More on social media lynch mobs

If your first reaction to a viral offensive tweet by someone who is not a public figure is to try to ruin the person’s life, you need to get some perspective.

I saw an article recently that said after Roseanne Barr’s racist post on Twitter got her fired is that any of us could be next. Well, no. Most people know better than to say – much less post publicly – that a black person is a gorilla. But it does bring up an important issue regarding social media lynch mobs.

For celebrities – movie stars, political pundits, journalists, and high-level politicians – they are getting what they signed up for. But for the average person, engagement in social media is something they to for fun, to stay connected with friends and family, or maybe just spout some opinions here and there. The speed at which an average person can have his or her life ruined by saying something stupid online is a little unnerving.

Let’s say a private citizen posts an offensive “joke” – one that is undeniably racist. Does she deserve to be heavily criticized and mocked for it on Twitter? Sure. Should she lose her job? No. That is a disproportionate reaction to the offense. Should she be deluged with death threats and rape threats? Absolutely not! Does the pitchfork mob have any sense of perspective when hurling this kind of abuse?

Finally, we need to be honest here. It is undeniable that if you went through every idle word we have uttered – in email, in a text message, or in person – that you could find something that we would be horrified to have other people know we said. This is the case for every single person who has ever lived, without exception. The difference between our stupid and offensive utterances and the people targeted by social media lynch mobs is our stupidity and/or wickedness is not seen by millions of people. If you honestly look in the mirror and examine yourself, you cannot sustain this level of outrage.

A slow motion suicide by bitterness

The more I watch Hillary Clinton complain about losing the 2016 presidential election, the more I am sad for her. This is what a slow motion suicide by bitterness looks like. If the people closest to Mrs. Clinton cared about her, they would stage and intervention and do everything they could to get her to move on with her life. She will never be President and her continued obsession with the prize that eluded her is unhealthy.

This is not about a vanquished candidate going away. I am legitimately concerned for her mental and physical health. She is clearly very bitter about the loss, to the point of an unhealthy obsession.

The reason this resonates with me is because watching Mrs. Clinton over the last year and a half is like looking in the mirror. I have been where she is now. It’s a terrible place to be and a terrible way to live. There comes a point that whether your complaint is legitimate or not, you have to let it go, accept it and move on. You have to make peace with it for the sake of your sanity, your health and your relationships.

Obsessing about the loss is not healthy. She will never be President and there is nothing she can do about that. She has had a historic career that not even one tenth of one percent of the population can hope to have. She has been arguably the most influential First Lady on policy, she was a U.S. Senator and the Secretary of State. At her age, Mrs. Clinton needs to be happy with what she has done and move on.

As Douglas Wilson put it: “Bitterness is like eating rat poison and waiting for the other person to die.”

The NFL makes nobody happy

The NFL made the wrong call with the anthem controversy and players kneeling. The “solution” is a cowardly move that will make no one happy and will not solve the problem. The controversy will continue to the detriment of both the league and the nation.

The policy is simple: Players are required to stand for the national anthem. If they do not wish to stand, they can stay in the locker room. But the policy has a loophole so bit it invalidates itself: Some teams have already said that players who want to make a spectacle of themselves can still come out and kneel. The team will pay the fine to protect the “free speech” rights of their players.

Here is the obvious problem with that argument. There is no free speech issue here. No one will be denied the right to speak. If the players want to protest police brutality or some other issue, they are free to do so on their own time. But when you are at work, you are not on your own time – you are on your employer’s time. As an employee on the clock, you should obey basic workplace rules. If you will not do that, your employer has the right to discipline you.

One unnecessary problem is the involvement of the President. Donald Trump needs to realize that he is not merely a pundit or a celebrity, but the most powerful executive on the planet. As such, his words automatically carry authority that no one else has, so there is at least the implied threat of governmental force involved. Furthermore, Trump needlessly politicized an issue where most NFL fans agree with him. The NFL would have backed down even if Trump had stayed silent about it. Trump has caused this issue to be much more divisive and caustic than it needed to be. Part of being presidential is knowing when to stay silent.

The solution to this fight is obvious: Keep all of the players in the locker room until the anthem is over. Make sure there are no cameras in the locker room. Then, the players can kneel all they want. That neutralizes the entire controversy. As it stands now, the controversy will continue, which is why this is a stupid “solution” to a problem that should have been solved years ago.

