24 May

Has It Really Come to This?

When I woke up today, I didn’t think I’d be defending Tomi freaking Lahren, but here we are.
First things first: I don’t like Tomi Lahren. Never have. I think she’s vacuous and detrimental to the overall public debate and I really wish networks would stop giving her air time and people would stop taking her seriously.
That said, I can’t believe the LA Times would print an article that basically justifies someone throwing water on Ms. Lahren. I don’t care what you say or what positions you take, the thought of using physical violence (and throwing water on someone can definitely be categorized as such) to silence someone and/or punish them for their words is completely anathema to what I believe.

Mr. Fleisher (the article’s author) posits that, while cathartic to the Left, throwing water (or anything, really) at political opponents shouldn’t become the norm because someone the Left idolizes might fall victim to the same tactics.
This is America. Let’s get real: We know exactly where this is going to take us. The Obamas, or Oprah, or some other figurehead of grace, dignity and earnest expression will be out for a quiet meal and a knuckledragger will throw something far worse than water in their direction.
However, even after decrying them, Mr. Fleischer does think these tactics can have some positive real world results.
A splash of water to the face, on the other hand, is a wake-up call. Words have consequences.
Those groups of people I casually marginalize from the comfort of my home or television studio? I may one day have to step outside my media bubble and confront them in the physical world. Not for the benefit of an audience, but on a human level.
He concludes by affirming that Ms. Lahren earned the water that was thrown on her. She earned it by being a disingenuous huckster of right-wing garbage. He also hopes that we don’t fall into the habit of confronting political opponents with water (or fists or feces or whatever) because those who want to have an honest and true discussion about politics and policies might be dissuaded from doing so under the threat of violence.
You can’t have it both ways. You can’t say that Ms. Lahren deserved what happened to her (no one deserves that), while simultaneously saying that taking such action will keep the earnest and true believers from engaging in public discourse. Which is it? Should we physically punish our political opponents or should we act like a civilized society?
Choose your side. I know exactly on which side of this issue I stand. How about you?
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