Fuck Liberal Puritans: The Ted Rall Racism Trial

This essay by Plexico Gingrich (real name? I know not) about Liberal Puritans explains the motivations and tactics of the identitarian censors at Daily Kos incredibly well. It’s a long read, but well worth it. A sample:

If you’re a Puritan, you want lots of very clear, easy to follow rules so that you have a clear path to superiority. This also makes it very easy for you to characterize others as operating in breach of the rules, and therefore being morally inferior to you. You don’t need to concern yourself with complexities like whether that person does more to improve the lives of others than you do. If they break the rules, they are bad. You follow the rules so you are good.

So “thou shalt not be racist,” as applied by the Liberal Puritan, doesn’t have much connection to stuff like the suffering of people in the real world. It is a game of “I am not a racist. Now let’s go find/invent some people who are racists, so that we can brand them as our inferiors, demonstrating how good we are by comparison.”

The Liberal Puritans don’t care about changing the world. They don’t care about drone murders, or Gitmo, or homelessness or, for that matter, real racism in the world — in prison, in the workplace, etc. They’re into playing “gotcha” politics over PC verbiage in order to destroy down the left heretics who are able to convincingly argue that Obama and the Democrats are not what they pretend to be: left, liberal, progressive, good.

On Twitter yesterday morning I saw that people were trolling me over cartoons I did in the 1990s. Two decades ago! And they weren’t talking about the political topic of the cartoons. They were picking apart the language and accusing me of being insensitive. For example, I’ve been accused of homophobia because I used the word “fag” in a cartoon. Never mind that the character in the cartoon who says the word is a homophobe, and that the cartoon attacks homophobia. That’s how crazy these witchhunters are. They literally turn the point around 180 degrees. Incredibly, a lot of people are stupid enough to fall for it.

Check out, for example this thread at Daily Kos: “Ted Rall is a RACIST. Undeniable evidence (part1).” The evidence pretended in this thread, as well as its followup Racism has no place on the left: Ted Rall edition (part2), is anything but “undeniable.” In fact, by the author’s fourth installment I’ve figured out Daily Kos (part 4 lol), even the militant Obamabots are turning against him. Yet in numbers 1, 2 and 3, numerous long-time Kos commenters are shouting hallelujahs and praise.

Note how dissent is repeatedly stifled and crushed by the Liberal Puritans at Kos. Also note how disinterested they are by actual political policy. They want to mandate codes of behavior (by me and others; they don’t adhere to them themselves) about speaking respectfully, etc.

No doubt, they’re crazy motherfuckers — not everyone at Kos, but certainly most of the loudest commenters. And crazy motherfuckers be dangerous.

34 Comments.

  • Ted, you have to stop- my sides are starting to hurt from laughing so much.

    YOU are the biggest example of the liberal Puritan I’ve ever seen. It’s your attitude of “Candidate A won’t stop all drone strikes immediately, so I’m going to pout and rage and generally make it easier for Candidate B (who will DOUBLE drone strikes) to win elections” that enables things like drone strikes and homelessness to get worse. And I’m not even going to start on your lies about Gitmo.

    The Puritan mindset- YOUR mindset- is the one that doesn’t care about changing the world; in fact, it would rather the world go to hell in a handbasket as long as the Puritan doesn’t have to do the heavy lifting of changing his/her worldview one iota.

    Those of us in the real world understand that change- real, lasting, change, happens a little bit at a time, and we need to be patient and embrace the little victories that get us ever closer to the world we want.

    You’re not racist- I’ll certainly give you that much. But the idea that you’re being persecuted because you’re so pure that you and you alone only know what is left, liberal, and good (Puritans like yourself lost any right to the word “progressive” when you stopped believing in and started impeding -progress) is just as ridiculous, if not more so.

    • “You’re not racist- I’ll certainly give you that much. ”

      That’s mighty white of you.

      Did you read the piece? The Puritanism described therein is about putting style over policy substance–something I don’t usually do.

      • > That’s mighty white of you.

        ROTFL! You gonna burn for that one. Betcha my next paycheck someone quotes you on it as absolute proof of something or other.

