Liberalism wants you to be a victim. It's as simple as that. Dr. Ben Carson discovered this last week when he was roundly criticized for radically suggesting Jews in Nazi Germany may have fared better if they weren't unarmed and helpless.
Ben Carson, Republican 2016 U.S. presidential candidate (Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
First, in a book published recently, Carson said this:
German citizens were disarmed by their government in the late 1930s, and by the mid-1940s Hitler's regime had mercilessly slaughtered six million Jews and numerous others whom they considered inferior ... Through a combination of removing guns and disseminating deceitful propaganda, the Nazis were able to carry out their evil intentions with relatively little resistance.
Then on Thursday, CNN asked him to explain his comments, because "it's harder to kill people when they can kill you back" is apparently a difficult concept to grasp. Carson elaborated, saying:
I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed. There's a reason these dictatorial people take the guns first.
This is not remotely offensive or outrageous. There's nothing wrong with discussing how a tragic event might have been avoided. In fact, I'd argue the opposite is the case. Yet, per tradition, liberals found a reason to feel personally injured by these rather obvious and uncontroversial remarks. Whining and indignation grew on social media and the blogosphere, and we were all treated to some really bizarre headlines like this one:
"Ben Carson says guns may have stopped Holocaust"
Uh. Well. Yes... and? Obviously guns not only could have stopped the Holocaust but did. The Nazis didn't just get bored one day and stop. A bunch of men with guns marched on Nazi armies and righteously slaughtered them. With guns (and bombs and tanks). Men with guns used their guns to convert living Nazis into dead Nazis. This is how people like Nazis are beaten. You kill them. With guns. Is anyone actually suggesting otherwise?
No, not really. Liberals couldn't articulate a specific disagreement with Carson's point, just a sort of general feeling of unease and contempt. These days, if you haven't noticed, people tend to think mocking an opinion is the same thing as debunking or disproving it. Indeed, out of all the people shouting "BEN CARSON THINKS GUNS COULD HAVE STOPPED THE NAZIS OMG WHAT AN IDIOT" barely any of them, from what I saw, even tried to explain why he's wrong. I tried to coax an explanation out of them but, as usual, it felt like I was dealing with my 2-year-old daughter. Tell Daddy what's wrong. Calm down and tell Daddy why you're crying. Use your words, sweetie. Can you use your words?
Mother Jones attempted to use their words, but the author admitted he knew nothing about the subject and proceeded to quote Wikipedia at length. When he finally got around to making a counter argument, he surmised that the Jews would have been ineffective had they staged a concentrated armed rebellion. They would have died, the author asserted. He just forgot to mention that they died anyway, so perhaps it's not totally crazy to conclude that history might have played out differently if the Jews hadn't been disarmed in 1938. Without guns, the Jewish population was almost wiped off the map. With guns? Well, we don't know. But is it crazy to think their persecution may have been diminished if the Nazi goons were met with gunfire when they came to drag the Jews to death camps?
Adolf Hitler and his chief of police Heinrich Himmler inspecting the SS Guard.(Getty Images)
Admittedly, there is more to the historical story. Not all German citizens were disarmed. Hitler's rise to power and his quest for world domination were aided not only by the fact that his subjects couldn't oppose him, but that many weren't willing to. Non-Jewish citizens could have banded together and risen up in armed defiance, but they didn't. They cooperated. They stayed silent. They went along. They were duped, which Carson alluded to when he mentioned Nazi propaganda. And those who weren't duped were apathetic or even enthusiastic. Hitler was a popular figure in the early going, and when he wasn't popular anymore he was feared.
Still, in reality, Hitler was a washed up tramp who in many ways managed to bluff his way to power then bluff his way to conquering surrounding countries without much blowback from his citizens or other world powers. One of the great tragedies of this period in history is precisely that he could have been exposed and destroyed at various points during this process had there been a will for it. Among the greater population, with the exception of a few isolated conspiracies and assassination plots, there wasn't a will. Among the Jews after they were disarmed, there wasn't a means.
Carson, I'm sure, would agree that a citizenry should be armed and vigilant. The problem in Germany — and in the countries outside it — was the lack of vigilance. So if Carson was wrong, he was only half wrong. Guns and the willingness to use them would have, and eventually did, stop Hitler. Carson didn't say that specifically, but he didn't say anything that contradicts it either. It was an incomplete thought, but not an entirely incorrect one.
The real lesson here is important: We must be able and willing to defend ourselves. Whether individually against criminals and killers or collectively against despots and dictators, we must have both the means and the courage to resist.
Liberalism, however, opposes self-defense in principle. It opposes any attempt to empower potential victims. It opposes any real effort to take power away from the bad guy by giving it to his would-be prey. It thinks victimhood is an ideal, not something to be defended against. It wants you to be a victim. Plain and simple. And this is what really drives their outrage in these situations.
