One of the most valuable lessons my mom taught me as a child was empathy.
And it was a painful lesson to learn.
I know I’ve told this story before, so if you’ve heard it, bear with me as I repeat it.
When I was four, my brother and I stole some toys from another child. They were cool toys. And we had nothing like them. So we didn’t think anything of simply taking them.
And when my mom found out, she didn’t just make us return the toys and apologize for stealing them.
She made us pick out our favorite toys and give those to the kid as well.
In one action, my mom was not only able to teach my brother and me that stealing is wrong. But she also got us to understand what it’s like to have something taken from us.
I never stole a single thing again.
Possessing empathy and compassion is part of having a conscience.
It isn’t just enough to know that my actions may cause harm. I also need the ability to care enough not to want to cause harm.
When you lack human compassion and empathy, your conscience is eroded.
Other people don’t matter to you. So any recognition that actions have consequences falls by the wayside.
Because you just don’t care.
It’s amazing what you can justify when you have no conscience – when you’re driven by anger and hatred with no regard for others.
And this erosion of conscience makes it easy to dehumanize people.
You can careen through life without a moment’s thought about the damage you cause to others.
Because they don’t matter to you.
You can beat them, attack them, even kill them, and it means nothing.
Possessing a conscience is what prevents us from becoming narcissistic sociopaths.
And I think what we’re seeing unfold in America today is the erosion of conscience.
When individuals lose a sense of right and wrong or the ability to feel empathy or compassion, it isn’t surprising that they would give themselves over to the mob.
And within a masked mob, there is no personal responsibility – no conscience. You can absolve yourself of any culpability because you are only an anonymous part of the whole.
It’s like the Borg — no individual identity, no conscience, no remorse, no empathy or compassion.
And that anonymity allows you to act as you wish – never burdened by a sense of right and wrong.
Without personal responsibility, compassion and empathy, what’s to stop someone from justifying brutal violence?
And this is what concerns me the most about the media’s rush to justify and sanitize the violence of mobs like Antifa.
In America in the twenty-first century, the news media is giving voice to people who are validating and advocating for mob violence in response to mass hysteria.
And that’s barbaric.
It would be as if Chuck Todd existed during the Salem Witch Trials and spent an hour interviewing someone who justifies burning a dozen women at the stake.
But when the erosion of conscience becomes the norm, barbarism is inevitable.
I believe that part of being a civil society is a sense of collective conscience. What binds us together as a people is our sense of right and wrong, tolerance and compassion, and a commitment to a shared sense of community, culture and history.
But the American Left rejects that. They don’t want community; they want chaos.
And they don’t want a shared culture and history; they want barbarism, tribalism, violence and turmoil.
Because of this erosion of conscience, there is never a moment’s hesitation to harm, to hurt, or to destroy.
For several years now, I’ve been cautioning against this push to dispense with what is known as “social conservatism.”
Because for me, social conservatism is at the core of a civil society. If we no longer recognize that there is morality, right and wrong, good and bad, what is the outcome?
Well, we’re living the outcome: violence in our streets, barbaric tribalism, and the tyranny of the mob.
A week after the 2016 election, in a column titled These riots would have happened regardless of the outcome, I wrote:
This is precisely why the radicals rise up and riot every few months. The supposed “reason” for the riot doesn’t matter. What matters is the violence and unrest they spawn.
This has never been about Donald Trump’s victory.
These are not “anti-Trump” riots. And they sure as hell aren’t “anti-Trump” protests.
The radical Left organizations bankrolling, busing and organizing these violent riots want to undermine the United States of America from within.
It’s why they leave a city in ruins when there is a police shooting.
It is neither about the police nor the shooting.
They do not want change; they want anarchy.
The supposed “cause” of these riots matters not.
All that matters is the damage to our civil society they hope to perpetrate through the use of violence and insurrection.
So if Hillary Clinton won (a horrid thought), these Leftist organizations would simply have reframed the narrative and proceeded.
Trump isn’t the enemy.
All of us are.
This country, our Constitution, our liberty and freedom, our sovereignty — it is America that is their enemy.
This has never been about “Nazis” or “Fascism.”
Their real enemy is all of America – the people, our culture, history, and our shared sense of community.
And the reason these anarchists are finding so many willing dupes is because the erosion of conscience.
When you are devoid of a conscience, how easy it becomes to get sucked in by the tyranny of the mob.
And what is chilling to me – what fills me with great concern — is the mainstream news media and elected politicians are not only justifying this barbarism of the mob.
They’re advocating for it as well.
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Books by Dianny:
RANT 2.0: Even More Politics & Snark in the Age of Obama,
Liberals Gone WILD!!! The Not-So-Silent Conquering of America,
RANT: Politics & Snark in the Age of Obama,
and two novels: Sliding Home Feet First and Under the Cloud
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