        “Liberal Puritan” is just another way of saying “conservative.”

        @Whimsical: A cartoonist’s job is to exaggerate, A political cartoonist makes reductio ad absurdum arguments so as to highlight the problems he’s trying to communicate about.

        I’ve been a proponent of working within the system and seeking gradual change for most of my life. If it worked, we wouldn’t be where we are now. Can you imagine the liberals of the sixties CHEERING for the drones? An unbelievable number of so-called libs do today. We’re still going the wrong direction and the pace is accelerating.

        Unfortunately, Ted’s right – it’s going to take revolution in the streets. One way or another, our unsustainable society is going to come tumbling down around our ears. Either we watch it happen or we make it happen.

      • Oh, I read the piece.

        What I was responding to was this piece of nonsense- which has little to nothing to do with the piece I read:

        “The Liberal Puritans don’t care about changing the world. They don’t care about drone murders, or Gitmo, or homelessness or, for that matter, real racism in the world — in prison, in the workplace, etc. They’re into playing “gotcha” politics over PC verbiage in order to destroy down the left heretics who are able to convincingly argue that Obama and the Democrats are not what they pretend to be: left, liberal, progressive, good.”

        A whole bunch of ridiculous premises in here:
        A) That the people who disagree with you are “Puritians”. You’re the one constantly lambasting Democrats for not being “Democratic” enough- which is the actual “Puritan” viewpoint
        B) That the people you mistakenly label “Puritans” don’t care about things like drone strikes or homelessness. We actually care about those things FAR, FAR more than the actual “Puritans” since we embrace policies that will end them eventually while actual “Puritans” such as yourself call for actions that will enable the election of people who will make those problems much, much worse; since they cant get their “Puritan” goal completely enacted immediately.
        C) That you and the other “Puritans” are the only people who know what is “Left, liberal, and good”- AND
        D) That you are being attacked for that knowledge. Such utter arrogance to spew such total BS. You do not have a monoply on what is left, liberal, and good, and you are not being attacked – you are standing in the way of progress towards the goals you claim to want, and you are getting run over because people are tired of those of you who are going “I cant get everything I want RIGHT NOW! So I’m gonna make sure things get worse by empowering people who will make things worse.”

        This particular attack was unjustified and unnecessary- you’ve given more than enough “Puritan” screeds to call you out on, there was no need to add imaginary racism to the list. But most of what you get for standing in the way of progress is completely and utterly justified.

      • Sorry, @Whimsical, but it’s hard to believe that you and your centrist friends actually care about drone strikes or homelessness. Why? Because you never, ever do anything about them. No protests. No letters. You don’t even mention them.
        How is Obama supposed to know you guys don’t like drone strikes? Can he read your minds?
        As a member of the evidence-based community, I say: no, you don’t give a shit.

      • @CrazyH-

        “I’ve been a proponent of working within the system and seeking gradual change for most of my life. If it worked, we wouldn’t be where we are now.”

        Bullshit- it worked well enough till the late 60’s – early 70’s. Then the right managed to convince the left that they should start abandoning Democrats if they werent given everything they wanted as soon as they wanted it- that it would somehow “teach Democrats a lesson”.

        It taught them a lesson alright-“move right”. And they’ve moved right ever since because the left keeps doubling down on an obviously failed policy.

        “Unfortunately, Ted’s right – it’s going to take revolution in the streets. One way or another, our unsustainable society is going to come tumbling down around our ears.”

        Again, bullshit. This is right wing propaganda. They want a revolution in the streets- it is the perfect vehicle for them to take control of the country and transform it into a facsist theocracy.

        That ALONE is reason enough not to give it to them.

      • @Whimsical – I always get the giggles when someone calls bullshit and then goes on to agree with me.

        You said, ” it worked well enough till the late 60′s – early 70′s.” which implies that it’s not working now. It’s so nice when we can agree.

        But did it work, even in the 60s? Sure, we stopped ‘nam – but not by working within the system. It took protests and media which weren’t afraid to tell the truth to power. Where’d they go?

