Sam Harris deserves our gratitude. With dazzling honesty, the liberal atheist public intellectual from LA has said out loud what we all knew but which his ilk have blurred for the past two years: once you decide Donald Trump is the second coming of Adolf Hitler, then anything is legitimate to stop him — and, yes, everything illegitimate was done to stop him in 2020, and it was “warranted.”
Now that the Orange Hitler is lining himself up for a second tilt at the presidency, it’s OK to suspend democracy again to stop him.
This mass delusion of the left, that the former guy is “an existential threat to democracy” and a “moral emergency,” as Harris described it on British podcast “Triggernometery” last week, has metastasized under a president afflicted with a bad case of Trump derangement syndrome.
It has progressed to the next stage, of stigmatizing and dehumanizing Trump’s supporters, which has echoes in some of the darkest periods of 20th-century history. The dozens of Trump supporters held in a DC jail without trial for months and even years over Jan. 6 offenses, many nonviolent, would be recognized immediately as political prisoners by Amnesty International if they were detained in a country like Russia.
As the podcast’s co-host, Russian-born Konstantin Kisin, 39, interjects quietly halfway through Harris’ eloquent torrent: “If you destroy democracy in the process of protecting democracy . . .” What then?
Freedom to suppress
Let’s rewind, to the start of the conversation, when Harris defends Twitter’s silencing of conservative views and amplification of lies in the digital public square on which it squats, by saying, no, it is a private company and Trump is “so malignantly selfish” that he should have been kicked off the social-media platform a year before the 2020 election.
The fun begins when Harris tries to justify Twitter’s suppression of The Post’s Hunter Biden laptop scoop in October 2020 under the guise of “Russian disinformation.”
“It was appropriate for Twitter and the heads of Big Tech and the heads of journalistic organizations to feel that they were in the presence of something like a once-in-a-lifetime moral emergency,” said Harris.
“Here’s a guy [Trump] who is capable of anything; he’s not ideological, he’s a black hole of selfishness, there’s no telling what he will do and we cannot afford to have four more years with this guy.
“So, what should well-intentioned people do who have a lot of power in these various ways – you’re running the New York Times, you’re running CNN, you’re running Twitter — what should they conspire to do?
“At the 11th hour, when who knows how this election will go, who knows what the capacity for disinformation at the last minute to tip the balance is, then what do you do with the Hunter Biden laptop story when we already know [that FBI director James Comey’s last-minute intervention over Hillary Clinton’s emails in 2016] was the killing blow to her candidacy. This was a highly analogous situation . . . we’re going to open up this laptop from hell and this news cycle is going to be just a nuclear bomb of an October surprise and we’re going to get four more years of Trump if we actually give this a fair hearing.”
The astonished hosts push back: “But you can’t do that, Sam, surely. You’ve got to . . . be fair.”
Gray Lady knows best
Harris doubles down: “I do understand how corrosive it is for an institution like The New York Times to show obvious bias and inconsistency and dishonesty . . . The way I would frame it is, ‘Listen, I don’t care what’s in Hunter Biden’s laptop.
“At that point Hunter Biden literally could have had the corpses of children in his basement. I would not have cared . . . Whatever the scope of Joe Biden’s corruption is, if we . . . understand he’s getting kickbacks from Hunter Biden’s deals in Ukraine or . . . China, it is infinitesimal compared to the corruption we know Trump is involved in.
“It’s like a firefly to the sun. It doesn’t even stack up against Trump University. Trump University as a story is worse than anything that could be in Hunter Biden’s laptop.”
Trump University was an ill-fated grift Trump launched a decade before he ran for office and for which he paid $25million in legal settlements. It’s nothing to be proud of, but if Harris wants to get into a corruption contest, it pales by comparison with a president potentially compromised by millions of dollars in payments from China to the Biden family, as documented on the laptop and elsewhere.
With liberal elitists, it’s a case of: I know Trump is existentially evil. I can’t explain exactly how I know. It’s a vibe. Trust me. In any case, who wants to be associated with the hobbits who support him? Ewww.
The antipathy to Trump among the elites is more about visceral class revulsion and a fear of contagion than his morality or politics.
Harris continues confidently: “That doesn’t answer the people who say it’s still completely unfair to not have looked at the laptop in a timely way and to have shut down the New York Post Twitter account; that’s a left-wing conspiracy to deny the presidency to Donald Trump’. Absolutely it was, absolutely. But I think it was warranted.”
At this point the hosts protest. “You’re saying you’re content with a left-wing conspiracy to prevent someone being democratically elected as president?”
Harris tries to divert the conversation onto a debate about what defines conspiracy but his hosts nimbly steer him back to deliver the final nail in the coffin of liberal pretense about the lengths to which they have gone and will continue to go to stop democracy delivering Trump the presidency once more.
“If people get together and talk about what shall we do about this phenomenon, if there was an asteroid hurtling toward earth and we got in a room together with all our friends and had a conversation about what we could do to deflect its course, is that a conspiracy . . . We have a massive problem; we have an existential threat.”
Going down a dark road
Harris has the gift of accurately describing a reality he perceives through his own biases as if he has no biases. You have to credit his candor.
In this conversation he has nailed the warped noblesse oblige of our modern liberal aristocracy, who believe that they are intellectually and morally superior to other Americans, and must protect them from their own unwise choices, like voting for Donald Trump, or driving real cars, or eating fast food.
Having absorbed the snooty European critique of America, they denounce their fellow citizens to prove their own virtue. Every time they denounce Trump and his supporters as subhuman threats to democracy, they demonstrate that they are a refined species of American unfortunately forced to inhabit this vast land with a bunch of white supremacists and nascent domestic terrorists with bad teeth and dangerous ideas.
The propaganda media of the left amplifies and twists this attitude in hateful ways. Watch MSNBC for a day with its increasingly extreme defamations of Trump and his supporters, and you can’t help but recall the radio station in Rwanda which blared out regular denunciations of the minority Tutsi as “cockroaches” in the prelude to the 1994 genocide.
History tells us where dehumanization always ends.