New York Times bestselling author and conservative political commentator Ann Coulter’s new book, “Demonic: How the Liberal Mob is Endangering America”, tackles politics once again, this time taking on the liberal left and what she describes as their “mob behavior.”
In “Demonic,” Coulter traces the words and movements of groups from the Ku Klux Klan and the SDS to anti-war protesters and Democrats today to argue her point that liberals have “consistently used mob tactics to implement their idea of the ‘general will.'”
“Just as fire seeks oxygen, Democrats seek power, which is why they will always be found championing the mob whether the mob consists of Democrats lynching blacks or Democrats slandering the critics of Obama Care as racists,” Coulter writes.
The Liberal Mob
2 When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an impure spirit came from the tombs to meet him.
3 This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him anymore, not even with a chain.
4 For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet. No one was strong enough to subdue him.
5 Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.
6 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him.
7 He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God’s name don’t torture me!”
8 For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you impure spirit!”
9 Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.”– Mark 5:2–9
The demon is a mob, and the mob is demonic. It is the nihilistic mob of the French Revolution; it is the revolutionaries who seized control of Russia at the beginning of the twentieth century; it is the Maoist gangs looting villages and impaling babies in China; it is the Ku Klux Klan terrorizing Republicans and blacks in the South; it is the 1992 Los Angeles riot that left fifty dead and did $1 billion of damage after the first Rodney King verdict; it is the bloody riots at the 1968 Democratic National Convention; it is the masked hoodlums smashing up Seattle when bankers came to town; it is the 500,000 illegal aliens marching under a foreign flag in Los Angeles; it is throngs of Islamic fanatics attending the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s funeral, tearing his body out of its coffin; it is left-wing protesters destroying property and attacking delegates at the 2004 and 2008 Republican National Conventions.
Everything else changes, but mobs are always the same. A mob is an irrational, childlike, often violent organism that derives its energy from the group. Intoxicated by messianic goals, the promise of instant gratification, and adrenaline-pumping exhortations, mobs create mayhem, chaos, and destruction, leaving a smoldering heap of wreckage for their leaders to climb to power.
The Democratic Party is the party of the mob, irrespective of what the mob represents. Democrats activate mobs, depend on mobs, coddle mobs, publicize and celebrate mobs — they are the mob. Indeed, the very idea of a “community organizer” is to stir up a mob for some political purpose. “As so frequently happens when a crowd goes wild,” historian Eric Durschmied says, “there is always one who shouts louder and thereby appoints himself as their leader.” Those are the people we call “elected Democrats.”
The Democrats’ playbook doesn’t involve heads on pikes — as yet — but uses a more insidious means to incite the mob. The twisting of truth, stirring of passions, demonizing of opponents, and relying on propagandistic images in lieu of ideas — these are the earmarks of a mob leader. Over and over again, one finds the Democrats manipulating the mob to gain power. It is official Democratic policy to appeal to the least informed, most weak-minded and perpetually alarmed members of the public.
Their base consists of soccer moms, actresses, felons, MSNBC viewers (both of them), non-English speakers, welfare recipients, heads-up-their-butts billionaires, and government workers — who can never be laid off. The entire party gave up on attracting the votes of white men decades ago. It’s easier to round up votes by frightening women about “assault weapons” and promising excellent free health care to non-English speakers. Yes, a free health care system that is so superior that they exempt themselves and their friends from having to be in it. Liberals frighten people about their health care in order to stampede through ObamaCare. They claim the Earth is overheating in order to seize taxpayer money for solar panels and compact fluorescent lightbulbs.
They call out union thugs to force politicians to accede to insane benefits packages. They stage campaigns of calumny to get their way on gay marriage. Faddish ideas that would never have occurred to anyone fifty years ago — or even twenty years ago — are suddenly foisted on the rest of us by the liberal mobs.