We need to restore the foundation of Biblical marriage

Matt Walsh is wrong with his position that there is never a Biblical justification for divorce. Jesus clearly allows for divorce in the case of adultery, and the Apostle Paul wrote that Christians are free if they are abandoned by an unbelieving spouse. Walsh is right that we should not make the “porneia” exception so broad that it allows every marriage that has ever existed to be nullified, which is why Christians considering divorce should submit to the judgment of godly elders at a Bible-believing church.

But we need to be very clear that God hates divorce, as we see in Malachi 2:16.

Christians can get all self-righteous and holier-than-thou that Walsh is binding where God has not bound in His Word. But the reality is that Matt Walsh is a whole lot closer to Biblical teaching than most “churches” today. The church – specifically Protestants – has utterly failed to abide by God’s teaching on un-Biblical divorce. We have no fault divorce all over the church in America. Even worse, by allowing rampant un-Biblical divorce these heretics and apostates are lying about our Savior’s relationship with His bride, the church.

I would much rather someone take a no-compromise stance that actually honors marriage than a wishy-washy position that tramples marriage under foot and makes it meaningless.

The sin of our culture today – and the sin of the church today – is not prohibiting divorce where God allows it. The sin of our culture and the church is allowing the marriage covenant to be dissolved willy-nilly with absolutely no reverence for the institution that God created and gave to us. Arguing exceptions to God’s general prohibition on divorce is like arguing where the window should be when the house has been totally destroyed all the way to the foundation. A window is meaningless when you put it on top of a pile of ashes. We have to re-build the house and then we can talk about where to put a window.

More idiotic celebrity worship by conservatives

Conservatives, we need to stop obsessing over celebrities.

Roseanne Barr is not one of us. Barr has never been one of us. She is an extreme Leftist on social issues and she is pro-abortion. She is certainly not a fiscal conservative. Roseanne Barr screeched that people who eat at Chick-Fil-A deserve to die a slow, horribly painful death because the deceased founder of the restaurant chain opposed government recognizing same-sex marriage. That’s right: Roseanne wished an agonizing death on many of the very same people who love her TV show and hailed her as a “hero” for conservatives.

I understand why many conservatives were drawn to her TV show. Hollywood is dominated by Leftists and has been for generations. So when we see an actor expressing support for a Republican President, we take notice. It is even more unusual when that actor creates a TV show where the main character supports that same Republican President. But Roseanne was always a poor fit for the conservative movement. This was always going to blow up in our faces. Now it has.

We also need to recognize that Donald Trump is not all of conservatism. Just because someone likes Trump does not mean she is a conservative. Embracing Roseanne Barr because she likes Trump while opposing conservatives on virtually every issue is not a stand taken on principle. This is just more of the cult of personality surrounding Donald Trump, and this idolatry is wicked.

Now, let’s be clear. Barr’s TV show was not canceled because she blurted out a stupid racist “joke” on Twitter. The speed at which Disney moved to cancel her show shows that they were looking for an excuse to drop the show. A lot of that is Barr’s support for Trump, to be sure, but cocktail sipping, caviar eating limousine Leftists in Hollywood cannot stand working class white people. The show was doomed before it started.

By all means, conservatives, we should support conservative entertainment and conservative entertainers. We should expose the hypocrisy of Leftists, especially in Hollywood – where the fact that Harvey Weinstein was a sexual predator was known for years. But we should not throw away our principles and embrace people who hate us and literally want us to die slowly and painfully because our enemy is wearing a MAGA hat.

Why is Facebook protecting criminals?

When gun-rights advocate Kaitlin Bennett graduated from Kent State, she had photos taken of herself carrying an AR-10. (The AR-10 is a larger version of the popular AR-15 rifle.) She was deluged with hate mail and death threats. Facebook responded by protecting the people making death threats, rather than the victim of those threats. Facebook removed the screenshots of the death threats directed at Bennett.

If you use a public platform for illegal activity – death threats are illegal – then you should have no expectation of privacy for what you said. Facebook is protecting criminals who are threatening an innocent woman. They are punishing a crime victim for exposing the crimes committed against her. Does Facebook not understand this is exactly why conservatives are frustrated with the platform and looking at alternate means of getting their message out? Does Facebook not understand this is why they are under scrutiny from Congress?

Facebook has only been the big dog in social media for about a decade. Before that, MySpace was dominant. Does anyone remember MySpace any more? If Facebook annoys enough of its users, Facebook could well become what MySpace is today. Market dominance is never permanent.

No, Bennett was not a beneficiary of “white privilege.” This is not a case where a white woman gets to carry openly while a black person would be shot. Bennett called the police ahead of time, and made sure the authorities knew what she was going to do before she did it. It is silly to make this a racial issue.

