote you are a constant inspiration, but you have a blind eye when it comes to the left's penchant for violence and destruction.

  25. Ugasailor:

    Color me dismayed at your revelation. We know you are busy, but this pattern of behavior has been on display for well over 50 years. Since when has the 'Left' ever been about positive, tangible results? They are all about power. That's why, as I see it, they don't make deals. For them it is all about style over substance; and when they get their substance, Medicare, food stamps, etc., and it's shown to be counter productive, all they do is double down and claim the right to more people's money. As Betsy DaVoss nicely explained to the moron who is a Senator from Vermont, "consider the fact that there’s nothing in life that is truly free — somebody is going to pay for it.” His response: "Oh?"

  26. Jason Calley:

    Back in the late 1960s I was a student at a high school that was about 50% black, 50% white. As a bookish sort of person, most of my friends, black as well as white, were equally bookish. Multiple times I saw my smart black friends attacked by the ignorant blacks in school. The common theme against my friends was "Why you carryin' those books? What is that? Algebra?! Why you studyin' that? You trying to white, huh? You think you better than me, huh?"

    That was fifty years ago, but there is still a strong anti-intellect feeling among many black people. In South Africa, university students are trying to remove science from the curriculum and replace it with witchcraft. Really.

  27. Addie:

    It was funny.

  28. SamWah:

    And aborting their black babies.

  29. SamWah:

    Yeah, life's a bummer. You may think the left's reaction is comical, but what it is, is vicious.

  30. Ike Evans:

    This only makes the pseudo-liberal-Trump stronger in the end as the Left alienates huge swaths of flyover country.

  31. ano333:

    "I wonder if all this is driving folks who originally found Trump distasteful into his arms?"

    Not according to his post-election favorability numbers.

  32. Randolph Carter:

    A reputation for fairness gets you a long way with a deal-maker.
    A reputation for not following through and acting dishonorably, the other way.
    Trump has dealt with both.
    I wonder which one gets you better treatment from him?

  33. JTW:

    I approve of them going in, I definitely do NOT approve of them throwing away the victory there the way they did.
    Go in, kick ass, get out.
    Definitely don't agree with them staying for over a decade afterwards and ruining the country in the name of "spreading democracy". Give them the means to do what they want with the country they got, and leave them to it.
    Some sweet trade deals maybe to give their economy a kickstart.

    The war was won, the Iraqi government was destroyed, their WMD program dismantled. The suspected involvement between Iraq and AQ was found not to have been there at all, but that wasn't known at the time of the invasion.

  34. C078342:

    These favorability numbers are no less skewed than the pre-election poll numbers. Huge overpolling of Dems and underpolling of Repubs. The agenda then, as now, is to undermine Mr Trump. Suck it up snowflake.

  35. C078342:

    Why would you hate to defend Trump? The USA has suffered immeasurably under BO. Disrespect for the Constitution and the rule of law. Disrespect of the military (Bradly Manning). Job and industry killing over regulation. Harmful CO2 regulation: higher energy prices and, by the way, CO2 is good for food production. Destruction of the best medical care system on the planet: people come to the US for medical treatment, they don't go to Canada, etc.Trump's position is pretty much 180 degrees from BO's. It is morning in American at noon tomorrow!!!

  36. mesaeconoguy:

    Trump has already displayed a remarkable ability to deflect criticism from and bypass “mainstream” leftist media.

    That won him the election versus the establishment leftist media’s choice.

  37. J_W_W:

    Libertarians that are pro-life are having less trouble warming up to Trump.

    The left's almost religious fervor for the heinous procedure is pretty terrifying frankly. Also terrifying is its willingness to cheer on (from the sidelines, always from the sidelines, the body mutiliation of Transgenders).

  38. J_W_W:

    I have gone from being slightly miffed about "flyover country" to being downright enraged at the costal bastard elites. If you sow that much contempt, you eventually reap the whirlwind....

  39. Obama's boyfriend:

    Typical libtard who can't come out of the closet.

  40. Obama's boyfriend:

    Can you name one war when everyone was on the same page skippy? Even WWII had members of congress who would not declare war. Look it up.

  41. Obama's boyfriend:

    Brillant post. We should have divided Iraq but between Kuwait, Jordan and Turkey. Bush screwed it up because he believed its possible to bring democracy to the world. Such are the dreams of libtards the world over. After three years in Iraq I know why Islam is so screwed up.

  42. Obama's boyfriend:

    Hey skippy what's it like in junior college? Do they give you stuffed animals and coloring books?

  43. Obama's boyfriend:

    Course we can have a debate about how peaceful black neighborhoods are. You go there at 1 am with a bunch of 20s hanging out of your pocket and I'll call the cops to cart away your corpse. Debate settled.

  44. Obama's boyfriend:

    Really? Ted Kennedy started importing 3rd worlders in 1965 and has been attacking America's economy and strength till his death. In 1972 the Dems officially became the Red Junior League, with minor relapses into Kulakism during the Clinton years. It has been full blown Barney Frank-Nancy Pelosi-Kremblin for over 20 years.

  45. Obama's boyfriend:

    And when a noncompliant stranger is in your home I can see you now begging him to stop strangling your wife and children rather than employ force to stop them.
    Who ties your shoe laces? Tell us about hands up don't shot.

  46. Fergus:

    Oops why bring up facts when the uneducated like to bray. It amkes them feel so much superior realizing that spittle beats rational thought and knowledge, at least in the space where they minds are supposed to be.

  47. Ike Evans:

    If "you" is the liberal-elite, you are correct. Despite the horrible person we have elected to be POTUS, the Liberal-Left never ceases to surprise me with how much worse they can be.

  48. Ike Evans:

    I hate defending Trump because he is incompetent, immoral and unprincipled - by far the worst GOP presidential candidate of my lifetime. That said, I give him credit where I can, and I have. You cannot, on the other hand, justify a bad argument with a bad argument. Bringing up Obama's is a non-sequitur. I am not a liberal, and I find Obama's legacy distasteful. You essentially have no point.

  49. CC:

    I wasn't talking about home invasion, but about police stops on the street or of drivers. There have been cases of someone in a diabetic coma who was dragged out of their car and beaten because they wouldn't "respond". A person who did not speak English (no not Hispanic) who was confronted for jay-walking and when he didn't comply was beat up. Retarded people who don't understand what is going on who are beat or tased or shot. This is where de-escalation comes in. Cops sometimes act like INSTANT obedience is required even when there is no danger to anyone. this is not a race issue. BUT claims that blacks are being killed in an epidemic are simply nonsense. Only a tiny fraction of blacks who are killed are killed by cops.
    "hands up don't shoot" was a PR stunt by BLM--Michael Brown was attacking the cop and was a huge and scary guy.

  50. rst1317:

    I've seen the same problems at Standing Rock as with the left's focus on Trump. The Standing Rock protesters behavior reached the point this last fall that even Standing Rock officials began to call for them to go home. All the violence and the bridge closing brought things to the point where the average member of the SR nation was more opposed to the protestors than they were the Dakota Access Pipeline.