It’s been a long time since I’ve gotten hate mail. And, oh, how I’ve missed it.
Five years ago when I was a leftist op/ed columnist for my college paper the hate mail would come in regularly as I delivered a new radical assault against the Iraq War, the Bush administration, and the Conservative Movement each week.
This one did not come as the result of a piece I’d written but as something I’d done. After weeks of putting up with “Pbrauer,” one of NewsReal’s leftist trolls, I finally decided to ban him. The previous day I’d given him a warning and he’d decided to ignore it. …
He sent me an angry email in response to his banishment. It was every bit as ad hominem as his comments:
Your response was not at all unexpected, frankly I am surprised that I lasted this long at David Horowitz’ blog. He wouldn’t know the truth if it was staring him in the face. Or maybe he would, but would not admit because it didn’t fit his agenda.
You as young man at the tender age of 25, idolize this creep? He is on the fringe, you are on the fringe, of reality that is. Horowitz was once on the radical left, now he is on the radical right. The term “Koolaid Drinking” comes from the fact that the followers of Jim Jones drank Koolaid laced with cyanide. While I wouldn’t equate Horowitz exactly with Jim Jones, I would say your dedication to a man so distructive is not far off.
When I said you had an unfortunate surname, I meant no harm. Most normal people would have responded with “Yeah, Tell me about it.” But you chose demonize me and tell me I am horrible human being , that told me more about you and your radical agenda than you know.
Please tell Tim and Alissa Birkel, that it my plan to email Rachel Maddow to call them out and publicly invite them on the show. I will provide links to their posts critical to her. Maybe she will and maybe she won’t. I think it’s worth a try.
Rachel Maddow and Media Matters are targets because they are so effective in getting out the truth.
What struck me most about Pete AKA Pbrauer’s hate mail was what I’ve emphasized above. Look at the way he uses the term “the truth.” In his opening paragraph he notes that Horowitz cannot see “the truth.” He concludes by noting that Media Matters and Rachel Maddow are great at getting out “the truth.”
This is the way religious fundamentalists talk. (And note I’m not referring here to the many friendly Christians who comment at NewsReal.) Without even realizing it, Pbrauer affirmed the validity of the central thesis of my favorite Horowitz text, The Politics of Bad Faith. (He’s not the first leftist I’ve encountered who has done this.) For much of the Left they do not have political ideas or opinions. They have political Truth. The Left is a political religion.
And leftists’ behavior reflects that. There is a connection between Pbrauer’s political religion and the behavior he exhibited at NewsReal that caused him to be banned. He never really engaged us in dialogue. His objective was always to sabotage with ad hominem attacks. And the reason is simple: why be in dialogue with someone when they’re pushing a lie? With Pbrauer — and others like him — it is NEVER an exchange of ideas. That’s not what interests them. They have all the correct ideas — The Truth — and we’re just the unsaved heathens who need to hear the leftist gospel.
(HH here: this rings so true when you look at my most recent post! Dana Cloud showed every symptom of religious fanaticism.)
Now there are certainly conservatives that talk and think this way too. I cringe every time I get an email in which a conservative supporter emails me talking about their political opinions as though they were “the Truth.” And I wince when conservatives refuse to consider ideas from the Left or even to have leftist friends. Adopting such an approach perverts conservatism into a Political Faith instead of a coherent, intellectual approach.