Classic, old-style liberals used to say that they may disagree with what you say but would defend to the death your right to say it. Today’s liberals say, “I disagree with what you say, so you must DIE!” Yet somehow, the same folks who routinely call the President a con man, racist, white supremacist, second-coming-of-Hitler think that they’re the ones who are going to save civility in public discourse.
Case in point: I told you yesterday about New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, who took umbrage (“Umbrage, I say!”) at a George Washington University professor he’d never met making a mild joke on Twitter about Stephens being the bedbug they found in the Times offices. He even cc’ed his over-the-top reaction to the professor’s boss, perhaps hoping to get him in trouble or cost him his job (it didn’t work: the university provost is probably used to dealing with immature and oversensitive people and gave him the diplomatic brush-off.)
When word got out, Stephens discovered what real ridicule on Twitter looks like.
He even got the ultimate Twitter spanking: a tweet from the POTUS featuring the “L” word (“loser!”):
So Stephens took to friendly outlet MSNBC and condescendingly lectured us all that he was just trying to teach us a lesson about civility in public discourse. He said, “Using dehumanizing rhetoric like bedbugs or analogizing people to insects is always wrong...We can do better. We should be the people on social media that we are in real life.”
Well, Newsbusters.org decided to find out how well Stephens practices what he preaches.
In various writings over just the past two years, they found that Stephens compared President Trump to the dictators of Argentina and Venezuela and to a drug addict; he compared Trump Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to genocidal Cambodian leader Pol Pot; he accused people who criticize Colin Kaepernick of “quasi-fascism;” and he described Sen. Ted Cruz as being “like a serpent covered in Vaseline” and someone who would sell his family into slavery. If that’s the person he is on social media, I don’t think I’d want to meet him in real life. I guess we know now why the New York Times is so bent out of shape about conservatives digging into its writers’ old comments.
On Tuesday, Stephens quit Twitter, which sounds like a good decision. It also sounds like the first thing he’s actually done to contribute to civility in public discourse.