Gun control is an emotionally volatile issue on both sides. But one can think Bennett was wrong – specifically that she was insensitive given the recent school shootings – without vomiting a long string of obscenities and disgusting personal attacks. One can disagree with a woman’s political position without threatening to rape and/or murder her. That so many immediately resorted to the worst kind of behavior demonstrates that they lack the emotional stability and intellectual capacity to handle opinions they may not like.

Ironically, the flood of death threats also proves Kaitlin Bennett’s point about why women should be armed to defend themselves. Men are larger and stronger than women, so a woman would have difficulty fighting off a male attacker. Bullets, however, are the ultimate equalizer.

We should strengthen the GOP platform, not weaken it.

To the Indiana Republican Party leadership,

I was elected as a delegate to the Indiana GOP state convention next weekend. I am very disappointed that the Indiana Republican Party has weakened the following language from the 2016 party platform:

“We believe in strong families. We believe that strong families, based on marriage between a man and a woman, are the foundation of society. We also recognize that some families are much more diverse and we support the blended families, grandparents, guardians and loving adults who successfully raise and nurture children to reach their full potential every day.”

And replaced it with this:

“We believe in strong families. We believe that strong families are the foundation of society and that such families bring forth citizens capable of self-government as well as properly-motivated public servants so essential for a successful republic. We support the traditional families with a mother and father, blended families, grandparents, guardians, single parents and all loving adults who successfully raise and nurture children to reach their full potential every day.”

The language should be strengthened, not weakened. It was already a wishy-washy statement, so watering it down even more is a terrible idea and an affront to the Republican Party’s base. A significant portion of your voters are still conservative Christians – the people who were most supportive of Mike Pence and Donald Trump. Discouraging those voters from supporting our party and our candidates is foolish.

The Indiana Republican Party’s platform should affirm that the traditional family – with a married mother and father – is the building block of a strong society and that the Republican Party supports the traditional family and traditional marriage. Children need the good diversity of both a mother and a father, and we should endorse God’s plan of one man, one woman for life as laid out by our Lord Jesus Christ.

I believe the delegates should be permitted to vote on alternative language to the weak platform on families. Therefore, I propose the following language for our 2018 party platform:

“We believe in strong families. We believe that strong families, based on marriage between a man and a woman, are the foundation of society. We recognize that some families do not meet the ideal standard and nonetheless raise children into responsible, civic minded adults. While we support those families, we affirm that the traditional family is the best environment for raising and nurturing children.”

It would actually be better to say nothing at all about “strong families” than to approve the terrible language proposed for the 2018 platform. It is better to do nothing than to do something harmful, and putting language in our platform that undermines the ideal of a marriage between one man and one woman is harmful.

Bitter primaries make it difficult to unify

The candidate I supported to be the Republican Party’s nominee for U.S. Senate did not win the primary, but I will enthusiastically vote for Mike Braun this November. With that said, I have a few thoughts about the primary. Because of course I do.

Braun’s biggest ally was our “first past the post” system, which benefits the candidate who is most different from the others. Brash outsider Donald Trump won the Republican nomination in 2016 despite a Republicans voting against him. Braun is in the same situation now: A (less) brash outsider and wealthy businessman defeated two incumbent Congressman to win a divisive primary, even though a majority of Republicans voted against him. Now, to be fair, there is no Republican rebellion against Braun (more on that in a bit) and Braun has established himself as a solid conservative. The party quickly unified around Braun without the loud opposition within the party Trump faced.

That said, this was a very divisive primary. The harsh nature of the campaign looked more like a general election than a primary. The risk you run by going so overly negative in a primary is you can alienate supporters of the other candidates. That does not appear to be happening here but I would not be surprised if it had turned out that way. That applies not just to Braun, but would have applied to Rokita and Messer had they won the primary. They both went negative in a big way. It is unfortunate when the winner of a primary has to immediately woo supporters of his primary opponents after spending months savaging them.

What we need to realize is that we are all on the same team. Obviously, each campaign thinks their candidate is the best choice, and may think that the others are less qualified. I have never opposed negative ads. But unless someone is a complete moral degenerate or ideologically far out of the mainstream, Republicans need to be restrained in how we attack each other in primaries.

One of my favorite memories in politics is watching “B-1 Bob” Dornan trying to get Republicans to stop attacking each other so harshly in 1996, reminding everyone that “the target is Clinton.” That is the case here. The target is Donnelly. We had three good, solid candidates and it is critical that we get rid of Joe Donnelly this November and strengthen the Republican majority in the Senate. Republicans should not have sabotaged that effort with their vicious attacks on each other in the primary.