Some Lessons about Intimidation—From The Murder Of Pim Fortuyn To The Threats Against Conservatives After Arizona
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I've been thinking about Pim Fortuyn (pictured) the last few days since the Tucson shooting and the liberal media's shameful response of blaming conservatives. Fortuyn was the Dutch columnist and politician who warned about the dangers of Muslim immigration and was assassinated in 2002 for telling that controversial truth.

Killer Volkert van der Graaf, initially characterized by the press as an animal rights advocate, eventually admitted that he shot Fortuyn to defend Dutch Muslims from"persecution".

Where would van der Graaf get such an idea? Perhaps from the non-stop campaign of vilification and lies from the liberal Dutch press and leftist political opponents portraying Fortuyn as a fascist and extremist for discussing Muslim immigration. Socialists called him a "racist demagogue"even after the assassination.

Once a person has been successfully branded as a racist, then violence may follow, such as the excrement pies flung at Fortuyn preceding a press conference during his run for the Dutch Parliament before his murder.

Dehumanize and demonize – the strategy of portraying someone as outside the acceptable views of society is a lot like the Alinski Rules for Radicals to ”Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Shorthand for that scheme is to use a bogus accusation of ”racism.” So convenient – who needs a reasoned discussion of issues?

Top targets for the condemnation by the left today are the Tea Party, sovereignty-border defenders, anyone criticizing Obama, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Governor Jan Brewer and others. The death threats against Sarah Palin have increased to an ”unprecedented level” since she was blamed for the Tucson massacre.

One Tea Party leader was frightened enough by death threats to stay home from the Tucson memorial service on Wednesday. Intimidation works, particularly against citizens who cannot afford private security like wealthy media figures such as Bill O’Reilly.

Tucson Tea Party Leader Says Threats Are Keeping Him Away From Obama Rally, Talking Points Memo, January 12, 2011

TUCSON, AZ – Trent Humphries, the leader of the largest tea party group in this mourning southern Arizona city, has nothing but praise for the way President Obama has led the nation through the aftermath of Saturday’s mass shooting at a constituent event for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). But Humphries won’t be there tonight when Obama speaks at a memorial rally intended to unify Tucson after six people were killed in the tragedy.

Humphries says he’s been getting threats at his home from people who seem to hold him and his organization partially responsible for the shootings Saturday. [. . .]

”We had people say, ”too bad it wasn’t your family that was killed,’” Humphries told me. Other angry calls have come in as well. ””The blood of that little girl on your hands,’” Humphries recalled one message saying.

But it was a new call that came in this week that Humphries said had him staying out of public view for a while.

”It was something like ”we hate you and we’re going to stand against you and we’re going to use our First and Second Amendment rights to stop you,’” Humphries told me.

The good news is that the American people have too much common sense to be hoodwinked by lefty pundits, as shown by recent polls:

Most Doubt Political Rhetoric a Major Factor in Ariz. Shootings; Four in 10 say it was not a factor at all; 22%, a minor factor, Gallup, January 12, 2011

PRINCETON, NJ – A new USA Today/Gallup poll finds Americans dubious that the heated language used in politics today was a major factor that influenced the alleged gunman in last week’s shootings in Tucson, Ariz. Twenty percent say such rhetoric was a major factor in the shootings, while 22% cite it as a minor factor; 42% say it was not a factor at all. Democrats are more likely than independents or Republicans to believe political debate played a role.

And also:

Most Americans View Arizona Shootings As Random Act of Violence, Not Politics Rasmussen Reports, January 12, 2011

Americans have closely followed news stories about the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the killing of six others in Arizona on Saturday, and most don’t feel politics was the cause of it.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 28% of Adults say the shooting in Arizona was the result of political anger in the country. Fifty-eight percent (58%) say instead that it was a random act of violence by an unstable person. Fourteen percent (14%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Sixty-eight percent (68%) of Republicans and 56% of adults not affiliated with either of the major political parties view the shooting as a random act of violence. Even Democrats by a 48% to 37% margin agree, although leading members of their party have attributed the shootings to a climate of anger they say has been generated by opponents of President Obama.

The bad news is that elite pundits have used inflammatory lies to amp up the danger to citizens who hold non-liberal views. The point is to silence voices who demand responsible spending in Washington as well as border enforcement. It’s a tough job, but the left has strong firepower in the mainstream media, from the snotty New York Times to gutter-trolling MSNBC. If a few Tea Party members get trampled in the process, that’s just so much road kill.

The left is still slack-jawed and furious at the electoral success of the Tea Party, a grass-roots movement composed of traditional Americans advocating reform, because liberals curiously see themselves as being superior and more virtuous. They believe diversity is the highest good, so who needs law, borders and financial responsibility? It’s a clash of values, and not a small one.

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