        Fast forward thirty years and you’ve got not one, single, major news outlet questioning the administration’s lies about Iraq. You’ve got libs cheering for illegal invasions. The gap between rich and poor keeps widening ever faster, while the corporatocracy’s stranglehold on our our nation is getting tighter by the minute.

        We now have a sitting president, a democrat, who ran on his creds as a constitutional scholar. This man has ordered summary executions on nothing more than his say-so. Due Process? Habeas Corpus? Presumption of Innocence? Where’d they go? Hey! Remember back when it was only the Evil Empire who spied on their own people?

        That’s where ‘working within the system’ has gotten us. Where do you suppose we’ll be in another thirty years? Do you honestly think that ‘more of the same’ is going to bring about anything other than More. Of. The. Same. ? (insert obligatory quote about the definition of insanity)

        No, I don’t want to see revolution in the streets; but my comment stands. That’s what it will (“would”) take. But it ain’t gonna happen until the Four Horseman are riding high, and by then it’ll be too little, too late.

        This “civilization” will go the way of the Roman Empire and others before it. Ultimately, this will be a good thing, but it won’t be much fun along the way.

      • @Ted – “As a member of the evidence-based community, I say: no, you don’t give a shit.”

        This is hysterical, given that all available evidence shows you’re wrong about pretty much everything; including, apparently, being a member of the evidenced based community.

        In the real world, I am making it more difficult for people who will increase drone strikes to win elections, you are making it easier for them to win. Therefore I want drone strikes ended more than you because you are causing them to be increased. I know you don’t like taking accountability for the results of your shitty attitude, but those are the results. It really is just that simple.

        @crazy H-

        “You said, ” it worked well enough till the late 60′s – early 70′s.” which implies that it’s not working now. It’s so nice when we can agree.”

        We AGREE its not working now, yes. The ONLY reason its not working now is because the left stuck its head up its ass in the early 70’s and hasn’t pulled it out since.

        They fell for right wing propaganda about how if they didnt get EVERYTHING they wanted RIGHT NOW, the way to teach Democrats a lesson would be to punish them by making it more difficult for them to win elections. They have doubled down on this theory despite 40 years of evidence of it being a miserable failure.

        “But did it work, even in the 60s? Sure, we stopped ‘nam – but not by working within the system. It took protests and media which weren’t afraid to tell the truth to power. Where’d they go?”

        Protests are only useful when you have people in office who will pay attention to them. As the left continued to double down on its failed strategy election after election, there were less and less people in office who would listen, and they fizzled out.

        “That’s where ‘working within the system’ has gotten us. Where do you suppose we’ll be in another thirty years? Do you honestly think that ‘more of the same’ is going to bring about anything other than More. Of. The. Same. ? (insert obligatory quote about the definition of insanity)”

        Depends. If the left pulls its head out of its ass and dumps the shitty attitude and resultant shitty election strategy we could turn this whole mess around and be fine in 20 years. Dont think thats likely though.

        See, it’s Ted and his fellow “Puritians” who are arguing for more of the same- more of the same strategy that has filed for 40 years. So I’m glad you agree with me that we need to try something different.

        “Unfortunately, Ted’s right – it’s going to take revolution in the streets. One way or another, our unsustainable society is going to come tumbling down around our ears. Either we watch it happen or we make it happen.”

        And the first step is to stop swallowing- and stop spewing bullshit right wing propaganda like this.

      • @Whimsy – I should know better than to feed the trolls, but what they hey, you gave me a great straight line:

        “The ONLY reason its not working now is because the left stuck its head up its ass in the early 70′s and hasn’t pulled it out since.”

        uh, no, actually – that’s ONLY one of many. One the the biggest reasons is that the GOPranos now own the media. Perhaps the ‘liberal media’ existed in the 60’s, but soon after they brought down Nixon, they were bought up by the righties.

        Then Reagan shot down the Fairness Doctrine even as he was whining about bias in the media.

