The Left’s ‘Bully Pulpit’ of Victimhood — Should It Confer Authority To Change Policy?

Written by Andrew Allen on March 12, 2018

“Why are the children of the Florida school not being listened to? They are shouting for better gun laws. Why is no one listening to them when they have lost so many of their school friends?”

In the wake of the Parkland school massacre the above is what we’re hearing non-stop from the media and left-leaning political types. This may be the most unintentionally informative statement anyone left-of-center has uttered since Maxine Waters on September 12, 2009 threatened a government takeover of the petroleum industry. Let’s unpack the statement.

“Why are the children of the Florida school not being listened to?”

Why indeed! We are told some 3,200+ students attend the school in question. About four of them are the only ones the media has trotted out and given voice to. Those four appear to be career activist types who either latched on to the opportunity the shooting provided to make a name for themselves, or were carried in that direction by major players in the activism industry. Why four – including one with a story that seems to change every time he finds a camera and a mic – get to speak for more than 3,200 of their peers is a great question.

Keep in mind, just after Parkland there was a shooting at a Michigan university. A young man entered campus and apparently shot and killed his parents. Not a single student at the Michigan university was given a voice by the media even though it was a school shooting. (The left’s/media’s definition of a school shooting is extremely elastic; using the left’s criteria the Michigan shooting cannot be dismissed based on dissimilarity with Parkland).

“They are shouting for better gun laws.”

Is that because shouting is a great way to silence an uncomfortable diversity in our national discourse? As for “better gun laws”, what would those be? More pointedly, what gun laws would have stopped Cruz from illegally entering the school campus and shooting students?

Notice too the focus on “gun laws”. That focus distracts from the Obama-era mandate that schools not discipline problematic students like Cruz. It also avoids examination of the Broward County Sheriff’s Department and their reaction to the shooting. We know from 911 audio that their officers knew a shooting was taking place inside the school and that their priority was to set up a perimeter and evacuate areas AROUND but NOT WITHIN school grounds. Officers from the Coral Springs Police Department were the first to arrive on scene and enter the school. If gun laws are worth review then surely dereliction of duty on the part of the Obama administration and Broward County Sheriff’s Department is also worth examination.

“Why is no one listening to them when they have lost so many of their school friends?”

Baltimore is America’s murder capital. A few weeks ago, the fact that the city had for the first time since 2015 gone 10 days without a homicide was treated in celebratory terms by local media. Chicago isn’t much better off. In both cities, the equivalent of a Parkland massacre happens every three or four days. I don’t hear anyone giving voice to the citizens of inner-city Baltimore or Chicago.

More importantly, in our system of government there is no correlation between the degree of tragedy one experiences and authority to change national policy. That’s right. One’s measure of tragedy doesn’t give someone more authority than they would otherwise have to direct the course of national policy. Yet that’s exactly what the left is trying to do with Parkland.

According to the left, because Parkland students experienced tragedy, they should get a larger voice in the debate than anyone else. It’s almost like giving one group 1.5 votes in elections and another group 0.75 votes based on some sense of social justice. The left has done this before.

Just a few years ago, the Black Lives Matter movement used the tragedy of black men that died during interactions with police to gain an outsized voice in demanding changes to our criminal justice system. The left, from Obama’s Justice Department on down, gave them that outsized voice.

After Black Lives Matter visited a riot upon Baltimore, the Justice Department dispatched dozens of officials to the city and imposed new, Black Lives Matter-friendly, policies upon the Baltimore Police Department after which crime rates skyrocketed. Same goes for all the other places where Black Lives Matter instigated riots.
Based on a sense of tragedy, and an outsized voice given to an activist organization grafted on to that tragedy, the Obama administration also considered moving forward with Black Lives Matter demands that police departments be “demilitarized”. Think back through recent events and imagine how any number of incidents might have turned out if the police lacked personal or vehicle armor, advanced communications gear, and was limited to pistols and shotguns for their firepower.

The new tyranny of the left involves taking a group of people, labeling them victims, and then giving their voice authority it wouldn’t otherwise have. In that way, laws derived from ideology are imposed upon our population rather than laws born of logic, prudence, and debate.

Do the students of Parkland have a voice? Sure, and they should. All 3,200+ of them. Chances are in a group that large there are many different points of view when it comes to guns. No one point of view should outweigh another based on a skewed sense of authority. The left is more than happy to silence your point of view if you don’t meet their ideological criteria for victimhood.

photo credit: Excerpted from: marcoverch Man with a bullhorn – Frankfurt Marathon 2017 via photopin (license)

Andrew Allen
Andrew Allen (@aandrewallen) grew up in the American southeast and for more than two decades has worked as an information technoloigies professional in various locations around the globe. A former far-left activist, Allen became a conservative in the late 1990s following a lengthy period spent questioning his own worldview. When not working IT-related issues or traveling, Andrew Allen spends his time discovering new ways to bring the pain by exposing the idiocy of liberals and their ideology.