Won’t Be Bullied
Ben won’t fold.

President Obama with students at the White House Conference on Bullying Prevention, March 10, 2011


LOPEZ: How is it remotely fair to say that the Obama administration “appropriated bullying to apply only to anything remotely conservative”?

SHAPIRO: Bullying doesn’t count if you’re a leftist. Tea Partiers are nasty thugs, even if they never engage in violence and clean up after themselves; meanwhile, Occupy Wall Streeters are victims of the 1 percent, even if they’re raping people and defecating in public. Religious people are bullies because they disapprove of gay marriage, even if it’s the pro-gay population blackballing people out of jobs in Hollywood if they contributed to the Proposition 8 effort. 


Name a major Obama initiative. There is no doubt that any public support for that initiative was built on the back of Obama’s bullying. Obamacare was built by bullying insurance companies (“greedy”) and doctors and religious employers (“war on women”). The Lily Ledbetter Act was built by labeling anyone who disagreed with the act a sexist. The latest fiscal-cliff deal was built by Obama’s leveraging class warfare against a “selfish” Republican party supposedly only cares for the rich.

The Obama administration may be against a young kid bullying another young kid, but they’re not against it enough to expel the bully or allow the victim to fight back. At one point, elements of the Left stood up against actual bullying (see the civil-rights movement). Now they defend it, so long as it’s from their side of the aisle. That’s because they see conservative philosophy itself as thuggish and dated — and thus, virtually any tactics become acceptable to fight it.

LOPEZ: What do you have against Glee?

SHAPIRO: Aside from its being a terrible show, Glee is a despicable attempt by Hollywood to leverage the medium of children’s entertainment to push far-left social values. At least The West Wing was honest enough to play politics with a political show. Glee plays politics by using a High School Musical aesthetic to ram gay marriage down children’s throats.

LOPEZ: “A century of civility has brought us a century of liberalism. We’re not the thugs. They are.” How do civil people avoid looking like bullies as they debate and challenge and expose?

SHAPIRO: I think the first problem is that we insist on being civil. The Left has been uncivil for a century, and they’re winning. We have the moral high ground, and nothing else.

That doesn’t mean that incivility should be a first option. But when the Left is thuggish, we need to call them on it. There is no way to negotiate with a bully. The Left understands that, which is why they spend the majority of their time trying to label Republicans as bullies — that way, they’ll never have to negotiate with us. There are those on the other side of the aisle who legitimately wish to discuss what legislation will best achieve human happiness. We can have civil conversations with those people, because they don’t impugn our intentions.

But there is no way to be civil — and indeed, it is a huge mistake to be civil — with those who label us and our intentions as morally evil. They are not interested in the best evidence-based policy. They are interested only in “change” that makes them feel good about themselves, which requires them to cast those of us who insist on evidence-based law as the villains. You can’t negotiate on gun control with people who say you don’t care about the dead children of Sandy Hook. And you shouldn’t. They’re bullies.