The immediate aftermath to the horrific killing of about 50 people at an LGBT nightclub by an ISIS inspired gunman gave rise to the usual kinds of reaction in general. We knew what the Left would say and we knew what the Right would say and they all did. However, looking at some of the columns in the Western press, I did notice a recurring thing of how this one incident has been extra divisive.
This article in The Washington Post, soon after the attack, titled : The new norm: When tragedy hits, Americans stand divided , had a very succinct summary in it's first line:
Three of the most contentious questions in American culture and politics — gay rights, gun control and terrorism — collided in a horrific way in an Orlando nightclub early Sunday.And to drive home the point about divisiveness, the article had this to say:
Not since 9/11 has a moment like this brought the nation together, and that evaporated quickly. Since then, calamity seems only to drive the left and the right further apart, while faith in the nation’s institutions deteriorates further.
Across the ideological and partisan divide, it no longer seems possible to even explore — much less agree upon — causes and solutions. So the response has been muddled, even while the next tragedy looms.
This short article in The American Interest: How to Tear a Nation Apart, explains how the use of guns by ISIS inspired terrorists is virtually splitting America, down the middle. The last two paras explain this point vividly.
Guns occupy a critical space in America’s increasingly acerbic culture wars, a manifestation of the broader social convection currents taking place below the surface. For Jacksonians who are losing faith in the ability of established institutions to preserve order, the Second Amendment is a bulwark against totalitarian movements, like Islamism, that would undermine American liberty. Under this deeply held view, attacks by ISIS-enthusiasts strengthen, rather than weaken, the case for gun rights. But for cosmopolitan liberals, gun rights are an anachronism—a symbol of all the wrong-headed views espoused by working class whites. Set these two warring camps against each other in the context of an ongoing terror threat, and you push an already divided society even further down the path of tribalism and fracture.There has been much hand wringing by Liberals and the Social Justice Left after this. From blaming homophobic society in general to Christians who oppose who Gay marriage, and saying all religions are equally to blame - every attempt has been made to conflate issues and deflect blame from Islamists : the one group about whom they will not take names. In India, we had this tweetstorm against Narendra Modi about who he was not eligible to express grief at this event as Sec 377 was still on books in India. This was of course, not original, Republican politicians like Marco Rubio faced similar treatment on twitter.
The attackers in Orlando and San Bernardino accomplished something the attackers in Boston and New York didn’t: They drove a wedge between patriotic Americans, and managed to ensure that our grieving over the dead was polluted from the outset by a din of vicious political assaults. By any measure, they and their fellow travelers must consider this a great success. Perhaps terrorists who choose to carry out their massacres with guns are actually “taking advantage” of American society in a rather different way than many liberals think.
Of course,this sort of Left Wing rhetoric which does not distinguish between, but rather conflates various levels of opposition - that ranges from opposition to allowing gay marriage to throwing them off buildings - two vastly different things, needed pointing out. Douglas Murray, writing in the National Review had this:
It isn’t surprising that most gay spokespeople and publications lean left. For historic reasons — principally the political Right’s opposition to gay rights — most gay spokespeople continue to think that the political Right is the sole locale from which anti-gay sentiment can come. For many years Pat Robertson was their worst nightmare. But Pat Robertson just wanted to stop gays from marrying. He didn’t call for people to throw us off high buildings.
Despite the growing awareness that this was precisely what the Islamists wanted, gay “spokespeople,” publications, and groups went through the 2000s sharing the old leftish delusions. These included the idea that, as a “minority,” gays only had things in common with other “minorities.” So gay people were meant to be the natural political and social bedfellows not just of other gays but of people with disabilities, racial and religious minorities, and even, perhaps, women. Of course it was ridiculous. Gay men don’t have much in common with lesbians. Why — even if they had a unanimous view and voice — would they inevitably share the concerns of “all” people with one leg? Or Sikhs? Or Muslims? For this worldview to make any sense at all, you have to believe that there is a dominant, “patriarchal” voice in society, that this is the only bloc capable of bigotry, and that all these mini-communities ought to unite against this fantasy mainstream. Of course this not only fails in its reductive analysis of mainstream politics. It fails to take any interest in the crucial details of “minority” politics. Such as whether your interests are remotely aligned. Who could have known that one minority, Muslims, might not be hot for another minority? Such as gays.Whichever side makes sense to you, these are bleak times or as Mark Steyn mentioned how the Pulse Night Club would have felt like a Party at the End of the World