I remember instances in high school or junior high when something bad happened to a notoriously bad actor.
In one fight in particular that I watched, no one wanted to stop it. Instead they cheered it on.
It bothered me, deeply. There was a moment of sympathy in seeing what I saw, which was something that I had not thought I was capable of feeling for someone I considered so incredibly unseemly. Perhaps it’s just me, but the idea that someone — even him, a bad person — was disproportionately injured and embarrassed, triggered sympathetic tendencies that I’ve long since carried.
To this day, I don’t like to see anyone, regardless of who they are, treated to mob rule justice.
I’d like to think that most people have an inherent sense of “justice.” No one wants to see someone injured in great disproportion to their crimes. The feeling that I do not like a person should never translate into my relishing in their defeat or injury.
Sure, a bloody nose for a bully is a good thing, as it serves to reorder things. Hopefully, the bully self-corrects and social order re-established. But while a bloody nose is good, beating him to death is not.
It is that kind of over the top counter-reaction — real injurious harm — highly disproportional to that corrective necessity, that brings me pause. Giving in to the indulgent self-satisfaction of vicious reprisal is amoral and wrong, because it lacks the necessary sense of the collective conscience that would act as a natural governor to such situations.
“This is too much, stop hitting him.”
I’m wondering if those tendencies exist anymore. The natural individual inclination toward sympathy tends to morph to bloodlust when a mob encircles someone. There are academic studies that highlight this tendency toward mob action and the abandonment of reason and rationality that it creates. So many studies, in fact, that there is an entire branch of psychology — crowd psychology — devoted to it.
Do people have the ability to put aside their utter and complete disdain for an individual — particularly a political rival — and their hope for harm to befall upon that person, and perhaps even a nation? I don’t think so anymore.
We now live in a world of perpetual pitchforks and torches, which only exacerbates this inclination. Our opinion of political figures is no longer subject to our individual feelings. Opposition is no longer craving merely the deserved embarrassment that comes with a bloody nose, in the hopes that he will self correct. Now it is a reflection of collective rage. Now it is bloodlust.
That is what the FBI’s mission to destroy President Trump is. Pure, 100 percent, unadulterated bloodlust.
All sense of justice, order and the better graces that should consume a fully formed adult conscience have been overshadowed, and it’s extremely bizarre.
The other day I compared the modern political state to a teenage nation. The petty politics of John McCain’s funeral have continued to be the stuff of a high school cafeteria. The petty non-invitation of Sarah Palin. The potshots back and forth. Each side, the Trump folks and the elitist left and their allies in the media continue to volley a barrage of insults at one another. Adults, like John Sununu, have been hard to find.
Meanwhile, really dangerous things happen, and a blind eye is cast.
As we sit gossiping over the rumor mill, obsessing over the superficialities of who is cool, and who isn’t, who is popular, and who isn’t, we degrade ourselves and our culture becomes more corrosive. This is bad enough, but it is all the worse when the game occurs while a legal entity — and a gigantic bureaucracy with unbelievable, overwhelming power — enters the fray, seeking to alter elections and destroy people.
We are no longer talking about a situation that can simply be repaired with better social graces. No, when the highest law enforcement agency in the land becomes the preferred instrument of one side, we are now talking about an entirely different proposition. This is no longer just about the need for better social graces. Much like the problem that plagues the Church, this requires the rank file, the laity, to fix.
Left, right, and everyone in between should drop their pigs-in-a-blanket, and note the seriousness of this problem and demand some answers. Everything we thought about the dossier was and is true. It was a political rouse crafted by someone with admitted political bias and funneled through an outside agency, Fusion GPS, to the FBI. Everyone at the FBI knew. They withheld information from the FISA court and proceeded to get a warrant.
You have a problem with Donald Trump? Fine. Give him the metaphorical bloody nose — chastise him for the stupid things he does and says. I’ve done that.
But what the FBI did, and continues to do, is not a bloody nose. It is several degrees more serious than that. It has lost all sense of proportionality.
And there we sit at the fight, watching it happen, and doing nothing about it while so many seem to be cheering it on.