End of Discussion; How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and fun)
By Mary Katharine Ham and Guy Benson
Date Review Posted: July 6, 2015
Author: Mary Katharine Ham & Guy Benson
Release Date: 2015
Web Sites: Mary Katharine Ham: http://www.mkhammer.squarespace.com/ and Guy Benson: http://www.guybensonshow.com/
Related Blog: None that I am aware of
CCCCC (A case could be made that I would only review the best of the best because if while reading a book it does not hold my interest, I would not finish it and therefore would not review it.)
"Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views." William F. Buckley, Jr
William F. Buckley Jr. has perfectly defined the premise of the book End of Discussion. That is exactly what the book is about.
Chapter 1 entitled Head Explosions describes today's desire to NOT OFFEND and that creates a society whose heads are ready to explode because there are opportunities to offend so many on so many occasions on so many levels. Just think of Facebook when you read a post that absolutely causes you concern or grief. You want to replay but then you think of all those folks who you may offend and then decide not to post your views. The authors give one example after another as to how this works not only on Facebook but in our daily lives especially for those who are attending college.
Chapter 2 entitled Everythings's a Thing, Combating the Politicized Life. The authors suggest we are turning into "a country of floppers" with floppers being compared to sports figures who fake an injury or who had bodily harm supposedly done to them to effect a benefit such as a flag, forfeiture of yards, free throw, time or points taken away, etc. We have all seen floppers not only in sports but in life. Organizations, individuals and especially students and college professors use the flopper defense at every occasion in order to get their way. Again, example after example is described in the book.
Chapter 3 entitled Anatomy of an Outrage: How the Racket Operates. From the book, "The machine's twin objectives are to isolate and polarize conservative figures, and just as important, to bypass meaningful debate via hype and outrage." The authors point out that when one side, usually the left, has no new ideas and is stuck on the status quo, they fake an outrage so severe as to almost criminalize the offender and refuse to listen to their point(s) of view. With the advent of the Internet and such sites as Facebook, these outrages can easily be spread like wild fire amongst those people who will feed the fire by "liking" and "sharing" the information, right or wrong. Part of the plan is to parade victim after victim of people who have been "offended" as compared to "hurt" with the presumption that the outrage is by far the majority of the nation's thinking so the person doing the offending therefore must be wrong.
Chapter 4 entitled The Dog-Whistle Whisperers: Race Baiting as a Silencing Strategy "EXTREME" MAKEOVER; Voter ID Edition. Everything is being considered as being racial no matter the honesty or dishonesty of the debate. Something as simple as "Obama is from Chicago" can be considered a racial statement by the far left thinking people. If you watch the news, read the paper or search Internet sites, you can find one race baiting incident after another. The result is that people now tend to couch their words for fear of being labeled a racist. You know this is true and the authors again provide one example after another. The term "dog-whistle" simply means a warning that only dogs (or in this case Liberals) can hear and take action on. This may be one of the best chapters in the book.
Chapter 5 entitled Speech Police Academy; Orthodoxy Enforcement on Campus. From the book, "Decrying the speech-stymieing madness that too often prevails on American college campuses may be well-trod ground, but it is more fertile ground than ever. The best way to describe this chapter is "tell me something that I don't know." It is hard to deny that college campuses have become a liberal safe-haven for college professors. Since cell phone videos have become more commonplace there have been more and more examples of college professors saying such obviously leftist political propaganda within the college classrooms and at the same time stifling speech by anyone who disagrees. Colleges once were designed to encourage the free exchange of ideas and research but that has become a thing of the past. Another great chapter in the book.
Chapter 6 entitled The Vagina Demagogues, Feminism and the "War on Women" and EXTREME MAKEOVER: Abortion Edition." In the movie Agenda, Grinding America Down it was pointed out that one of the left's strongest and most effective tools was the women's movement and that if the Communist agenda is to be achieved, the women's movement if commandeered would have a tremendous affect on that agenda. The so-called "war on women" is just one such tactic. The left has used the term "war on women" much like they have used the word "racist". In both cases, they are used to stifle debate. Once someone is declared to be a racist they are put on the defense to where they can't win. The same is true when someone is accused of being against women.
Chapter 7 entitled "(Different) Rules for "Radicals": Double Standards on Violence and Rhetoric. "EXTREME MAKEOVER: Semiautomatic Ignorance Edition." You can take two similar violent incidents yet the left will use one in pursuit of its own agenda and ignore the other because it doesn't fit their agenda. There are numerous examples of this described and explained in the book. Of course anyone who disagrees with this point of view is basically told to shut up or is labeled as someone not be trusted, racist, or is against women. And God forbid that you do not agree with the Left for you will certainly be labeled an "extremist." The section on "Semiautomatic Ignorance" is about firearms, fact vs fables.
Chapter 8 entitled Bake me a Cake, Bigots, Gay Rights and Authentic Coexistence. This chapter you just have to read and apply your own beliefs. It is an extremely thought provoking chapter and frankly there does not appear to be only one correct way of thinking about this subject when each party has valid positions. The key point is that each party has valid positions and each position should be openly discussed and considered. Read the chapter and then you decide.
Chapter 9 entitled The Uptight Citizens Brigade, The War on Comedy. I found this Chapter to be very interesting and caused me to change my thinking a bit. Of late there has been an attack on comedians, both male and female, in regards to what is now considered acceptable and what tends to offend people. The point is that comedy has been redefined whereas in the past the mere term "comedy" meant that just about everything could be talked about and joked about and could include the use of foul language. But one by one this has been changed to where comedians are afraid to joke about anything without fearing they will offend someone and become the point of attack. Again example after example is given and you will certainly recognize the name of the comedians discussed. The section on Joan Rivers is simply exceptional!
Chapter 10 entitled Resist We Much?: Advice, Sort Of. This is the authors suggestions on improving the situation and solving the problems we now face must revolving around extreme political correctness. They are excellent suggestions. The problem is that most of the people reading this book will be those on the right side of the political spectrum. The problems will not really be resolved until the people on the left side realize what they have done and continue to do to honest debate in America. Before you decide this is all bogus as most on the left will do, I beg and plead that these people watch the movie, Agenda, Grinding America Down. It can be seen on YouTube in its full length of 90 minutes but realizing that is a lot to ask even though warranted, there is a condensed version at this address (this is from me, not from the book): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZJF3HalQOU
Number Of Times I Have Read This Book: Only once. Will I read it again? Absolutely! Would I give it as a gift; absolutely!
Who Should Read the Book? Everyone should read the book, especially anyone who declares to be a Liberal or Democrat. Unfortunately my guess is that once a Liberal or Democrat reads the title to the book, they will never read it which is exactly what William F. Buckley Jr suggests in the quote at the beginning of this review and as it appears in the beginning of the book. The authors not only identify the problems America faces regarding informed debates, they provide proof of their findings and then they offer some suggestions to addressing those problems. The first of which would be for all Liberals and Democrats to read the book. I think they will probably find a section or two that would identify their beliefs or not.