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Enforcement and Bias

Despite their constant cries of being persecuted, the fact remains that when conservatives protest, even disruptively and sometimes threateningly, they get more or less a free pass. When liberals protest, however, then the hammer comes down. Paul Waldman at The American Prospect details one rather notable example:

The latest, from the New York Times, describes how law enforcement officials around the country went on high alert when the Occupy protests began in 2011, passing information between agencies with an urgency suggesting that at least some people thought that people gathering to oppose Wall Street were about to try to overthrow the U.S. government. And we remember how many of those protests ended, with police moving in with force. …

If you can’t recall any Tea Party protests in 2009 and 2010 being broken up by baton-wielding, pepper-spraying cops in riot gear, that’s because it didn’t happen. Just like the anti-war protesters of the Bush years, the Tea Partiers were unhappy with the government, and saying so loudly. But for some reason, law enforcement didn’t view them as a threat.

He cites the more recent example of Cliven Bundy’s ranch, when protesters actually pointed guns at law enforcement officials—and got away with it. Liberal protesters sit quietly, and they get doused with pepper spray. Maybe they should have all brought AR-15s.

Nor is this the only example. When liberal protesters did literally the least offensive form of protest possible—wearing T-shirts—they were singled out by the secret service, detained, or even arrested. When Obama became president, conservative protesters went armed with handguns and semiautomatic rifles at presidential events. Nothing happened to them, aside from being “closely watched.”

Nor is it just when arms are present. When liberal churches had guest speakers, not affiliated with the church, whose speeches at the pulpit had a political tone, the IRS went after them rather assiduously. When leaders of conservative churches outright endorsed Republican candidates to their congregations, even when the Catholic church itself publicly inserted itself into the presidential campaign by condemning John Kerry, not a thing happened. When the IRS went after all political groups but, for a while, only the Tea Party tags were known, it became a full-blown scandal still pursued today, even after being disproven. But when the IRS clearly discriminated against liberal groups in favor of conservative ones… not a peep.

It is one aspect of the IOKIYAR mentality. Which perhaps is one reason that conservatives play up being persecuted all the time. Aside from rather common right-wing projection, it helps to deflect attention from your faults if you can claim that the real victims are doing it to you.

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  1. Troy
    May 27th, 2014 at 13:23 | #1

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Paranoid_Style_in_American_Politics

    50 years ago now.

    The internet now allows these people to really get hooked up, ideologically-speaking, while Glenn Beck and the rest of talk radio feed them the red meat.

    If & when the chips are down here, this place can probably go full-on police state fascist pretty easily. All the police (& military) care about is getting paid.

    The corporatocracy cares about not paying taxes and getting the most output with the least cost from its employee base, mission kinda accomplished there, though there’s a lot of rollbacks of the 20th century welfare state yet to effect.

    The average political IQ here is pretty low, a lot of historical ignorance, a lot of misinformation, and a powerful filter that most people can’t fight through to see what’s really going on.

    The scary thing is that the true reality can be more complex than one person is able to comprehend, even with free communication, we’re all like the blind describing the elephant to each other.

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