Publicly Answering Ted Rall’s Challenge: Part 2

One more thing about Ted Rall’s challenge. This part of Rall’s latest post is actually ironic given things that Ted has written in the past…

“Suffice it to say, this stuff pisses me off and should not be tolerated by anyone who purports to be a law-abiding American. And again: mainstream blogs like Kos should delete this sh*t as soon as it appears–as should the nasty right-wing sites like Little Green Footballs.

Has the challenge been met? Yes. The scale may not quite be the same, but there is clearly a significant amount of leftie hate speech out there to match the crap the righties put out. I can’t shame the righties into doing anything, but to readers who agree with me about anything, please consider what this does to us and how it invalidates our arguments.”

This is rich coming from a guy who seems to think people who own SUVs deserve to be targeted by molotov cocktail throwing ecoterrorists

“…In an ideal world, American consumers could be convinced to do the right thing through an appeal to logic with public service messages like the “What Would Jesus Drive?” TV campaign, but the kind of people who would buy a car that increases the risk to other motorists in an accident can’t be reasoned with. They’re selfish and stupid. It’s unfortunate that drivers must worry that their SUVs are being targeted by insulting stickers and Molotov cocktails, but one thing’s for sure: It couldn’t be happening to a more deserving group of people.”

In this column, Rall seems to be coming very close to endorsing left-wing bombings in the United States (emphasis mine),

The United States is living under ideological apartheid. There are many more of us than there are corporatist neofascists, but as any prison inmate can attest, numerical superiority does not assure victory. Excluded from access to mainstream politics and media, measured and even-toned opponents are ignored and marginalized.

The current situation calls for radical, loud, even ugly, tactics. Nelson Mandela, fighting the racist white minority government of South Africa, resorted to building bombs to loosen the grip of apartheid. Here in America, one unfair, dissembling movie by a liberal loudmouth like Michael Moore, no matter how successful, could never be powerful enough to counter the millions of conservative lies disseminated by thousands of talk radio stations and newspapers every minute of every day of every year. But it’s a beginning.”

Here are some excerpts from another “peaceful” sounding Rall column, “Smashing Windows for a Better World?“…

“If anyone needed a reminder that violence and publicity for protest movement are directly related, the disruption of the Summit of the Americas in Quebec City last weekend provides a classic example of doing good while throwing hard objects at big sheets of glass.

…Lefties just don’t seem to get this fundamental truth of politics: Not only has there never been a revolution without violence, but there’s never been meaningful social change without violence or at least the threat thereof. Mahatma Gandhi helped get the British out, but India remains as desperately poor and burdened by caste issues as ever. And the civil rights movement’s nonviolent marches took place against a backdrop of urban riots that helped force terrified white politicians to address racial discrimination.

…The struggle against free trade is far from over. But the Quebec protesters gave notice to leaders of other cities that they’ll pay a high cost for hosting such gatherings in the future. The anarchokids, with their willingness to break things, put this pressing issue back on the front burner where it belongs.”

How can Ted Rall be shocked by “leftie hate speech?” Doesn’t he read his own columns? It’s very hypocritical for Rall to appear to give the thumbs up to ecoterrorism, throwing molotov cocktails at SUVs, riots, and even bombings and then claim to be shocked and dismayed that his ideological soulmates are wishing death on people. Quite frankly, what Rall has written is worse than the “death threats” he’s complaining about — which for the most part seem to be little more than crude internet versions of the sort of dumb joke John Kerry told about Dan Quayle back in 1988…

“Somebody told me the other day that the Secret Service has orders that if George Bush is shot, they’re to shoot Quayle. There isn’t any press here, is there?”

In other words, writing “I hope person X gets hit by a truck” in a comments section may be a crass & stupid thing to do, but it doesn’t compare to actually endorsing violent acts or the destruction of other people’s property in a column or cartoon that’s read by millions of people.

So I’m glad to see Ted Rall asking people on the left not to post those types of comments, that’s good advice for conservatives or liberals. But while Ted’s at it, maybe he should consider what his own writing “does to us and how it invalidates our arguments” and disavow some of the things he himself has written.

Hat tip to The Evangelical Outpost for pointing out the last two Rall columns linked.

PS: This was initially going to be a third update to the original post, but because it was fairly long, it has been more than 24 hours since the original post, and since Ted is supposed to be doing a contest wrap-up on Monday, I thought this should be a separate entry. This was actually posted at 4:07 AM on Sunday the 27th.

*** Update #2 ***: Here’s the final word on the challenge from Ted Rall

“…But back to the discussion at hand. I’ll reiterate: I am surprised at the amount of vicious, specific threats of violence directed toward conservative personalities by supposed progressives. That kind of schoolyard bullying makes us no better than the Republicans we claim to despise for their “bomb first, ask questions later” approach to diplomacy. As everybody knows, I don’t shy away from harsh language; I rather specialize in it. But I draw the line at threats, real or implied, against people with whom I disagree. Once you start to do that, after all, you’ve admitted defeat because you couldn’t argue against your foe based on the merits of your point of view. And it’s a gutter tactic running against the very essence of the First Amendment.

So. Does the left give back as much as the right? In my heart of hearts, I’d say the right-wing challenge didn’t change my mind entirely. I think the right does it more. But, as a conservative blogger wrote elsewhere, it’s much easier to notice when it’s your side being attacked. I notice the attacks against progressives more, so they hurt more. Bottom line: it’s impossible to quantify the hatred on both sides and determine who does it more.”

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