        I already mentioned how the media turned a blind eye to Bush’s lies. There were protest marches against the war in Iraq, but they didn’t get near as much airtime as those in the 60’s. Back then, the cameramen would shoot the crowds from an angle that made them look bigger than they actually were, in the 00’s it was the exact opposite. There was wonderful protest music written and performed, did you hear it played on the radio? Not on Clear Channel you didn’t – the day after 9/11 the nation’s largest radio conglomerate prohibited their stations from playing ‘Give Peace a Chance’ let alone any newer songs. The DJs on our local Rock n Roll stations were actually pimping the Iraq war! Isn’t RnR supposed to be the music of the counter culture?! WTF happend?!

        Ted sez that the OWS movement crashed & burned. Did it? Or was it skwushed & brushed aside? Did you see the coverage on TV? Belittling the protesters; making the gatherings look smaller and fewer than there really were; deliberately blurring the message. Hell, as usual, Tom Tomorrow said it better than I ever could.

      • There is more than a little truth to this analysis. But in fairness, it should be pointed out that the so-called liberal media of the 1960s wasn’t that liberal at all. Many newspaper editorial pages continued to support the Vietnam War long after it was clear that we were losing. Even at the Washington Post, Woodward and Bernstein fought the large-C and small-c conservative tendencies of their editors to get the story of Watergate out.

        Corporate media has always been conservative.

        The difference was that there was a lot more independent print media in the 1960s and 1970s. Craigslist really put an end to that when they wiped out the alternative weeklies.

        Regarding whimsical, the real takeaway from the 1960s and 1970s was that street protests worked. Violent militancy worked. Working within the Democratic Party, even at the time, didn’t work nearly as well. As that was at a time when the Democratic Party was far more welcoming to liberals and progressives.

    • Whim,

      One point. On a lot of things, Ted’s views and mine are pretty much identical. I don’t know how Ted reaches his POVs, but mine are achieved by hearing about the issue, looking at the facts, considering them, and then reaching a conclusion that agrees with those facts.

      So, for instance, I am all for hot-breakfast programs at schools (even though it means I wil pay more in taxes because all the studies show the same thing: two decades later, you have fewer people in prison because they were able to pay attention in school. didn’t fall behind, didn’t drop out, and didn’t have to turn to illegal activities to survive.

      My “opinion” is formed from a rational basis. It is not rational to support a candidate I do not agree with. That isn’t being unreasonable or a Puritan; it’s the whole point of having a democracy.

      • So, for instance, I am all for hot-breakfast programs at schools (even though it means…

        Even though it means being assassinated by Chicago Police, acting the role of Herod to one who threatens to become the Black Messiah, such as Fred Hampton?

      • My views are constructed by talking to people I know are just like me, and deciding that I’m right based on that information….your way sounds really exhausting!

      • Supporting the electable candidate who will implement policies you do not agree 100% with to prevent the electable candidate who will implement policies you disagree 100% with from gaining power is not just a rational position, it is the ONLY rational position.

        Denying the reality that the net effect of anything other than full throated, full bodied support for even the tiniest move left by the Democrats is making it easier for Republicans to win elections is not merely unreasonable, it is the essence of puritanism.

        And frankly, the main reason the country is is the mess it is in now.

      • Lesser-evilism is why the political system is a disaster. Voting strategically is a mindfuck.

        Let me follow you to the logical conclusion, @Whimsical.

        If voting for someone who can’t win is a waste of my vote, then I electability should be part of my calculus, yes? Which is determined how? From polls. Of people who are all, if they are following the Whimsical model, doing the same thing — picking their candidates based on which one is most likely to win. Since I am a likely voter, and they are likely voters, we’re all looking over each other’s collective national shoulders to figure out who’s most likely voting for whom. It’s like a flock of birds that somehow acts collectively, as if controlled by a hive mind.

        And I don’t even believe that polls are often wrong. People say that, but it isn’t true. Polls are basically always right. But I don’t want to live that way.

      • “the electable candidate who will implement policies you do not agree 100% with to prevent the electable candidate who will implement policies you disagree 100% with from gaining power is”

        Is imaginary and doesn’t actually exist. There are no 100% agreeable candidates (…except one’s self) and no 100% disagreeable candidates. Also, because governments are usually made of more than one person, this imaginary 100% agreeable candidate has to work with other people. Compromise is how a republic works, so generally both good and awful Americans, when elected into office, can do little but push forward moderate policies that offend as few people as possible.