Although the left in America is widely recognized as hysterical, unreasonable, and clueless, the “root cause” of these traits has generally been neglected. More than a century ago, Gustave Le Bon perfectly captured the liberal psychological profile in his 1896 book, “The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind.” Le Bon — a French physician, scientist, and social psychologist — was the first to identify the phenomenon of mass psychology. His groundbreaking book “The Crowd” paints a disturbing picture of the behavior of mobs. Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini used his book to learn how to incite a mob. Our liberals could have been Le Bon’s study subjects.
Even the left-wing Guardian has admitted that Le Bon’s study of crowd behavior was “possibly the most influential work of psychology ever written.” Presumably recognizing themselves in his psychological profile, liberals have recently tried to undermine Le Bon. They have complained that he merely “articulated the propertied classes’ fear of the mob.” Who likes mobs? Renters? Window manufacturers? Rope salesmen? Liberals also objected that Le Bon did not hold the police accountable for a mob’s behavior — which is like demanding that we take into account the length of the rape victim’s skirt.
It is revealing that liberals so fear Le Bon that they try to sully him as “controversial” and “reactionary.” (Those particular complaints, incidentally, were lodged by liberal activist George Monbiot, who has called for “citizen’s arrests” of former government offiials from George W. Bush’s UN ambassador John Bolton to former British prime minister Tony Blair. No wonder he doesn’t like psychological studies of mob behavior.)
It was all the usual claptrap, but the piercing truth of Le Bon’s study speaks for itself. Liberals wouldn’t go after him if, even a century later, his theories didn’t still ring true. All the characteristics of mob behavior set forth by Le Bon in 1895 are evident in modern liberalism — simplistic, extreme black-and-white thinking, fear of novelty, inability to follow logical arguments, acceptance of contradictory ideas, being transfixed by images, a religious worship of their leaders, and a blind hatred of their opponents.
Many of liberals’ peculiarities are understandable only when one realizes that they are a mob. For example, a crowd’s ability to grasp only the simplest ideas is reflected in the interminable slogans.
Liberals have boatloads of them: Bush Lied, Kids Died! Our Bodies, Our Selves! No Blood for Oil! No Justice, No Peace! Save the Whales; Love Your Mother (Earth); Ban the Bomb; Make Love, Not War; Friends Don’t Let Friends Vote Republican; Diversity Is Our Strength! Save the Planet! Pro-Choice, Pro-Child! Support Our Troops, Bring them Home! Co-Exist! Hey, Hey, LBJ, How Many Kids Did You Kill Today? Dissent Is Patriotic! War Is Not the Answer! Go Green! Healthcare Is a Right, Not a Privilege! Imagine Peace; Celebrate Diversity! Beat the Bushes for Peace! No Nukes! Give Peace a Chance; Think Globally/Act Locally; No Tax Cuts for the Rich; Save the Planet! Venceremos! One, Two, Three, Four, We Don’t Want Your F–King War! Bush = Hitler; Hell No, We Won’t Go! Off the Pig! Eat the Rich! Die Yuppie Scum! Peace Now! We Are the Ones We’ve Been Waiting For! Solidarity Forever! Bring America Home! You Can’t Hug a Child with Nuclear Arms; Meat Is Murder! Books Not Bombs! Fight the Power! Yes We Can!
And those are just the ones on my neighbor’s car.
What is the Tea Party’s slogan? There is none. Republicans almost never have slogans, certainly none that even they can remember — except when our presidential candidates are forced to come up with some utterly forgettable catchphrase for their campaigns.
There are only three memorable Republican slogans in the past half century — unless you count what Dick Cheney said to Pat Leahy on the Senate floor in 2004, in which case there have been four. There was, “27 Million Americans Can’t Be Wrong,” after Goldwater lost in a historic landslide in 1964. There were the YAF buttons made in tribute to William F. Buckley’s mayoral campaign platform in 1965: “Don’t Let Them Immanentize the Eschaton!”
And when there were few other reasons to vote for the reelection of the first President Bush in 1992, there was,”Annoy the Media, Vote Bush!” Republicans display crosses and fish, college and sports decals, and a few parodies of liberal slogans (“Imagine an Unborn Child”), but no bossy demands on our bumper sticker.
