Monica Lewinsky is the Right’s Happy Warrior.
Lewinsky, the former White House intern, is devoting her life to a distinctly conservative cause. At first glance, Lewinsky’s campaign to end public shaming and social-media bullying might seem like a bland progressive endeavor. But make no mistake. Monica is the new R. Emmett Tyrrell. She’s to the right of the John Birch Society. They should give her a Golden Cigar at CPAC.
Lewinsky is 41 years old now and back in the public spotlight. No, she’s not living in a house with Kathleen Willey for a C-SPAN reality show. Instead, she’s staging a full-throated fight against online shaming, giving a well-received TED talk on the subject and joining Twitter. In her role as Vanity Fair contributing editor, Lewinsky this week interviewed “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed” author Jon Ronson.
“It’s a strange combination of schadenfreude and othering people,” Lewinsky said of public shame mobs. (RELATED: Howley Runs From The Mob…Will They Find Him?)
“On social media, we’ve set a stage for constant high dramas,” Ronson said. “So we have to do something wonderful and heroic or we have to shame this terrible person.”
Their cause is noble enough, especially since so many social-media shame victims are teenagers or young professionals, but don’t think for a minute that it’s an apolitical issue (even if politics-weary Lewinsky isn’t saying so). The people responsible for this phenomenon in our society are squarely on the Left. And for them it’s not a problem. If their vision of the future comes true, it will be the new law enforcement.
The president of the United States, Barack Obama, recently told The Huffington Post that the entire country should shame college kids who get caught making racist comments on furtively-released cell phone videos, like the frat brothers at Oklahoma University.
“At any given point on any given day, somebody’s doing something stupid out there,” Obama said. “And in the age of the Internet it’s going to attract attention.”
“What was heartening was the quick response from [college] president Boren, somebody who I know well and who I know has great integrity. Quick reaction from the student body.”
“The way we have to measure progress here is not, ‘Is there ever going to be an incident of racism in the country?’ It’s,’‘How does the majority of our country respond?'”
This is the business model of Washington-based Media Matters for America, which patrols conservative media all day (presumably in an all-white room resembling a scene from “Eraserhead”), picks out things it can stretch into instances of bigotry, and sends its findings to a small clique of twentysomething liberal journalists at mainstream “news” publications who pretend to be outraged.
Then a small but hyperbolic crowd of mostly anonymous left-wing activists pick it up and start calling for boycotts, firings, arrests, public hangings, whatever. In the case of the anti-Limbaugh “Stop Rush” movement, they even use automated technologies to make sponsors think that outraged tweets are coming from a vast cross-section of the country, rather than just a handful of losers.
This is the new normal. In a progressive society in which the government knows everything about you from your Obamacare records, and the Internet helpfully catalogs every put-down or conspiracy theory, privacy is a thing of the past. It’s becoming impossible to live your life off the grid. The Left knows the power of this technology. They want everyone to be called into the electronic town square to be held accountable to recently-invented progressive social norms. A fundamentally libertarian country has been turned into a left-wing tribunal.
As progressive billionaire Google chairman Eric Schmidt said five years ago, “If you have something that you don’t want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place.”
Three weeks later, the Twitter mob is STILL going after University of Maryland student A.J. Hurwitz for sending a private email to his frat brothers over a year ago that had racist and misogynistic comments in it — even after Hurwitz got suspended and had his image circulated all over the social web.
“I wonder if #ajhurwitz knows UMD posts all students addresses on the student directory online,” said one outraged person. “Anyone with a UMD id can look up his address.”
Tweeted another: “AJ Hurwitz you can hide, but you will be found, and you will be held accountable for the garbage you wrote.”
There’s nowhere to hide. Monica Lewinsky is right, and Right. If you’re an enemy of the mob, They will find you … and bring you to your knees.