        “the main reason the country is is the mess it is in now.”
        …which one, the US is in a lot of messes. It’s the only developed country on the planet that still has a for-profit healthcare system. It’s leading the fight against climate change mitigation. It’s seventeen trillion dollars into the hole because it is unwilling to help the middle class regain 1970s levels of income. It’s still quagmired in two hostile countries. It has kept a few hundred political prisoners in Cuba since 2002. It, on occasion, kills civilians during bombing raids.

        All of those are because not enough people gave “full throated full bodied support” for leftward policies by the Democrats? Okay, fine, I’ll give the Senate 60 Democratic votes and the House 256 or more votes. That will solve all the messes.

      • @Ted

        You don’t want to live what way? In the real world? Yeah, that much is obvious. And were the consequences of your desire not to live in the real world confined to you and you alone, I’d say “go to”.

        But its not- you are hurting real people by your refusal to change your shitty attitude and the shitty election strategy that is a result. YOU are increasing drone strikes. YOU are increasing income inequality. YOU are trying to cause the crash that will put the lunatic right-wing in charge of this country for the foreseeable future.

        And you need to wake up and stop before the crash- because after will be too late. And when you’re living in a fascist theocracy that you helped bring about your regrets- and I promise you, you will have regrets – will solve nothing.

        @artiofab
        Again, you need to be talking to Ted, not me. Ted and the puritans are the ones that would rather empower people they disagree with 100% because they are looking for a candidate they agree with 100%- who, as we both know, doesn’t exist.

        As for the mess the country is in now- the left has enabled the election of politicians that make all of them worse for 40+ years because the alternatives were people that wouldn’t make things better enough, fast enough, to suit the “Puritans”. So they bear are share of the blame for ALL the messes.

      • Well, whimsical, I think we have more than two, but we definitely have to fundamental differences in the way that we see the world.

        First, I am much less interested in conforming to the way things are than in trying to move things toward the way that they ought to be. That is the mark of an idealist, a label that I wear proudly. Interestingly, it’s not like I have failed at this. On a number of things, I have either single-handedly or been part of a group of people who have managed to change the 50 yard line of American politics in a leftward direction. I could list them, but people who are familiar with my work and the results that I have managed to get out of it, will be able to name a few. So you can feel free to dismiss me as naïve and ineffectual, but I know better.

        Second, it is patently absurd to say that the only way that one can move, for example, the Democratic Party to the left is to endorse it in its current center/right configuration unquestioningly and without reservation. It is pretty obvious that no political organization is going to alter its ideology, platform or policies in response to a lack of pressure. Which is what you are endorsing.

        It is also obvious that moving both the Democratic Party and the political system in general to the left is going to require strong pressure by a lot of people. After all, look at the opposite: the far right has successfully managed to move both Republican and Democratic parties to the right over the last 40 to 50 years. And they haven’t done so by being meek or offering their votes to the GOP for free.

        Now personally, I don’t think that either party is malleable or resilient enough to adapt to any sort of pressure toward the left due to the fact that the entire system is so ossified by corporate money – and I don’t see why that or how that would change.

        That’s why revolution is inevitable and required.

      • they are looking for a candidate they agree with 100%- who, as we both know, doesn’t exist.
        You do know that? Because in your previous comment you mentioned 100% candidates. I didn’t know you were using a hyperbolic position to create support for what you titled a rational position.

        Is your point that it’s better to vote for the electable candidate that is 50.1% agreeable if it will prevent the election of candidates who are 50.0% agreeable? Because, as everyone else here is saying, such a statement depends on identifying, before elections, who is or is not an electable candidate. Mitt Romney did not strike me as an electable candidate, but almost 61 million Americans voted for him. Was it better for these people to vote for Romney than (insert other conservative candidate here)?

        I understand the idea behind strategic voting, I’m up in Canada, and strategic voting could have kept the Conservatives from winning a majority government up here. But that’s in a true multi-party system, something which the US is decades away from achieving, if it ever wants to.