Conservatives don’t cotton to slogans. When they finally produce one, it’s never the sort of rallying cry capable of sending people to the ramparts, such as “Yes We Can!” or “Bush Lied, Kids Died!” “27 Million Americans Can’t Be Wrong” is a wry observation, not an urgent call to battle. “Annoy the Media, Vote Bush!” — barely qualifies as a suggestion.
Conservatives write books and articles, make arguments, and seek debates, but are perplexed by slogans. (Of course, another reason Republicans may avoid bumper stickers is to prevent their cars from being vandalized, which brings us right back to another mob characteristic of liberals.)
By contrast, liberals thrive on jargon as a substitute for thought. According to Le Bon, the more dramatic and devoid of logic a chant is, the better it works to rile up a mob: “Given to exaggeration in its feelings, a crowd is only impressed by excessive sentiments. An orator wishing to move a crowd must make an abusive use of violent affirmations. To exaggerate, to affirm, to resort to repetitions, and never to attempt to prove anything by reasoning are methods of argument well known to speakers at public meetings.”
Liberals love slogans because the “laws of logic have no action on crowds.” Mobs, Le Bon says, “are not to be influenced by reasoning, and can only comprehend rough-and-ready associations of ideas.”5 He could be describing the New York Times and other journals of elite opinion when he describes periodicals that “manufacture opinions for their readers and supply them with ready- made phrases which dispense them of the trouble of reasoning.”
You will see all the techniques for inspiring mobs in liberal behavior.
There are three main elements to putting an idea in a crowd: affirmation, repetition, and contagion. The effects takes time, Le Bon says, but “once produced are very lasting.” It’s the same reason annoying TV commercials are so effective. “Head On! Apply directly to the forehead. Head On! Apply directly to the forehead. Head On! Apply directly to the forehead.”
Affirmation is the creation of a slogan, free of all reasoning and all proof.” Indeed, the “conciser an affirmation is, the more destitute of every appearance of proof and demonstration,” he says, “the more weight it carries.” This is “one of the surest means of making an idea enter the mind of crowds.”
Affirmation only works if it is “constantly repeated, and so far as possible in the same terms.” The power of repetition “is due to the fact that the repeated statement is embedded in the long run in those profound regions of our unconscious selves in which the motives or our actions are forged. At the end of a certain time we have forgotten who is the author of the repeated assertion, and we finish by believing it.”
Short slogans endlessly repeated create a “current of opinion” allowing “the powerful mechanism of contagion” to operate. Ideas spread through the crowd as easily as microbes, Le Bon says, which explains the mass panics common to rock concerts, financial markets, street protests, and Dennis Kucinich rallies. “A panic that has seized only a few sheep,” he observes, “will soon extend to the whole flock.”
Liberals have it down to an art: The cacophonous method of yelling until conservatives shut up just because they just want to go home, the purblind assertions — No WMDs in Iraq! Civilian Deaths! Violence at Tea Parties! Head On! Apply directly to the forehead! — and overnight the entire mass of liberals is robotically repeating the same slogans.
It isn’t only in their incessant street demonstrations that liberals talk in slogans. This is how liberals discuss serious policy matters with the public. It’s as if they’re speaking to a vast O.J. Simpson jury, mesmerized by a pair of gloves and a closing argument that rhymes (“If it doesn’t fit, you must acquit”).
Conservatives talk the same on TV as off TV — unless they are inarticulate politicians using sound bites to avoid saying anything stupid. But regular conservatives talk on TV as if they’re having a normal conversation with their friends or neighbors.
Liberals don’t know how to do this because they don’t have normal friends and neighbors — only fellow demonstrators. Their self-image is as little Lenins, rousing the masses at the Finland Station, which is why they always sound as if they’ve gotten control of the PA system and are broadcasting from Big Brother, Inc. — or if they’re Al Gore, addressing a kindergarten class.
