Knee-Jerk Liberal’s “Vile” Graphic
This is one in a series of blogs about experiences I’ve had with “Knee-Jerk Liberals” and “Knee-Pad Conservatives”.
People who followed the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primary closely enough to dig beneath reports by the major media outlets had to be aware of the dynamic of Hillary Clinton’s presupposed easy Party nomination being threatened by Bernie Sanders’ surprisingly successful challenge. And that challenge just wouldn’t go away despite the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and most major news outlets attempting to make it go away, which created a clear sense of frustration for not only Clinton, but many of her supporters, as well.
The graphic featured below spoofed that frustration with a reference to the 2005 movie, “V for Vendetta”. I encountered an equally frustratingly strange knee-jerk liberal reaction to the graphic when I shared it on Facebook. The discussion that ensued between a knee-jerk liberal and me follows below the graphic.
KJL: This is vile.
RL: Not sure what you mean.
KJL: Hoping someone will die, die, is not the progressive tradition I know and love. Not the tradition of Rosa, Mandella, or Ghandi.
RL: KJL, The suggestion was that SHE was saying that to Bernie Sanders, who then replies in the bottom half.
KJL: Did she actually say it? It is a verified quote?
RL: Not that I know of — I assumed it to be a sort of joke about how she and the DNC have been so annoyed by Bernie Sanders and his supporters.
KJL: It’s not a joke. It’s not progressive in any sense. It’s vile. It’s demonizing of the worst kind.
RL: REALLY?! Have you seen the movie “V”? This is not “vile” — I can’t believe you don’t see the humor — nobody is telling anybody to “die” — it’s parody, c’mon, lighten up.
KJL: Would Rosa Parks, Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Stevie Wonder, Martin Luther King, or Robert Kennedy post this, think this, say this? You say “nobody is telling anybody to “die”” and your post says “Die! Die! Why won’t you die?” That’s extraordinary cognitive dissonance on your part, Rick. I see the “joke.” It’s not at all funny to wish a presidential candidate would die, no matter how it’s framed. It’s not funny to pretend Hillary says this terrible thing when she didn’t and wouldn’t say it. It’s base demonizing, it’s a vile, sentiment and you demean yourself by posting and defending it. It is inconsistent with every progressive value. If this is how you make your case, you’ve temporarily lost sight of your humanity. And I fail to see a case made at all.
RL: Your perspective on this is way out of line with what it actually is. Do you get that this is a humorous presentation of her frustration with Sanders — it’s Clinton talking to Sanders? It’s not real. She’s telling Sanders to go away, to drop out of the race like she’s been doing all along, and she’s frustrated because he and his supporters are ruining her guaranteed nomination. It’s not real, KJL. Good grief. Frankly, I think the people you list would see the humor since this is not really anyone telling someone else to actually die. If you’ve been following the campaigns, you should see the humor being poked at Clinton’s frustration. There’s no way it can be taken seriously the way you’re talking it. There’s just no way.
That was the discussion we had and I still can’t make any sense out of KJL’s perspective there. It was like we were talking about two totally different graphics and it made me feel just a little bit insane; it still does when I read through it. The final caption on the graphic says, “Beneath this mask is an idea, Mrs. Clinton, and ideas are bulletproof.”
That quote is reminiscent of one from Gandhi who said, “You can chain me, you can torture me, you can even destroy this body, but you will never imprison my mind.” And another quote even more on point is one by Medgar Evars, a renown civil rights activist, who said, “You can kill a man, but you can’t kill an idea.” The words are different but the message is the same. Evars was assassinated but the bullet could not kill Evars’ idea, as an estimated 5,000 people marched from the Masonic Temple on Lynch Street to the Collins Funeral Home on North Farish Street in Jackson, Mississippi.
To make such an issue out of a figure of speech is counterproductive and certainly demeans KJL more than I was demeaned by posting the meme. Harping on things like this in so hyperbolic a manner is a symptom of Knee-Jerk Liberals. On the same day the following was a headline in another article: Media Colludes to Kill Bernie Sanders’ Campaign Hours Before Last Super Tuesday. Note the word “kill” in the headline. This provides a proper context for the meme I posted. How KJL viewed the meme in the context he viewed is beyond all rational thought. I don’t know if he simply misunderstood the meme the first time and then didn’t want to admit that, or if he really believed his hyperbolic argument.
KJL missed the point of the meme entirely and nothing I could say was able to refocus his knee-jerk liberal reaction onto the context of the meme and the message it was conveying. His instinct to react to specific liberal hot-button words or issues somehow blinded him to the actual message. The meme is a spoof on the movie and the 2016 campaign. But like Muslim extremists who would kill a person who spoofs their religion, KJL religiously condemned a humorous spoof that delivered a good message. This is a common ailment of knee-jerk liberalism – missing out on good ideas in favor of over-zealously, irreverently and irrelevantly focusing on principles that don’t apply within context.
Other posts about Knee-Jerk Liberals: