Some Thoughts on “Make it Stop”

My very first post on this blog (and probably one of my best… my first point about how the health care system was working for many but the left blew it up anyway seems especially prescient in light of recent events) was an analysis of a song by a super-far-left punk rock band.  After a long hiatus from blogging these past few months, I’d again like to share some thoughts prompted by a punk rock group.

Earlier today, I heard a striking song by another leftist band on my Pandora station: Make it Stop by Rise Against (if you just want to read the lyrics, go here), a song exposes the evils of bullying based on ones sexuality (apparently I am just out of the loop, because it appears the song is a couple years old and made it on the Billboard charts when it first came out, but it was entirely new to me).  I had a wide variety of reactions to it.

1) First, I should simply say that even though it is a rare occurrence for me, I agree with the primary message of Rise Against’s song.  The gay person is created in the image of God.  To harass another person based on their sexuality is evil.

2) This song is a very good example of why the left is generally defeating the right on social/cultural issues.  For whatever reason they are just so much more effective at combining a few facts with a heaping portion of emotional tugs in a way that is incredibly successful in persuading people.  I don’t know why, but we on the right just aren’t very good at that sort of thing, even in cases where it should be fairly straight-forward for us.  I do not in any way mean to diminish the tragedy of 5 teen boys bullied into suicide, but I would submit that we could easily find 500 3rd trimester babies who were crushed or shredded to death, the abortionist casting a deaf ear to the babies’ shrieks of pain.  But where are the songs on the Billboard charts changing minds to gain sympathy on behalf of these victims?

3) I wonder how many people listened to this song and concluded: “therefore, we must support gay marriage, otherwise we are among the haters”?  Of course, a thinking person can despise gay bullying and love the gay individual, while believing that gay marriage is a bad idea for society.  (If you don’t believe me, check out this very long piece that provides some history and argues strongly that the impact of the Old Testament defining marriage as man-woman has been incredibly positive, and led to societal advances that otherwise would not have been possible).  But the same cries of “hate” in this song (which are legitimate) are echoed when it comes to the issue of gay marriage.  Proposition 8, the ballot amendment that made gay marriage unconstitutional in California (later overturned by the courts) was very commonly called “Prop Hate” by opponents.  Obviously in there eyes, homophobia is the only possible reason one could want to retain both man and woman in the definition of marriage (they don’t ever seem to confront the fact that this view renders basically every civilization that has ever existed on earth prior to a couple decades ago as bigots).

4) In many ways, this song is an archetype for how the left persuades on a variety of issues.  The formula is to find a few terrible examples and then argue for the change you want based off of that.  In this particular song, the change being proposed (don’t bully) is entirely justifiable based on the facts.  But often it isn’t.

The left singles out some horror stories of people who were paying insurance premiums, suffered a large claim, and then had their coverage rescinded, in some cases leading to bankruptcy.  That’s terrible.  They also talked about people who were denied insurance due to pre-existing conditions.  That’s a tougher one (you can’t total your car an then buy auto insurance, so are we sure we want to let people develop a serious medical condition and then buy insurance?).  But even granting that needs to be addressed as well, there are lots of ways of solving those problems that didn’t involve a 2000 page bill that cancelled the policies of millions who liked their insurance and instead forced them to purchase more expensive plans that provide additional benefits they don’t want or need.

However, in the context of the increasingly shallow American mind, this “talk about the worst victims and then assert that their existence is sufficient proof for any “solution” we put forward” is a good strategy.  Our ability to reason is declining as quickly as our attention span.  Give us a story to demonstrate to us that there is a problem and conclude that we therefore need whatever you are offering.  If the solution really doesn’t solve the problem or makes a lot of detrimental changes that have nothing to do with the problem, just hope that the average voter is too busy watching the VMAs or checking our Facebook feed for the 15th time that day to figure that out.  We probably are.


  1. Randy in Richmond says:

    It’s good to hear from you Ryan. I know about those long sabaticals. The overall premise of your post, I think ,frustrates many conservatives. I don’t need to give the list of those elected officials who for whatever reason tickled their tonsils with their foot over some inane statement. I’ve used President Bush before as an example–he is strongly pro-life, everyone knows this and to my knowledge with decades in the public spotlight, there is little to no controversy about statements from him on this subject.

    Democrats do the same thing but a willing media give them an edge. What comes to mind is that our President, while a member of the Illinois Senate, spoke to and voted (3 times) for legislation to withhold appropriate medical care for an aborted baby born alive.

    While Democrats are very saavy at utilizing all of the social mediums, these same technologies, long term, are starting to catch up to them because they are by definition transparent and forever.