Here, for example, is Stephanie Bloomingdale, of the Wisconsin AFL-CIO, being interviewed on MSNBC about the union’s beef with Governor Scott Walker: “Well, America, we need all of you to help us with our fight. Because this is a fight to reclaim the values of the middle class. This is the movement of our time. And we need people all across America, working people, to stand up and say, this is the time we need to restore economic justice. And we know that the only — that the union movement is the only thing that stands between unbridled corporate greed and a true economic democracy. And we — what I would like to say is, America, stand with us, stand with us who are fighting for justice and economic justice in our society.”
The next night, Katrina Vanden Huevel was engaging in the same sort of “Internationale” hectoring: “People are waking up. And they’re in the streets. There are going to be fifty rallies around this country. Maybe a million people in the streets of this country. And what are they saying? Enough! You’re giving our people’s money away. Invest in our country, invest in jobs, invest in education. Keep cops on the street, keep teachers in the classrooms. Enough with these perks for corporations. There’s a movement called U.S. uncut, which is inspired by an article in The Nation.
“If we can recoup from the very richest who brought us this financial crisis and from corporate tax dodgers, we can balance budgets in a fair way. Justice, fairness, concepts that may be coming back to America in this moment.”
The advantage of slogans like these — “working families,” “economic justice,” “unbridled corporate greed,” and “invest in our country, invest in jobs, invest in education” — is that liberals never have to talk about the actual issues being discussed. You’d never know in the fog of jargon that the Republican governor of Wisconsin, Scott Walker, was only asking government employees to start paying 6 percent of their pension contributions (up from zero percent) and 12 percent of their health care insurance (up from six percent).
Similarly, the pro-abortion movement depends on never ever using the word “abortion” — only cant, such as “choice,” “family planning,” and “reproductive freedom.”
The Left’s robotic speaking style helps explain why liberals have never been able to make a dent in talk radio, despite many tries. Apparently, even the people who get bused in to their rallies can’t be paid to listen to liberals hectoring them on talk radio. Being endlessly lectured by deadly earnest liberals is boring. Ask any Cuban.
Based on their public commentary, it appears that not one liberal has the vaguest idea how the economy imploded. The only thing liberals know is — as President Obama explained — “Republicans drove the car into the ditch, made it as diffiult as possible for us to pull it back, now they want the keys back. No! You can’t drive. We don’t want to have to go back into the ditch. We just got the car out.”11 (It was always a “ditch” and not a “lake” because a lake would have been offensive to Teddy Kennedy.)
A liberal would stare at you slack-jawed if you explained that the federal government, via Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, forced politically correct lending policies on the banks — policies that were attacked by Republicans but ferociously defended by Democrats — and that the banks’ suicidal loans were then bundled into mortgage- backed securities and dispersed throughout the entire financial system, which poisoned the economy, bringing down powerful institutions, such as Lehman Brothers, and destroying innumerable families’ financial portfolios.
In light of the Democrats’ direct role in creating the policies at the heart of the nation’s financial collapse, it’s not surprising that they prefer metaphors to facts. What’s strange is that the image of a car in a ditch is sufficient for the bulk of Democratic voters and commentators to adjudge themselves experts on the economic crisis and refuse to listen to explanations that aren’t images of Bush driving a car into a ditch. Image is all that matters to the mob. Obama can take in the biggest campaign haul from Wall Street in world history, as he did in 2008, but the mob will never believe he is in the pocket of Wall Street bankers.
The top- three corporate employers of donors to Barack Obama, Joe Biden, and Rahm Emanuel were Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, and JPMorgan. Six other financial giants were in the top thirty donors to the White House Dream Team: UBS AG, Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and Credit Suisse Group.12 In 2008 alone, Goldman Sachs employees gave more to Obama — nearly $1 million — than any other employer, with the sole exception of the entire University of California, which has 230,000 employees — ten times more than Goldman.13
And still Republicans are called the Party of Wall Street. Bush let Lehman Brothers go under — what else do Republicans have to do? Liberals latched on to the image of Bush, Cheney, and even Tom DeLay as “oilmen” to blame them for everything from Enron’s collapse to blackouts and high oil prices.
