Opinion

Oh Good, We’re Doing The Civility Thing Again

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Posted: May 21, 2020 12:01 AM
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Oh Good, We’re Doing The Civility Thing Again

Source: AP Photo/LM Otero, File

So, Donald Trump, Jr., retweeted a mean tweet about Grandpa Badfinger and the usual suspects went through their collective panty wetting again. “Civility is important,” we barbarians are duly informed, because of course it is. But we have noticed, over time, that in reality it only seems to be important when we are the ones breaching it. For us, it is open season. We have a big target on our collective back for the vilest slanders and the most ridiculous lies, but apparently that’s OK. “Civility” apparently only raises it’s well-coiffed, Romney-esque head when we breach it.

S.E. Cupp, the formerly relevant Smart Girl Glasses model, gave away the game after Pelosi called Trump “morbidly obese”: “Let me end the suspense. Trump’s called multiple women fat, slobs, pigs, dogs. He bragged about grabbing us by the p***y. He attacked female journalists and wishes we’d be more like a subservient 1950s housewife. So, yeah. When Pelosi calls him obese I find it f*****g hilarious.” (I added some *s). Gee, I guess this politeness norm is so important that our betters have to burn the village to save it.

It’s almost like “civility” is just a way to shut us up and ensure that we have no means to fight back against our opponents, who will then be free to pummel us into submission.

The Fredocons and Never Trump goofs who wave the civility banner most fervently whenever we shame them by resisting instead of submitting are certainly in no hurry for us to be heard. Instead, they want us to be a herd, or rather, a flock of quiescent sheep, doing as we are told and writing them checks to support the conservative fight that never seemed to happen until we rejected them in 2016.

It’s not inconceivable that some people actually believe in “civility” as a principle instead of an intellectual ball gag. George W. Bush probably did. He was famously civil. He was so civil that when they were calling him “Chimpy McHitlerhaliburton” he just took it and remained super civil. And when they disrespected us, he took that too. For eight years. And after Obama wiped the floor with the selectively civil John McCain – he was always civil to Democrats and the media but not so much to us conservatives – W kept being civil, painting his veteran pics back in Texas as his new pal Barack ran roughshod over our rights. He was super-civil, right up until Trump beat that fat clump of Jeb! and suddenly W was not so civil anymore. He, and we, were bad people. Weird how everyone gets civility except us.

Keeping us from retaliating is a strategy. Remember how damaging it was to us to watch Bush, who many of us respected at the time, just take it? They want to normalize the acceptance of abuse so we learn our proper place – at their feet. So we get the saps and their civility policing.

How many times have you seen someone on our side fight back and have them called out by the Low-T Gang for being so, so, so…oh well I never! How many conservative warriors have you been informed are unacceptable because they actually fight back? As part of their relentless quest for peak civility, the Never Trump sissies called my novels People's Republic, Indian Country, Wildfire and Collapse “appalling” for making liberals sad. Pardon us if we say, “Take your civility and shove it.”

Now, “civility” is a thing, it’s just not the thing they want – a set of handcuffs designed to keep us from punching back. As we have seen, for some people the “civility” flex is a bad faith scam, much like all the bad faith scams that define Conservative, Inc. But some folks really like civility, and wish it was the norm not to shut us up but because they think that would make for a better culture. Perhaps it would. But the big problem with the idea of “civility” is that the people honestly advocating it do not understand that real civility can exist only after victory. It is a construct that allows people to work together on contentious issues only after the really contentious issues – like who will be impoverished, enslaved and/or killed – are solved. Civility is not an end in and of itself. Rather, it is a means to facilitate the functioning of a civil society.

In a fight, civility is a good way to get your teeth knocked down your throat. Us normal people, most of whom have actually been in an actual fight in the real world instead of spending our lives in the curated utopias of academia and Conservative, Inc., get that. When we fight, it’s important – we’re serious about it. For the kind of people constantly wagging their spindly, girlish fingers at us for being mean to people who want to grind us into pulp, a “fight” is a catty rejoinder in some unread blog or a snarky Twitter riposte. This reflects the essential unseriousness of the establishment types whose fussy demands for propriety ignore that, for the rest of us out here in America, these issues have consequences beyond not getting invited to be on the next panel on some Princess Cruises ship’s Lido Deck.

So, spare us tiresome demands for unilateral rhetorical disarmament. If you want “civility,” you need a society where the left has been crushed. Until then, we’ll say whatever we damn well please however we want to say it, and if you don’t like it, we’ve got a really uncivil suggestion about what you can go do to yourself.

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