February 15, 2007

"ersatz martyrdom"

Dafydd points out something I've also noticed. The way left-leaning public figures, when pressed about something, always claim to have received e-mail death threats...

...Lefties and liberals make almost a religious fetish out of claiming to have received death threats. They use the claim as a truncheon to attack anyone who disputes any portion of what they argue: 'here's some of the mail I recieved from the Rethuglican hate machine -- now whose side are you on?' The idea, dim as it is, is to contrast the bile the Left spews out with the even more wretched and revolting vile supposedly spewed out by their enemies on the Right, a sort of tu quoque. (That's a fancy French term for "you too!" as in, "you're just the same, only worse.")

The important point is that only the logical argument made against them is known to be real; the threats are never proven -- and could easily be made up. Thus, they shift attention away from a real argument, which they cannot answer, to a fanciful threat, to which they can wax indignant, show brave defiance, and can use to wrench public opinion onto their side....

I've never seen any example of these "threats" being authenticated. Or even revealed in toto. I remember when Dr. Michael Bellesiles was caught faking historic evidence, he used "threats" as an excuse not to answer questions.

If I were receiving e-mail threats, I'd publish them on the blog, with the addresses of the senders. Anybody would! The fact that people like Amanda Marcott—the latest one to use the tactic—never do so tells me that they are liars. They are faking-up what Dafydd calls "ersatz martyrdom."

Posted by John Weidner at February 15, 2007 1:30 PM
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