In my previous post on lunactivism I should have defined it: activism taking positions which are harmful to a central cause, usually from a desire to appear ideologically consistent.
Most lunactivists are liberals who get sidelined by the search for the approbation of a good cause defended, and fail to sanity check their own actions. Liberals tend to believe that integrity entails always "speaking truth to power" on every issue, where truth is whatever they feel and power is whichever tradition or institution they wish at the moment to destroy. Lunactivism occurs when activists get carried away with excitement over side issues, overreach, or choose the wrong fellow travelers.
My favorite early blogger, Ralph Waldo Emerson, said "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Means: you don't have to conform for the sake of conformity, either in fashion or in substance. And if your zeal for conformance to the logical implications of an ideology puts you someplace doing something that you know is wrong, then you probably ought to reconsider that ideology, or at least your own zeal.
As part of the Law of Unintended Consequences, there is always a backlash against activism of any kind. The activism can be seen to be lunactive if negative consequences exceed the progress toward the intended goal.
Conservatives are also guilty of lunactivism, though on nothing like the same scale. I mention two examples below, and there may be others. Some examples of lunactivism:
- Wanting to kill the baby animal who loses its mother, because growing up around humans is a fate worse than death.
- Not allowing human predation (so more animals suffer longer)
Abortion is the leading cause of African American deaths, yet the NAACP supports it because that's the ideologically correct liberal position.
In 2006, opposition to the Iraq war led liberal anti-war activists to support Ned Lamont for Senator in Connecticut, eventually defeating Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary. Lieberman, however, is among the most liberal of Democrats on most issues, but happens to support the Iraq war. So the activists spent all of their effort to unseat a popular liberal Senator in a liberal State, a "safe seat", only to have him win the general election as an Independent.
This Spring (2007), Harvard College Democrats displayed on the school quadrangle 3,200 red bandannas "to visually illustrate the sheer magnitude of what Iraq has become", according to a piece in The Crimson.
"Unfortunately for the Dems, their Iraq display in the Quad looks nothing like a memorial for the lost soldiers and civilians in Iraq."
Prior to their installation of the Iraq Awareness Display, the Dems held a Candlelight Vigil at Tercentenary Theater. There were also a number of projects undertaken to physically support the troops (a phrase we invoke, but often don’t act upon), including a donation drive they co-sponsored with the Harvard Republican Club and ROTC. In other words, the Iraq Awareness Project was a series of solidly forward-thinking events. But the display–well that’s a prime example of how progressives lose focus at Harvard.When Confronted By Contrary Opinion
Students at college campuses from Columbia to Berkeley have begun raising such a fuss against anyone who disagrees with the leftward agenda that they silence any contrary voice, often with violence and the explicit denial of the right to free speech.
By gushing over the wonders of the Cuban health care system, Michael M0ore undercuts his own message by choosing a tyrant as a fellow traveler. Viewers will draw the implication that America must emulate Cuba's totalitarianism if it is to achieve good health care.
Multiculty is an inherently contradictory dogma, which says that all cultures are to be valued and preserved, even ones which deny basic human rights. This principle trumps religious freedom, free speech, women's rights, and just about everything else when it comes to Islam. Liberals ignore the hatred pouring from the mosques, as well as the fact that Islam and liberal ideology simply do not mix.
As the Vanishing American put i:
Somehow liberal Christians and secular liberals and leftists alike believe that anyone who suffers or is 'oppressed' even if by their own fault is automatically to be exalted. This is what is at the core of the leftist/liberal reverence for the 'Other', the stranger, the outcast, the invader.AIDS and Abstinence
Gay Pride and liberal correctness mean that abstinence is anathema. Even though abstinence education has proven effective against the spread of AIDS, activists will have nothing of it.
Debates: Fox has a bigger audience than any other cable news outlet, and boycotting them only hurts the candidates in their efforts to become known.
O'Reilly boycott: Bill O'Reilly is not a conservative. He's a populist who explicitly distances himself from many conservative positions. Yet lunactivists are staging a boycott. Why? Could it be because O'Reilly points out the disproportionate and controlling influence of Moveon.org and George Soros on the Democratic Party?
The "Climate Crisis" and the Union of Concerned Scientists:
The UCS doesn't understand that their advocacy, following as it does a pattern of liberal orthodoxy, detracts from the authority their voice would otherwise have. People notice the pattern, and think "Oh, it's them again."
Vigilante Killing of AbortionistsThough it hasn't happened for about 10 years, right-wing anti-abortionists have murdered doctors who perform abortions. Again, this is taking ideology to the extreme, committing acts that are wrong and justifying them by the logical implications of ideology. The backlash against these killings continues today, typically in an application of the ad hominem tu quoque fallacy ("And what of you?").
Traitors and Criminals
Finally, as Becker points out at Redstate.com, it is a misuse of language to call anti-war politicians "traitors". Contrarily, saying that the Iraq war is illegal and that the Administration is "criminal" is equally wrong. That kind of hyperbole does more harm than good. "Treason" and "criminal" have specific meanings, and throwing these words around without carefully considering those definitions is crying wolf. It allows the object of the name-calling to generalize and blur the lines, so that in the future some real traitor or criminal may go unpunished.
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