In 2006, Speaker Nancy Pelosi blamed “oilmen” in public office for high oil prices — and hearing Pelosi try to craft a syllogism is like watching Michael Moore attempt ballet. She said, “We have two oilmen in the White House. The logical follow-up from that is $3-a-gallon gasoline. It is no accident. It is a cause and effect. A cause and effect.” That’s all liberals needed to know. Two “oilmen” in the White House — cause and effect. Strangely though, a barrel of oil costs the same on the world market for all those other countries that were not being run by “oilmen.”
A few years earlier, she had blamed Bush and Representative Tom DeLay for the blackout throughout the Northeast United States and parts of Canada — presumably because they are both from Texas — saying they had “put the interests of the energy companies before the interests of the American people.”14 In fact, the blackout was due to a failure of humans operating electric power; it had nothing whatsoever to do with oil.
The New York Times’s Paul Krugman has written more than a dozen columns making hazy connections between Bush and the corrupt and collapsed Enron — “Some cynics attribute the continuing absence of Enron indictments to the Bush family’s loyalty code” — despite Bush’s having absolutely nothing to do with the company, other than being from Texas.
By contrast, Krugman was on Enron’s advisory board while he was writing encomiums to Enron in Fortune magazine.16 Once a year, when I don’t feel like writing a column, I think I’ll reprint Krugman’s column singing Enron’s praises — although, again, in fairness, he was being paid by Enron at the time.
Democrats wouldn’t make such absurd statements if absurdity didn’t seem perfectly logical to their base. This is how Democrats communicate with their constituents: They use mob tactics to rile up the irrational masses. Crowds can’t grasp logic, only images. “These image- like ideas,” Le Bon says, “are not connected by any logical bond of analogy or succession, and may take each other’s place like the slides of a magic lantern which the operator withdraws from the groove in with they were placed one above the other.”
Republicans love Wall Street — oh look, Wall Street just made historic campaign contributions to Obama; he must be really cool. Republicans hate the poor because they’re trying to block government policies promoting easy mortgages. . . . Oops, I wonder why the economy just tanked. It’s because Bush drove it into a ditch! Enron collapsed and Paul Krugman says it’s Bush’s fault. Krugman was paid by Enron and Bush wasn’t? Bush lied, kids died! Oil prices went up under Bush — it’s his fault — he’s an oilman! Oh but then oil prices went down under Bush. . . . Hey, look over there! A shiny object!
Despite their perennial enthusiasm for revolution and “change” in almost any form, Le Bon says, crowds are wildly conservative when it comes to scientific progress. Want to scare a liberal? Mention nuclear power plants, genetically modified fruits, new pharmaceuticals, food irradiation, or guns with plastic frames. We could probably get a crowd of liberal protesters to scatter just by coming at them with a modern vacuum cleaner.
It certainly works on dogs and cats. The Left’s abject terror of technological development is yet another mob attribute. Le Bon says that the mob’s “unconscious horror” of “all novelty capable of changing the essential conditions of their existence is very deeply rooted.”
While mobs go about changing the names of institutions and demanding radical changes to society, he says, when it comes to scientific progress, crowds have a “fetish- like respect” for tradition.18
Thus, according to Le Bon, if “democracies possessed the power they wield today at the time of the invention of mechanical looms or of the introduction of steam- power and of railways, the realization of these inventions would have been impossible.” It is lucky “for the progress of civilization that the power of crowds only began to exist when the great discoveries of science and industry had already been effected.”
Our liberals are even worse than Le Bon imagined. Democrats don’t merely want to block scientific progress, they want to roll it back. Al Gore’s global warming fantasy book Earth in the Balance called for the worldwide elimination of the internal combustion engine within twenty-five years. (Which, if nothing else, would have ruined Obama’s “car in the ditch” catch-phrase.)
In 2007, Democrats in Congress banned the incandescent lightbulb, currently scheduled for elimination in 2014. Indeed, banning Thomas Edison’s invention was among the very fi rst acts of the new House majority elected in 2006, in a bill cosponsored by 195 Democrats and only 3 Republicans (two of whom are no longer in office). When Democrats came up with the idea of banning the lightbulb, what image appeared in their heads? A litcandle? Only four Democrats voted against the bill in both the House and then Senate, with the vast majority of Republicans voting against it in both chambers.
