Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Violent Rhetoric Examples: 2011

EXAMPLES AND ANALYSIS: 2011 Violent Rhetoric
"'Some of what I've heard coming out of Wisconsin, where they're just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally, seems like more of an assault on unions,' explained President Barack Obama, who, unlike governors, can (and does) borrow trillions. The numbers, though, tell us that public-sector unions are the ones assaulting taxpayers and brittle state economies."
-- Columnist David Harsanyi, February 18, 2011, responding to President Obama's remarks two days earlier that there was an "assault" on unions in Wisconsin.

Comment: Harsanyi is rebuking Obama's needless violent metaphor by needlessly applying a violent metaphor in the other direction! Now, it's taxpayers who are facing violence. Except that they're not.

"Some of what I've heard coming out of Wisconsin, where you're just making it harder for public employees to collectively bargain generally seems like more of an assault on unions ... And I think it's very important for us to understand that public employees, they're our neighbors, they're our friends."
-- President Barack Obama, February 16, 2011, commenting on the Wisconsin labor debate.

Comment: "Assault" is an exaggeration, they're not being physically attacked. At best it's an outsized metaphor. And of course we know that public employees are neighbors and friends. Who doesn't realize that? Obama is saying that those who favor restricting collective bargaining for some public sector unions are treating public employees as outsiders. But that's not true. Being opposed to collaborative bargaining doesn't mean thinking of public employees that way. Obama is making a false, derisive accusation.

  • Stop the attack on worker rights [depicts Hitler next to Walker, who has been given a Hitler moustache]
  • Scott Walker = Adolf Hitler "Can you tell the difference" I can't. (If you can't you must be in a coma!) Don't let "this" history repeat itself!!!! 1933 Hitler abolishes unions! Look at history! [Alongside a swastika]
  • Midwest Mussolini
  • Hosni Walker WI dictator
  • Why do Republicans hate people
  • Rape is never a "good choice" (Raping public employers is not the way to balance the budget)
  • Walker the Mubarak of the Midwest
  • Wisconsin's WTF moment Walker Terrorizes Families!!
  • Don't retreat reload repeal Walker [depicts Walker in sniper crosshairs]
  • One dictator down [depicting Hosni Mubarak] One dictator to go [depicting Walker]
  • Egypt showed the way Down with the dictator SocialistWorker.org
  • "...the history of Hitler. In 1933, he abolished unions and that is what our Governor is doing today."
-- Posters displayed by labor protestors at the Madison, WI, demonstrations on February 15, 2011, (many referring to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker). The final quote is not from a poster, it is a remark from Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor (D).

Comment: First, there's the demonizing of saying that Republicans hate people. In other words, "The difference between you and me politically is you hate people, I don't." Second, there's the violent rhetoric, in the form of suggesting Walker be shot, and in the form of exaggerating (well, lying, really) and saying that Walker is committing acts of violence (e.g., rape, terrorism) against people. Lastly, there's the claim that Walker is a dictator on par with Egypt's Hosni Mubarak or Nazi Germany's Adolf Hitler. He's not, he hasn't done anything on par with Mubarak or Hitler. So this is more demonizing. As to the "Walker abolishes unions just like Hitler in 1933" claim, note the differences. (1) Hitler rose to power after unfree, unfair elections that were riddled with violence, both actual and threatened. Not true of Walker. (2) Hitler abolished unions, Walker isn't. He's just curtailing collective bargaining for public (but not private) unions. (3) Walker isn't even abolishing collective bargaining. He's limiting it for some public sector unions. There won't be collective bargaining for pensions and benefits, but it will still be allowed for salaries. So, to put Walker's labor policies on par with Hitler's is just hyperbole and demonizing. And, really, is everyone who opposes collective bargaining (for instance, FDR) on par with Hitler? This is the liberal, progressive version of the "Death panels!" exaggeration.

"Put him back in the fields."
"Cut off his toes one by one and feed them to him."
"What do we do with him? String him up. And his wife, too, let's get rid of Ginny."
"Hang him."
-- Response from protesters at the "Uncloaking the Kochs" event hosted by Common Cause on January 30, 2011, when asked what should be done with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Video was taken by Christian Hartsock, who posed the question to the protesters.

Comment: There's no excuse for these protesters to advocate violence and/or slavery against Thomas because he is a black conservative (rather than a liberal or progressive). This rhetoric is also racist.

No comments: