By Tim Dunkin
The Left and the Right are vastly and irremediably irreconcilable. This much ought to be obvious to just about anyone with two functioning neurons in their head. The worldview that drives the Left, “progressives” and the rest, is so starkly different from the way normal people think that it’s no wonder we’re seeing the sort of strife we are today.
This is hardly made plainer than in the attitude and treatment of each side—the Right and the Left—to matters of truth, fact, and reason. Those of us on the Right—conservatives, liberty lovers, traditionalists—operate under a paradigm that expects decision-making about what will be accepted as real and genuine to be driven by truth-content. In other words, when we are asked to believe something, we expect that there will be a factual, logical, reasonable, and truthful reason for doing so. We may often disagree about details, but we unite in expecting that beliefs and positions will revolve around what is right, both factually and morally, i.e. “truth.”
This emphatically cannot be said for the Left.
For the Left, what to believe and what to support are not based upon what is true, right, or factual. Rather, it is based on what is convenient to the advancement of liberalism. The decision about what to support as “true” depends on the “narrative” that is being spun. Facts which contradict it will be forgotten and suppressed. Falsehoods that advance it will be promoted to the status of “true,” even if they eventually have to be admitted as “fake but accurate.”
That this is the Left’s approach to “truth” was shown most abundantly this week by the collapse of the accusations made against a fraternity at the University of Virginia.
For those not familiar with the story, late last month, Rolling Stone magazine ran an exclusive piece of “investigative journalism” in which it reported the story of a female UVA student named “Jackie” who had said that when she was a freshman at the school, she had been invited to a fraternity party by an upperclassman member of the frat. When she went upstairs with him into a dark room, she claimed, she was then beaten and repeatedly gang raped over the next three hours by several members of the fraternity, all of whom were being egged on by her date and one other member. This was said to have taken place on the floor in the midst of broken glass from a smashed coffee table. After escaping from the party, she then said that some of her friends—young men who wanted to pledge that fraternity—urged her not report the assault. Later, when she finally reported it to university administration, she was stonewalled and treated as if it was no big deal.
A horrific story to be sure, if it happened.
However, almost as soon as the story was published, inconsistencies began to appear. The fraternity in question had not had a party the night this was said to have happened. Details about Jackie’s alleged attacker (including his name) didn’t match with any members of the fraternity. Indeed, several of Jackie’s friends themselves admitted to being dubious about her story. A number of details of the story were questioned, and late last week, just as the Washington Postwas about to drop a nuclear bomb on the story, Rolling Stone retracted it and admitted that it had not actually checked into the facts behind Jackie’s story to verify the truth of what they were publishing.
At this point, the proper response from those on the Left would have been to accept that the story was at the very least embellished (nobody, to my knowledge, has said that Jackie positively was NOT raped, just that the accusations that Rolling Stone ran with were false), and to learn a lesson about fact-checking from it.
But that would be too easy.
The response from the “progressive” side of the Web was astounding. “Stupid f***ing slimy victim-blaming Rolling Stone,” opined leftist commentator and community organizer Sally Kohn on her Twitter account. Other radical feminists chimed in as well. Jessica Valenti accusing those who were glad that Rolling Stone finally came clean of being “gleeful” about rape. The ever-dependable kook Amanda Marcotte referring to people who believe in facts over fiction as “rape apologists.” In short, those on the radical Left, especially the feminists, were not angry about the fact thatRolling Stone lied to America, but rather about the fact that they got caught and then withdrew the story instead of sticking to the narrative.
Letting actual FACTS determine what the true story actually is would be a “huge mistake.”
And the “narrative” is what the Left really cared about. Not whether or not Jackie’s story was true. Nor that the accusations could have potentially destroyed the lives of several innocent but falsely accused people. No—the Left’s sole concern was that their precious narrative not suffer from the debilitation of having its mendacious foundations revealed.
Or, as Julia Horowitz, an assistant editor for the Daily Cavalier, UVA’s campus newspaper, told Politico when the story was beginning to unravel,
” Ultimately, though, from where I sit in Charlottesville, to let fact checking define the narrative would be a huge mistake.”
Please read those words again. Letting actual FACTS determine what the true story actually is would be a “huge mistake.”
That, in a nutshell, is the mindset of the modern Leftist.
What exactly IS the narrative that the Left was driving with the Rolling Stone story, and which they are so shrilly trying to defend to the death here? It is the narrative of the “rape culture” on American college campuses. See, one of the current “discussion points” that radical feminism has been advancing is the idea that American colleges are bastions of troglodytic male students who simply cannot keep their hands off the girls, even if it means going to the length of raping them. They will endlessly repeat the now thoroughly debunked claim that “one in five college females will be sexually assaulted during her years at college.” Yet, as actual statistics suggest, the claims to a “rape epidemic” on American campuses has been wildly exaggerated. The feminist Left has a tremendous amount of capital invested in this myth, however, hence anything that would cast doubt on even one story of rape and assault at the hands of patriarchal white male privilege is seen as a heresy that could discredit the entire narrative.
Thus, the Boston Globe’s Yvonne Abraham’s concern that the Rolling Stone retraction is a “disaster.” Not because it represents the worst side of yellow journalism that destroys the trust of the American people in those institutions which are supposedly informing us about the world around us…but rather because it looks bad for the narrative and casts it into doubt.
The UVA fraternity story is certainly not the Left’s only false rape story driving this narrative. Lena Dunham, darling of the radical cultural Marxist/social justice warrior Left, claimed in her recently released memoirs that she was raped by a Republican named Barry while she was a student at Oberlin. However, a little fact-checking of her story shows it to have been a complete fabrication. Yet another left-wing activist student at the University of Chicago (this time, a male) was caught posting fake death and rape threats to himself. And who can forget the Duke Lacrosse team rape allegations that destroyed the lives of several young men, only to be shown to have been completely false?
I’m starting to see a pattern here.
Stories about rape aren’t the only thing left-wingers lie about, either. Gays and lesbians also have a tendency to manufacture hate crimes against themselves so they can advance the narrative of “the epidemic of violence against gays.” The lies that have been driving the Left’s narrative about Ferguson are still fresh in all our minds. Every faction in the “social justice” coalition has its own narrative to advance, and justice will be had, even at the cost of massive amounts of perjury in the process.
In retrospect, a little healthy skepticism about Rolling Stone’s Jackie story was entirely appropriate. After all, this is the same magazine that has a managing editor whoopenly admitted in a 2006 speech that he believes journalism should be biased and seek to drive a particular (left-wing) ideology. Sabrina Rubin Erdely, the reporter who broke the UVA gang rape story, has previously written stories in which she falsely blamed Michelle Bachman for teenage suicides, and also pawned off onto her magazine an incredibly porous story about an altar boy named “Billy” being “passed around” by several Catholic priests in Philadelphia. Indeed, Erdely seems to have a made for herself a cottage industry out of credulous, non-fact-checked “reporting.”
So what can we do with the lefties? I mean, you can’t believe a word they say, yet we still have to deal with them being able to spew falsehoods all over the internet onto an unsuspecting public full of low information voters and the like. It simply takes too much time to follow each one around with a bullhorn to instantly correct them when they pass on misinformation. While our truth is still getting its boots on, their lies are already on the fast train to Tokyo. At this point, I’m really not sure, other than just maintain our own commitment to the truth, and use the truth against them every chance we get.