Posted by Rich Trzupek
We hear a lot about the tea party movement’s supposed potential to inspire violence an awful lot from the left and their allies in the lamestream media. It’s a predictable response to a powerful grass-roots movement that they aren’t capable of understanding: crank up the fear machine boys! If bogus charges of racism won’t stick and if the tea parties themselves are peaceful – if passionate – protests, then you have to find some theme with which to frighten independent middle-America away from a movement to which they would otherwise instinctively sympathize with.
To wit: OK, maybe the tea-partiers themselves aren’t violent, but by expressing their anger with regard to big government, they will surely inspire some fringe nut-job to violence!
Bill Clinton, in his recent New York Times Op-Ed said that it’s fair to draw “…parallels to the time running up to Oklahoma City and a lot of the political discord that exists in our country today.” ABC News dutifully picked up on the theme:
“Watch your words,” warned ABC News, reporting that Clinton “weighed in on the angry anti-government rhetoric, ringing out from talk radio to Tea Party rallies.”
Got all that? Millions of Americans can band together to peacefully protest the incursions of swelling bureaucracies into their private lives and their government’s assumption of crippling debt, but they’re – by definition – dangerous, because they might inspire some lunatic into an act of violence. If that’s truly the issue, why doesn’t the MSM apply the same standard when it comes to another wildly-popular movement that, despite the fact that the vast majority of its adherents are peaceful activists, inspires violence not in theory, but in fact?
I refer, of course, to the environmental movement, which has inspired lunatic, fringe organizations and deluded individuals to commit acts of violence that have resulted in the destruction of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of personal property and threatens innocent workers with injury or death unless they toe the green line.
Let’s begin with the words of a couple of “mainstream” environmental organizations and apply the “tea party test” to their words. Greenpeace first:
Today, we have grown from a small group of dedicated activists to an international organization with offices in more than 30 countries. But our spirit and our mission remain the same. Our fight to save the planet has grown more serious – the threat of global warming, destruction of ancient forests, deterioration of our oceans, and the threat of a nuclear disaster loom large.
Then there’s the Natural Resources Defense Council:
Devastating heat waves sweeping across continents. Poisonous plants producing more potent toxins. Air quality plummeting on summer days. Disease-carrying insects swarming mountain villages. These scenarios aren’t the recipe for a summer disaster movie. They’re some of the widespread health consequences caused by global warming.
If these organizations believe that the supposed threat to the well-being of our entire planet “has grown more serious” and that “a summer disaster movie” don’t begin to cover the danger, is it any surprise that fringe organizations like the Earth Liberation Front would take the green cause to the next level? From the North American Earth Liberation Front Press Office’s website:
The earth is not dying, it is being killed. And those that are killing it have names and addresses. What are you doing tonight?
Had a tea-partier or an anti-abortion group published an equivalently ominous message, can you imagine the righteous outrage such a statement would generate among the MSM? How would Keith Olbermann or the Times have reacted if some loony had said: “Your liberties have not been misplaced, they are being stolen. And those that are stealing them have names and addresses. What are you doing tonight?” The left and the MSM would sound the alarm bell and they would be correct in doing so.
I cannot help but wonder: why is supposedly inflammatory rhetoric from the right that doesn’t generate actual violence among fringe elements on our side defined as dangerous, while inflammatory environmental rhetoric from the left that results in documented acts of fringe violence gets a free pass?
I’m not claiming that Greenpeace, NRDC, the Sierra Club, et al support, or even sympathize with, violent eco-terrorist groups, but ELF, the Animal Liberation Front, Earth First and all the rest would have no reason to exist but for the hysterical rhetoric that mainstream environmental groups spew forth on a daily basis. If the tea-partiers are supposed to prospectively take ownership of “anti-government” violence that hasn’t actually occurred, why shouldn’t the green movement be held accountable for the hundreds of documented cases of eco-terrorism, millions of dollars worth of destruction and injuries that have happened in the real world?
If one wasn’t so certain that liberals and journalists in the MSM are motivated by only the noblest of intentions, one might suspect the existence of some sort of double-standard. Ah, but what do I know? I’m just a crabby old conservative.