Narrative Wrestling

From Mr Klavan.

The idea behind all this is that the side that wins the narrative will then acquire the power to convince ill-informed Americans that they should… whatever… go on giving tax dollars to Planned Parenthood’s baby-killing mills… or give up their right to bear arms… or give up their constitutional protection to practice their religion… or whatever bright and shiny slavery the left has cooked up to remake the world in their ever-so-virtuous image.

Jim Geraghty presents a practical list of examples of narrative spinning (there’s links and more there):

Let me get this straight. In the eyes of the Left …

…criticism of Planned Parenthood means something like the shooting in Colorado “was bound to happen“…

… but chants where people describe police as “pigs” and call for them to be “fried like bacon” don’t lead to attacks on police…

… when an event by Pamela Geller is targeted by an Islamist shooter, it is “not really about free speech; it [is] an exercise in bigotry and hatred” and the attempt to kill her means she has “achieved her provocative goal”…

… while at the same time, investigators contend we may never know what motivated a 24-year-old Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez to kill four Marines and a sailor in an attack on Chattanooga’s U.S. Naval and Marine Reserve Center last July…

… a shooting by a diagnosed schizophrenic, who believed that grammar was part of a vast, government-directed mind control effort, is characterized by the Southern Poverty law Center as having views that are the “hallmark of the far right and the militia movement”…

… while the shooter who opened fire in the lobby of the Family Research Council in downtown Washington in 2012, who planned to target the Traditional Values Coalition next, does not spur any need for a broader discussion or societal lessons about the demonization of political opponents…

… a California killer, who was treated by multiple therapists and already had police checking on him after posting disturbing YouTube videos, is a reflection of “sexist society”…

… but there’s little reason to ask whether the Oregon shooter’s decision to target Christians reflects a broader, societal hostility to Christians, or whether it reflects his personal allegiance to demons…

… when white supremacist Dylann Roof commits an act of mass murder in an African-American church, Salon declares, “White America is complicit” and the Washington Post runs a column declaring, “99 percent of southern whites will never go into a church, sit down with people and then massacre them. But that 99 percent is responsible for the one who does”…

… but the Roanoke shooter’s endless sense of grievance and perceptions of racism and homophobia in all of his coworkers represents him and him alone…

Do I have all that right? [snip]

As much as I agree with the above, it still doesn’t address what, ultimately, is really going on. Ace really covers this after acknowledging all the aspects raised above:

The left engages, as I say, in magical thinking, but they dress up their primitive, archaic superstitious — barely — in allegedly “scientific” garb. Thus we get the “Gaia Hypothesis,” proposing that the earth is actually a self-protecting deity — metaphorically, you understand; the left wouldn’t say the earth is actually a goddess. That’s far too medieval for them. So they say it is metaphorically a goddess, and just happens to behave in every single fashion the way an actual goddess would, including raining fire and damnation upon those who offend Her.

Now, if you want to take that metaphor and maybe believe it’s a bit more real than that… well, you’re welcome to. But We didn’t say She was actually a God. We just said She was metaphorically a goddess. Though We can quite understand how you could mistake Her for a real one…

In the case of speech, the left similarly engages in speak-of-the-devil/jinks/curse-type thinking to claim that any Evil Words they don’t like will bring Evil Itself into the real world. The mechanism they propose for this is not straight magic, as the old version of the superstition had it.

No, just like they dress up their Goddess Earth language in some minor trappings of modernity, they have a different mechanism by which to explain how Evil Words work actual Evil in the real world: Because you add to the “atmosphere of hate” and the “climate of fear” and etc..

Rather than your words working in the magical aether that surrounds and interpenetrates the Material Plane, your words instead work by spreading mental contagions among the herdlike populations of human beings living upon this earth (curse them!).

The mechanism has undergone a slight modernization and rationalization — your Evil Words lead, through social intercourse, to a Rube Goldberg type contraption where a single falling domino winds up, many collisions and contacts down the line, in a shooting at an abortion clinic — but in broad summary this is no different at all from the various prohibitions against Speaking Evil.

It’s magic — but We are just too sophisticated now to call it that. We have new words to call Evil Magic Words, and those new words are “Rhetoric of Hatred.”

After which is a link to another post by Ace that lays the groundwork for the explanation of the left as religious nuts – or Bad Secularists:

We live in an age of religious hysteria. And the religious hysteria is not coming from the usual quarters, the self-acknowledged religious. Instead it comes from the irreligious, whose liberation from god only loosens the leash of their illogic and preference for mythic structures over reality.

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