Another example: A college professor recently went on CNN saying if college students could carry guns, he wouldn't want to give them failing grades because he'd be afraid they'd shoot him. That kind of logic simply makes him a fool and a coward, but it's the next part that makes him potentially insane. When asked if he'd prefer to have armed students in his class should a crazed gunman ever enter, he said this: "First of all, I don’t want to turn my classroom into the gunfight at the economics corral, that’s for sure."
Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Hold on. There's a mass murderer in your classroom, and you don't want anyone to try and shoot back at him? You'd rather he mow you all down? You'd rather sit there helplessly while he ushers you into the middle of the room and systematically executes you? If you didn't know any better, you'd think this man must be suicidal. Or a Buddhist. Or a lunatic. But he isn't any of those things, exactly — he's a liberal. This is the sort of thought process liberalism encourages. Better to be a victim, liberalism says. Better to die quietly.
Another area where this masochistic, unhinged "don't tell people to defend themselves" idea flourishes is rape. Last weekend, hundreds of feminists gathered in Los Angeles for a rape-themed event called a "SlutWalk." SlutWalks are an international "movement," with dozens held all over the world every year. This particular "Slut" party was organized by an alleged celebrity named Amber Rose, who appears to be moderately famous for sleeping with Kanye West.
The protest (or whatever you call it) involved a bunch of young women parading around naked or in lingerie, holding signs and chanting slogans like "My P***y, My Choice" and "No Shame In My Slut Game." The women spoke proudly of their self-described "sluttiness" and complained about the patriarchy and sexual repression and yadda yadda. But a SlutWalk's primary goal is to make a statement against "victim blaming," in keeping with the original SlutWalk (I know you were hoping to read a history on SlutWalks today, so you're welcome), which started in Canada after a police officer proposed that women should "avoid dressing like sluts in order not to be victimized."
So, aside from being an opportunity for feminists to engage in Sodom and Gomorrah-esque hedonistic displays, SlutWalks mostly aim to reinforce the notion that women should never adjust their behavior to avoid being victims of sexual violence. They run around naked in the street because being naked in the street doesn't mean you want to be raped. One wonders if they also run around naked in the snow in February because being naked in the snow in February doesn't mean you want hypothermia.
They're correct, obviously, when they say no violent rapist can be excused just because a woman was dressed provocatively — or not at all. Everyone outside of the Middle East agrees on that point (noticeably, they aren't planning any SlutWalks in Iran anytime soon). But they're wrong — horribly, terribly, dangerously wrong — when they suggest that we should not teach young women to guard themselves against such attacks. Feminists and liberals are so passionately opposed to females protecting themselves that they even went after Miss Nevada last year when she encouraged women to take martial arts classes. They accused her of "victim blaming" and "rape culture" because she dared empower women to take active steps to prevent their own victimization.
Liberals contend that women shouldn't be taught how to avoid rape because "men should just be taught not to rape," which is, quite honestly, the dumbest false dichotomy in the history of false dichotomies. Obviously men should be told not to commit rape, just as they should be told not to commit school shootings, just as they should be told not to commit genocides, but the sad reality is that these things will happen no matter how often we scold the rapists, shooters and genocidal maniacs in our midst. The next step, then, is to equip and empower the possible victims.
It's good for women to learn self-defense moves. It's good for them to carry weapons if they want to. And it's good, first and foremost, for them to avoid putting themselves in vulnerable positions. Go to any college bar on any given night and you will find women stumbling around drunk and half-conscious while dressed in a manner deliberately meant to provoke sexual attention from men. It's a dangerous and reckless way to spend an evening. It has no chance of leading to a positive outcome. It's not wise. They shouldn't be doing it. We should all agree that dressing very immodestly around a bunch of drunk young men is not a productive or safe activity. Yes, the men shouldn't take advantage, but some will. When you flaunt yourself in front of men — particularly where there's drinking involved — you increase your chances of being the target for such crimes. As a society, we should encourage women to decline to partake in these activities. I will certainly teach my own daughter not to dress like a stripper, first of all because it's immoral, but second and importantly because it attracts the gaze of the wrong kind of men.
But feminists want us to actively endorse reckless behavior because they think a woman wandering about half naked and inebriated is some kind of protest against sexual violence. It isn't. It's an opportunity for sexual violence. And it's not a good idea. Women shouldn't do it.
Citizens should be armed. Victims should fight back. Women shouldn't put themselves in compromising situations. These are obvious, common sense, compassionate, humane, logical, moral, necessary, urgent concepts. Only recently have they become controversial, and they are controversial only because liberalism wishes to create more victims.
What's next? Will I be "victim blaming" or participating in "excusing pedophiles" if I play it safe and tell my kids to pass by the sex offender's house on Halloween? Will I be offending people who die in car crashes without a seat belt on if I recommend that people put their seat belts on to escape the possibility of a similar result? Will we disarm our military and send them into war zones packing water balloons and tickle feathers because it's offensive to insinuate that guns can kill bad guys?
How far does this go?
I don't even want to know.
Liberals think victimhood is our highest calling. Well, I suppose they will go off and fulfill that vocation if they must. But the rest of us should carry on being sane adults, and that means protecting ourselves.
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