LOS ANGELES, July 21, 2011 — Jon Stewart set civility back even further than usual recently when he began making fun of presidential candidate Herman Cain using a fake “black dialect.”
He ended his “comedy” bit with the slogan “I’m Herman Cain, and I don’t like to read.”
At the risk of defending Jon Stewart, he is not a racist. He is a bigot.
Herman Cain explained during his interview with Sean Hannity that Stewart does not specifically hate black people. Like many “tolerant” people on the left, he just hates conservatives. Special scorn is reserved for black and other minority conservatives.
Since he does not seem to hate black conservatives any more than any other minority conservatives, Mr. Stewart is guilty of ideological bigotry, not racial bigotry.
Yet this issue is so much bigger than Jon Stewart. Stewart is useless. He remains the schoolyard bully who makes the least important people in our society feel like they matter. This is America. Even losers have a right to a hero.
The real problem is that people who do matter have reacted to Stewart in a manner that could cause more harm than good. The normally sagacious Bernard Goldberg advocated a train of thought that should make everybody pause.
(Full Disclosure: Bernie Goldberg has been very nice to me personally and I find him as fantastic as Stewart is loathesome.)
Mr. Goldberg feels it is about time for conservatives to get in the gutter with liberals. Conservatives should accuse liberals of racism the minute they open their mouths and criticize a minority conservative for any reason. Any criticism of Herman Cain should lead to the race card being played.
Even though Mr. Goldberg knows Mr. Stewart is only a bigot and not a racist, the charge of racism should be leveled anyway to teach Mr. Stewart and his ilk a lesson.
Mr. Goldberg’s anger and frustration is totally justified. Yet his prescription must not be implemented.
Conservatives are tired of liberals yelling racism, sexism, homophobia, and other scurrilous charges at conservatives just for existing and breathing air. Giving them a taste of their own medicine would seem like sweet revenge indeed.
This line of thought is pure poison.
From a strategy standpoint it will backfire. Liberals play the race card because it works. The media allows it. Conservatives will just end up losing the moral high ground if they try to demonize those with protected status.
From a moral standpoint, unfairly labeling anyone a racist corrodes society. It pits neighbor against neighbor.
So what are conservatives to do?
Option 1 of playing the race card should be off the table.
Option 2 is what conservatives have done for decades. They retreat, surrender, get defensive, and grovel for forgiveness. This simply results in more liberal bullying and more verbal violence directed at the right.
There is a third solution. Republicans and conservatives should hit back ferociously, but with the correct charge.
Ideological bigotry is every bit as destructive as racial or ethnic bigotry, but it receives much less attention. That has to change.
Conservatives need to start cutting liberals off at the knees, verbally speaking. When a loaded, ideologically bigoted question is asked, it should result in an interruption with no finishing of the question.
Reasonable Liberal: “Why did you vote for George W. Bush?”
Conservative: “I agree with him on the issues. I liked his tax policies, how he handled the War on Terror, his Israel policy, and other issues.”
That is an example of a discussion. Now let us analyze the worse approach.
Ideologically Bigoted Liberal: “How in good conscience could you have voted for George–”
Conservative: “Because my conscience is just as pure as yours. Don’t you ever question my conscience or demonize me for disagreeing with you. If you want to talk policy, fine. You have no right to question what is in my heart.”
Yes, that is a confrontational approach, but sitting there and letting liberals hammer conservatives before the discussion even begins is not acceptable.
What liberals do is put conservatives into one of two categories. All conservatives are either “stupid,” or “evil.” Liberals decide which narrative is the least preposterous and go with that. Dick Cheney and Newt Gingrich are too intelligent to be seen as dummies, so they are called evil. Dick Cheney is Darth Vader. Dan Quayle was one of the nicest people on the planet. He and Sarah Palin are too nice to be called mean, so they are treated as complete dunderheads.
Sometimes the left cannot decide, so they just slur an entire group of people, collateral damage be d@nged. Rush Limbaugh is “fat,” which in liberal circles is seen as sophisticated wit.
The left is getting angrier and more vicious. Ed Schultz, Bill Maher, and Jon Stewart frequently use epithets to describe conservative minorities from Laura Ingraham to Michele Bachmann to Sarah Palin to Herman Cain. This is all in the last month.
Conservatives have had it, and implementing Bernie Goldberg’s retaliation strategy is tempting.
Yet there is good news on the horizon.
The hate speech strategy is backfiring. The backlash is in full swing. Reasonable people are tired of the venom. They are tired of baseless accusations.
Bigots will always have their defenders. After all, Jon Stewart has many sycophants who claim that he is just a “comedian,” and therefore undeserving of scrutiny. This is their coded way of saying they agree with him, and appreciate his bile.
Bernie Goldberg wants the bile to stop. He is a far better human being than Jon Stewart will ever be. Stewart pretends to want “civility,” but his ratings would crumble if he became civil. Stewart has everything to gain from a coarser society while Goldberg truly wants peace.
It is out of admiration for Mr. Goldberg’s entire productive and noble body of work that I have to hope and pray that his moment of frustration does not become full-blown reality.
The right will never win a conflict based on slurs. The left has the public relations czars on their side.
The left wants the debate to shift from policy, where they are vulnerable, to their expert terrain of personal destruction. They seek and destroy personally because it works for them.
The solution is not to get in the gutter with them.
The solution is to get them to a point where spreading hatred stops working.
If conservatives succeed in forcing liberals out of their shoot first mentality, a better America with a more civilized discourse truly can become a reality.
So to all conservatives, let us show Jon Stewart some civility and bipartisanship. He is an ideological bigot, but not a racial one.
Brooklyn born, Long Island raised, and now living in Los Angeles, Eric Golub is a politically conservative columnist, blogger, author, public speaker, satirist and comedian. Read more from Eric at his TYGRRRR EXPRESS blog.
Eric is the author of the book trilogy “Ideological Bigotry, “Ideological Violence,” and “Ideological Idiocy.” Eric is 100% alcohol, tobacco, drug, and liberalism free. After years of dating liberals, he has finally seen the light and now only dates Republican Jewish women. His family is pleased over this. Republican, Jewish women, you may contact Eric above.
Follow Eric on Twitter @TYGRRRREXPRESS
Eric Golub is an independent writer for the Communities.
This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ WashingtonTimes.com. Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.