        As far as the messes in the US, your hypothesis that “the left has let conservatives drive the political narrative for 40+ years” only makes sense if conservatives had no power of their own. Who voted in the Tea Party reactionaries in 2010 and 2012? It wasn’t me or my fellow leftists, it was the flaying hordes of conservatism, many of whom were angered into action by the merest feints by the 2009-2010 Congress towards some liberal legislation.

    • Spoken as a true DemocRat, Whimsey.

      You are an example of what is liberal, where the only “progress” required to make you happy is more DemocRats winning elections.

      • The only people who deny progress has been made are either a)the aforementioned “Puritans” b) Have their head shoved somewhere so dark no light can penetrate or c) both.

        Of course the progress made has been inadequate. The question is to we build on what we have or destroy it.

        Only “Puritans” think “Hey! We haven’t gone forward enough, so the answer must be empowering people who will take us backwards.!”

      • It’s like when Feinstein was one of the last holdouts refusing to support a Public Option, and we only needed three votes.

        She defended herself by saying that she couldn’t vote for it because “it doesn’t have the votes”.

    • Convenient how the little victories tend to be mostly stuff about domestic civil liberties. And “Vote for our guy because he won’t murder as many people as the other side’s guy” is pretty thin fare as far as arguments go. Meanwhile beat up anyone who wants to talk about people like Jill Stein because they are Breaking a Rule. So brave.

      • The site owner is perfectly within his rights to tell people to go fantasize about third parties somewhere else. Especially since they will never be viable without massive changes in the way we hold and fund elections.

        And thats never going to happen as long as people waste their votes on them in the system we have now.

    • “You act like extrajudicial executions of innocent people and massive spying against everyone is a big deal! What are you-some kind of idealist?”

  • The Ted Rall Racism Trial? Oh, Ted. I am so disappointed in you.

    A trial implies you had a chance of being found not guilty. You were tried, convicted, sentenced and locked away in one of the Obama-approved cages at Gitmo the second you put your blue-eyed-devil hands on your pen.

    • No trial but a show trial.

      There are no censorship laws in America.

      There are only black lists to erase faces out of the group photograph.

  • The Kos Mob is vile. One has to wonder when it reaches the point of actionable legal methods. Calling you anti-gay by deliberately misrepresenting your work? At what point is this slander? Perhaps some legal action is necessary.

  • That’s a good analysis. Good catch about the Scalia nose too.

    Witch hunts don’t generally allow the option of being found innocent.

    Since Daily Kos originally organized in opposition to Bush, they’ve been looking for something they can all do together ever since it became clear that Obama wasn’t turning out so well.

    Is Tim Wise really on board with this foolishness? That’s really disappointing, if so.

    Regarding slander being actionable libel, opinions won’t do it. There have to be demonstrable false claims of action.

  • I would argue that no Democrat since Mondale ran for president on the claim that they were leftist, liberal, or progressive. These were effectively turned into evil words by the right wing. Obama is AT BEST center-right…I have never heard him claim that he is a liberal, or a progressive. Only the lunatic fringe has ever claimed that he is.

    As far as being targetted for the ubiquitous ‘racist’ label…this is how “liberals” bully each other online, Ted. But you know better than to buy this bravo sierra, so why do you continue to harp on it? Do you feel the need to defend yourself against absurdity or are you indulging in the victimhood of it? Not judging, either is a reasonable response. It’s just boring is all.

  • I don’t know why you guys indulge Whimsical. He is one of the worst trolls. Might as well be a computer program repackaging the same broken-record lines. When has he ever offered anything useful. When has he ever demonstrated open-mindedness and value for facts?

    As for the article: he is describing authoritarianism and sado-masichism. It has all been said before, but I still like the way he says it.

  • Read some Bastiat and von Mises and your journey to the Libertarian Dark Side shall be complete. It is your destiny….

    • I know enough about libertarianism to know that it will never be for me, but there are certain aspects of that ideology that I find appealing, namely the distrust of state authority. Anyone who trusts the power elite is bound to be disappointed and to feel very foolish in the short run. The fact that there are so many problems – how do you get anyone to do anything? – doesn’t erase the fact that distrust of authority is always well grounded.

Menu
css.php