Circular Firing Squad | Like Dogs Howling at Sirens

Circular Firing Squad | Like Dogs Howling at Sirens

by Don Hall

Ah, Barack.

Yes, we ignored Michelle Obama when she intoned “When they go low, we go high” because that wise advise didn’t suit our Neo-Left Progressive need to express our outrage and childish inability to reign in our self righteous anger. It’s just way too much fun to say “But look at the Right! Look at Trump! They do it!” as we throw another crockery plate at the head of yet another candidate we blame for the bullies getting into power. “Being a total authoritarian scold works so we should adopt that strategy in reaction, right?”

So, it is not surprising that those who benefit the most from division and ideological purity will ignore the wisdom her husband dropped on a Berlin audience this week:

“I’m deeply invested in these values, of tolerance, and equality, and rule of law, and democracy, and human rights, and human freedom, and human dignity.” 

"One of the things I do worry about sometimes among progressives in the United States, maybe it's true here as well, is a certain kind of rigidity where we say, 'Uh, I'm sorry, this is how it's going to be,' and then we start sometimes creating what's called a 'circular firing squad,' where you start shooting at your allies because one of them is straying from purity on the issues.”

“You have to recognize that the way we structure democracy requires you to take into account people who don’t agree with you, and that by definition means you’re not going to get 100 percent of what you want.”

Waking up this morning (I’m an early riser) I came outside to smoke a pipe and take in the Las Vegas morning for a moment. In the distance I heard an ambulance running its siren as it came closer. It turns out that our neighborhood has a lot of dog owners in close proximity. As the siren grew louder, I heard one dog start to howl at/with it. Then another. And another. By the time the ambulance drove past me, it sounded like ten dogs were howling at full throat in a cacophony of canine singing. Then, just as it started, the sound of the siren passed by and the dogs, one by one, quieted down and waited for the next one.

It occurred to me that this is the perfect metaphor for social media.

Kamala Harris announces she’s running for the presidency. Lara Bazelon writes a piece in the New York Times exposing that Harris previously "fought tooth and nail to uphold wrongful convictions that had been secured through official misconduct that included evidence tampering, false testimony and the suppression of crucial information by prosecutors." The dogs in the neighborhood heard it and responded by howling in simpatico.

Beto O’Rourke almost trounces one of most awful Senators in the history of the Senate in Texas. He announces his campaign for the presidency. The Washington Post  runs a piece on the fact that he is trying to to “recapture the unifying, generational-change-oriented “yes we can” spirit of Obama” but lacks any details like Bernie or Warren and that he has a white male problem to which his response is “I’m woke enough to understand why you’d choose a nonwhite or a woman on that basis, but please take into account that I’ll act on that wokeness as president.” The dogs start howling.

Joe Biden floats that he is considering running for the presidency. Lucy Flores goes on CNN to accuse him of making her uncomfortable for smelling her hair and kissing her on the back of the head. The dogs start howling and the howling doesn’t stop because the sirens keep coming with more nonsense about a very gregarious and touchy politician (who kisses the backs of men’s heads, too) and he won’t apologize for it.

The question is simply who are you going to listen to?

Barack Obama?

“There are a lot more people like you out there who want to build rather than tear things down. And who want to bring people together rather than split them apart. But sometimes all of you work are isolated and work alone, or feel as though you’re working alone and then the whole feels like it’s less than the sum of its parts.” 

Or this random dude on the internet?

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