Wednesday, March 31, 2010

False Equivalence



A thousand times this.

Also, it's kind of odd.  Yesterday I linked disapprovingly to Truthdig.  Today I link ecstatically to Truthdig.


Fake Al Gore said...

Are you, by chance, a reader of Reddit? Both of these articles made front page, and I haven't seen them anywhere else so far. That doesn't mean these articles aren't out there. It just means I haven't seen them.

I don't have much of an opinion on the article proper. It appears to use too much cherry picking and confirmation bias for my liking.

It may be true, though. I'd have to do my own research.

Geds said...

I do not read Reddit. I've just been wandering over to Truthdig a lot lately apparently.

I don't really see where there's a lot of cherry picking and confirmation bias in the article, though. There aren't left-wing militias forming in the wilderness of Idaho that I've heard of. Liberals were pissed at Bush but they didn't exactly show up at his speeches carrying guns, nor did they talk about open revolt.

The point that I think Robinson made best, though, is that yes, there were violent, radicalized liberal movements in America in the past. But those aren't around now. So if we're saying, "We need to stop crazed right wingers like the Hutaree Militia," it doesn't get us anywhere to have to then follow up by saying, "Then again, there was the Weather Underground."

Violence is bad. Killing people over differing political opinions is bad. But we have to deal with the violence that's in front of our faces right now. We can't do nothing while we make sure that everyone remembers that one time thirty years ago when the positions were reversed.

If there's a left-wing militia out there plotting to kill police then the FBI should take them out, too. It's a no-brainer. But until we see evidence of one we really don't need to waste our time pretending that both sides are equally bad.

In potentiality, yes. In reality, no.

Of course it would help if the message went out that "this is unacceptable," not, "this is unacceptable coming from these guys." We could well end up with left-wing violence a few years down the road, cries of, "But what about the Hutaree?" and an increase in knowledge of exactly zero. Any eye for an eye makes the whole world blind and all that...

Fake Al Gore said...

While I can't find any links for it now*, there was a significant amount of violence against Republican campaign workers in the 2004 elections. Several campaign offices were attacked, workers were assaulted, and I vaguely recall someone burning a swastika into Bush-supporter's lawn.

It just seems like we're only remembering the right-wing violence because it's more recent.

* I cannot understand why news sites remove articles from more than a couple of years back. It breaks my ability to research things.