The lie goes something like this: “If you don’t have anything nice to say, then don’t say anything at all.” It derives, like so much bad advice, from a Biblical proverb — in this case 16:23 “The hearts of the wise make their mouths prudent, and their lips promote instruction.”
Eric Stalwell, five-term US congressman at the ripe old age of 40, when asked by The Atlantic how he deals with people ‘across the aisle’ who encouraged and accepted domestic terrorism, says “I don’t want to look at them.”
He’s struggling, and he’s not alone.
How exactly are we supposed to co-exist with people we abhor. What, just not look at them? That won’t work. It would be like walking through a forest blindfolded.
We could try ostracising them, but that wouldn’t work either. It’s a peculiar feeling, having to work (gods forbid live) with your ideological opposite and NOT punch them in the throat. I mean that metaphorically, of course.
Because these people absolutely deserve that metaphorical punch. It’s why Lauren Boebert, for example, carries a gun. She knows the punch is coming, so she’s packin’.
People carry weapons because they’re scared. It is literally the only reason. Whether they dress it up as a ‘right’ or as mere pragmatism; whatever, these chickenshits are packin’ because they’re packing.
Let’s see how useful their guns are against our words. Even ultimate losers like Blair Cottrell, criminal, former Lad and founder of the defunct United Patriots Front here in Oz understand this.
Because why should we turn our cheeks to their insults and aggression when doing so only emboldens the enemy. So would anyone instruct us to do so? Is it because the people who quote the Bible are most likely to need its protection? I guarantee there’s a King James in every neo-Nazi bookshelf.
Hitler was a Catholic, after all.
Flavour of the week are exposés of far-right cells lurking in our community. What I don’t get is how every former friends of these radicalised losers always says they ‘don’t recognise‘ their former friend anymore and felt ‘scared in his presence‘.
So did you do about it at the time?
Did you call them out?
Did you notify the authorities?
While Edmund Burke did not famously say, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing,” he did say “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”
Same difference: Speak up.
If you stumble across online extremist material, report it here.
Do not be told by some wrongheaded fool to shut up, just so he or she can keep parroting their bullshit unopposed. Lies must be exposed. Prejudices confronted. There’s nothing ‘elitist’ about doing your civic duty.
So when a right-wing family member or conservative workmate or absolute stranger spouts poisonous opinions within earshot, don’t hold back. We have the facts on our side. We don’t need to hide behind proverbs, or invocations to some false deity.
Take them on, and take them down.