Consider that the two industries that provoke the most fear and loathing in liberals are two of the most innovative: the oil and pharmaceutical industries. When a majority of the country objected to national health care because, among other reasons, it would mean the end of innovation in medicine once the government took over, liberals stared in blank incomprehension. (It was almost as if they’d been drugged.) They believe every drug, every diagnosis, every therapy, every cure that will ever be invented has already been invented. Their job is to spread all the existing cures, not to worry about who will discover new ones.
The only traditions liberals are eager to smash are moral and sexual ones, such as marriage and protecting the unborn. Crowds are too impulsive to be moral, according to Le Bon, which explains why liberals are mad for innovation when it comes to thousands-year-old institutions like marriage. Only when it comes to scientifi c innovation, are they hidebound traditionalists.
Indeed, the only way to get liberals interested in novel scientific research is to propose slaughtering human embryos. When adult stem cell researchers had already produced treatments for eighty different diseases, 21 while embryonic stem cell researchers were stuck in the dark ages, the failed researchers won liberal hearts by pointing out that their method destroyed human fetuses, while adult stem research did not.
As long as Democrats can win by demagoguing the mob, they are perfectly happy to turn America into a banana republic. With the country drowning in debt and Medicare and Social Security putting us on a high-speed bullet train to bankruptcy, the entire Democratic Party refuses to deal with entitlements. Instead, they will gin up the mobs to throw out any politician who cuts these increasingly theoretical “benefits.” The country will have the economy of Uganda, but Democrats will be in total control.
Rich liberals want chaos for everyone except themselves, confident that they can afford a “green” lifestyle and their children will still attend Sidwell Friends. The rest of us are forced to live in a lawless universe of no energy, gay marriage, girl soldiers, and marauding criminals because liberals can’t enjoy their wealth unless other people are living in complete pandemonium. They promote anarchy, believing the middle class should live in squalor, while liberals will be protected by their wealth against the mob.
The seminal event of the New Testament — Jesus’ crucifixion — is a dramatic illustration of the power of the mob.
When the mob was howling for Pontius Pilate to sentence Jesus to death, even Pilate’s wife couldn’t convince him to spare Jesus. After having a dream about Jesus, Pilate’s wife sent her husband a note saying Jesus was innocent — a “just man.” Pilate knew Jesus was innocent and that the mob hated Jesus out of “envy.” But not his wife, not even his own common sense, was enough for him to resist the mob.
Three times Pilate told the “multitude” that Jesus was innocent and should be spared. He pleaded with the mob, proposing to “chastise him, and release him.” But the mob was immovable, demanding Jesus’ crucifixion. Pilate was required to release one of the prisoners, so he gave the mob the choice of Jesus or Barabbas, a notorious murderer and insurrectionist — in other words, someone who incites mobs. Again, the mob “spoke with one voice,” demanding “with loud shouts” that Jesus be crucified.
Capitulating to the mob, Pilate ordered Jesus’ death.
Even one of the mob’s victims, a thief being crucifi ed alongside Jesus, joined the mob’s taunting, saying to Jesus, “If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.” The other thief rebuked him, noting that they were guilty, whereas Jesus was not. He said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.” And Jesus said “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.”Pilate gave in to the mob out of fear. The thief joined the mob to side with the majority. The mob itself was driven by envy.
Although it all worked out in the end — Jesus died, darkness fell over the Earth, the ground trembled, and the temple veil was ripped in two, and three days later, Jesus rose from the dead, giving all peoplethe promise of everlasting life — here was the stark choice, to be repeated like Nietzsche’s eternal recurrence: Jesus or Barabbas?
Liberals say Barabbas: Go with the crowd. C’mon, everybody’s doing it — it’s cool. Now let’s go mock Jesus. (As is so often the case, the mob said, “Kill the Jew.”)
Conservatives — sublimely uninterested in the opinion of the mob — say Jesus.