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Ted Rall: Imagine If the Anti-War Movement Had Razed Washington DC to the Ground (Update: Ted Rall Responds)

John on November 12, 2010 at 5:28 pm

Liberal media outlets continue to find Ted Rall’s advocacy of violence a hoot. Here’s Rall yesterday from the David Pakman show. In this clip, he explains that he’s against the violence of “the system” and then goes on to envision riots that burn Washington DC to the ground.

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You can listen to the full clip here. I wonder if David Pakman, who I don’t know and no nothing about, was still thinking Rall was so amusing after that statement? Maybe so.

What’s astounding to me is the double standard. A few years ago there was tremendous outrage when Ann Coulter said “My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building.” More recently, Paul Krugman was in a tizzy over a map that appeared on Sarah Palin’s Facebook page. Any language that even hinted at violence was beyond the pale, he tut-tutted (ignoring that the DCCC had done the same thing). And of course gallons of ink have been spilled trying to connect Glenn Beck to a two-time felon who wanted to shoot some people at the Tides foundation. Message: The right is violent and dangerous.

But when President Obama told a radio audience to “punish your enemies” a few days before the election Krugman was conspicuously quiet about it. And now we have a well-known, award winning cartoonist/journalist traveling the country telling anyone who will listen that it’s time to burn some shit down and pick up guns. And what is the response from the left? Bemusement that the right is so bothered by it.

I have yet to see a single credible voice on the left denounce what Rall is advocating. Not one. Not even the easily outraged Glenn Greenwald or the equally sensitive Andrew Sullivan. Both of them have made a career denouncing “eliminationist rhetoric” but when it’s staring them in the face in the form of Ted Rall, they say nothing. Why is that exactly?

For the record, I’m not saying it should be off limits to have a discussion about the history of various movements and what they accomplished. But Rall has gone well beyond discussion to advocacy. It goes without saying that if anyone on the right had said half the things Rall has in favor of violence, they would be a lifelong pariah for it.

Update: Ted Rall responds in the comments. Needless to say I don’t find it convincing (see my response below).

BTW, let’s keep in mind that even if Rall wants to make threats against people like, well, the people who visit this blog, there’s no need to respond in kind. We don’t win by sinking to his level. So keep it civil, because hard as that is sometimes, it’s the right thing to do.

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Category: Secularism & Socialism |

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