John Baglow

Drawing the line

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Just a note, folks, to let everyone know that faux-progressives advocating the transfer of resources to far-right wingnuts will be unfollowed in Twitter and deleted from my blogroll.

There are limits to everything. Some folks may see me as a hard-liner, but I’m not. Those who comment at my site are just as likely to be right-of-centre as left-wing. I have never had a problem with active engagement, debate and spirited disagreement, so long as the conversations remain civil. Nor are my politics binary: no political tendency has a monopoly on good, and all of them, without exception, can spawn reptiles of the mind. Finally, I can understand and accept ephemeral “enemy’s enemy” single-issue tactical alliances—we need to be pragmatic, not dogmatically “principled” to the exclusion of observation, evidence and realistic politics.

But I insist upon decency.

I’m known to be a strong critic of Israeli government policy, for example. An idiot or two have pointed out that the neo-Nazi website Stormfront is also critical of Israel, and therefore…. But, undistributed middle aside, I couldn’t even conceive of making common cause with such people. I would feel soiled at the very thought.

Here, then, is where I draw the line. Those who support or enable this sort of thing—piously claiming values of “free speech” when the only speech they ever seem to defend is racist, Islamophobic, homophobic, defamatory, or a public obscenity—are unwelcome here. And so are those who give them material aid and comfort.

Too many—not all—of those whom I call Speech Warriors™ are nowhere to be found when scientists and other public employees are muzzled; when people on the left are stopped at our borders and refused the opportunity to speak; when activists they dislike are shut down, including artists; when violence is openly advocated against citizens exercising their right to freedom of assembly.

Hypocrisy, however, is their problem, and I’m content just to comment upon it from time to time. It’s when “progressives” line up with them to the point of advocating that money be sent their way that I smell a new Molotov-Ribbentrop pact brewing, and I simply refuse to have any part of that.

I’m not advocating shutting these folks down, or interfering in any way with their exercise of free speech. But I also get to exercise my rights, including freedom of association, and I no longer choose to be associated with such people, whether they be malign or merely confused. Enough is enough. Peace, as they say, out.

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This page contains a single entry by John Baglow published on June 15, 2012 8:08 PM.

Vagina! was the previous entry in this blog.

Speech Warrior™ hypocrisy--a postscript is the next entry in this blog.

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