“Thus says the Lord God: Because the Philistines acted revengefully and took vengeance with malice of soul to destroy in never-ending enmity, therefore thus says the Lord God, Behold, I will stretch out my hand against the Philistines, and I will cut off the Cherethites and destroy the rest of the seacoast. I will execute great vengeance on them with wrathful rebukes. Then they will know that I am the Lord, when I lay my vengeance upon them.” (Ezek. 25:15-17)
Conservatives cannot help but savor the schadenfreude as insufferable Hollywood leftists like James Gunn, Patton Oswalt, Michael Ian Black, and Sarah Silverman come under fire for years-old jokes about pedophilia. Even relatively amiable Hollywood lefties find themselves on the receiving end of the politics of personal destruction, like Trevor Noah, who now faces a potential boycott over a joke he made about Aboriginal women five years ago. James Gunn took every opportunity to destroy the lives and careers of his political opponents. When Roseanne Barr made an offensive joke about Valerie Jarrett, he applauded ABC for canceling her show. When Laura Ingraham criticized the callow campaigns of student anti-gun activists, Gunn demanded an advertiser boycott of her program.
James Gunn had good reason to feel comfortable throwing stones from his glass house. For decades the Left has enjoyed an unchallenged double standard of behavior that has allowed its partisans to run roughshod over American culture and politics. Roman Polanski raped a 13-year-old girl while she yelled, “Keep away!” and, “Stop it!” Nevertheless, Meryl Streep applauded him at the Academy Awards and lamented, “I’m very sorry that he’s in jail.” Meanwhile, conservative actor James Woods, among countless other right-wing entertainment professionals, lost his agent and career merely for publicly supporting the Republican president.
For years, conservatives lay down and took it, eschewing the politics of personal destruction as undignified and toxic to civil society. So the Left became emboldened. When left-wing actor and film producer Mark Duplass tepidly suggested his fellow travelers peruse the Twitter account of Ben Shapiro for a glimpse into the conservative worldview, the blowback was so swift that Duplass deleted the tweet and posted in its place a pitiful apology for the unthinkable transgression of considering another point of view. The Left now feels free to smear anyone to the right of Vladimir Lenin as bigoted or “hateful.” As just one personal example, the shameless jackals at the Southern Poverty Law Center reacted to my own Prager University video lambasting the racist Alt-Right by describing me as particularly “egregious” in its “Hatewatch” blog.
Today the Left is learning a hard lesson in reaping and sowing. After decades of ever more outrageous double standards, conservatives have had more than they can take. If the Left won’t abide a culture of grace and mercy, justice will just have to do. Donald Trump is the vengeance of the Lord, the long-delayed deserts of leftist bullies. Now, if you launch a cynical attack on one of us, expect a cynical attack to be launched on you. Weaponize the mainstream media to attack our candidates, expect a new media apparatus to come after you. Slander one of us, expect to see your reputation destroyed in return. Refuse to accept the results of the 2016 election; we’ll keep on rubbing your nose in it. Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, tit for tat — justice, the vengeance of the Lord.
The principle extends beyond domestic adversaries to foreign enemies. As Iranian president Hassan Rouhani learned today, the era of American obsequiousness, wherein the White House responds to the capture of our sailors with fawning praise and a plane full of cash, is over. The Iranian regime threatens the United States; the White House threatens in return to make the mullahs “SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE,” sending the Iranian rial plunging to record lows, pummeling the already cash-strapped regime.
The “social justice warriors” of the American Left are furiously unaware “that in the course of justice none of us should see salvation.” They easily dole out punishment; now they will see how it feels to take it. Life would be far more pleasant, the culture far healthier, and the country far more united if we could joke without fearing the loss of our livelihoods, disagree without risking our reputations, and apologize with the hope of being forgiven. But the Left demands justice, and so justice shall be meted out until the last semblance of polite society is wrecked or, one hopes, the belligerents in this culture war raise the white flag to ask for grace.