When The End Justifies The Means, Who Cares About Truth?
By Tom Knighton
One thing I get to enjoy as a full-time blogger is an up-close look at what the left publishes. I don’t get the luxury of living in an echo chamber, which is for the best. I have to listen to what they’re saying and, more importantly, how they’re saying it.
Now, there are some on the left who I believe may be misguided, but are actually decent folks. They’re True Believers, which can be a different brand of problem, but they also have some sense of morality that keeps some of the worst aspects of humanity in check.
But there are others who don’t really care.
Now, Medium is a pretty open platform and lots of people write at Medium with no audience to speak of, but this one got a little traction. The bulk of the post, despite a title about the supposed American collapse, is about a GOP candidate who is apparently a true racist.
Racists are scum and I would sooner vote for my coffee table than an avowed racist. I don’t have any issue with the author addressing the candidate’s claim that “God is a white supremacist,” which is the greatest load of bunk I’ve heard out of a candidate since “Hope and Change.”
What bothered me was his choice of photograph.
You see, when blogging, artwork matters. I remember the days when no one really cared about pics, but those days are long behind us. These days, the photographs grab people. Here’s the picture that the author, Umair Haque, chose to use:
Four women in white shirts at what is clearly a Trump rally saying “Make America White Again.” How was this not news when it happened? How was this not on the cover of every newspaper in the country?
Probably because it didn’t happen.
What you see above is a photoshop job. In this post, you can see these same four women as well a what their shirts really say. “Make America Great Again.” The same thing countless hats and signs at rallies all over the nation said during Trump’s campaign.
Yet Haque makes no mention of this. There’s no disclaimer that it’s not a real photograph, that he’s using it to make a point, or anything. This leaves two possibilities.
The first is laziness. Maybe he simply didn’t know it wasn’t real and failed to do any research on the validity of the image. If that’s true, then why should we take anything else he says at face value? He’s clearly not conducting rudimentary research on something as simple as a photo—Google’s reverse image search is a handy tool, after all—what else is he missing in his diatribe?
He may also have known it was fake and simply forgot to let people know, which is something he should have done from the start. Failure to do so is still laziness, and it also makes one wonder just what else he forgot to mention. If you can fail to provide such an important detail, what else did you fail to provide?
The second option, however, is malice. He knows It’s photoshop and didn’t care to inform his audience because he wants to paint the American right as nothing but racists. This image, and the fact that these four women would be so bold as to wear such shirts (if it were real, naturally) surrounded by thousands of other Americans, would easily show people just how white supremacist the conservative side actually is.
However, I seriously doubt Haque is lazy. It’s a long post with a lot of arguments included designed to dispute the idea that God is a white supremacist. Nothing in that reads as something written by a lazy person in any way, shape or form.
That leaves malice, and if that’s the case, I hope Haque has a good lawyer on standby.
You see, those four women are easily identifiable by those who know them. All it takes is the wrong soul seeing that image and they could lose their jobs and generally have their lives turned upside down. In other words, this could easily be considered defamation.
But for leftists like Haque, who cares?
After all, the American left has made it pretty damn clear that they don’t really care about the lives of people who disagree with them ideologically. They’ve taken to stalking and harassment in public spaces to try and shame conservative leadership into…who the hell knows? I guess they think they can turn the right into leftists with enough shame or something. That’s not how it works, mind you, but that’s what they apparently think.
Because of that, I can’t help but think that Haque doesn’t really care what happens to these women because of this photoshop job.
Now, I’m not saying he did it. I honestly don’t know who did the photoshopping here. I honestly don’t care all that much.
What I do care is that Haque has published it and promoted it while apparently presenting it as a factual and accurate representative of what was at a Donald Trump rally at some point in the past.
As of Sunday afternoon, it had almost 9,500 likes (or whatever Medium calls it). That means significantly more people saw that image. I mean, unless you think that everyone who saw the post clicked the little clapping hands icon. The likes to views ratio often varies, but I’ve often gotten hundreds more hits on a post than I got likes, so it’s not unreasonable to say that tens of thousands of people have seen this. It’s also not unreasonable to estimate that the number of reads that story got was in the hundreds of thousands.
In other words, Haque used that image to lie to thousands.
But, when the ends justify the means as so many leftists apparently believe, you can do that. Who cares if these four women have their lives upended? That’s just the broken egg necessary to make an omelet and all those other clichés.
Frankly, it’s just another variety of collectivist thinking. They don’t care what happens to four individuals because they think the group matters more.
What they always fail to remember is that no group of people is made up of a faceless mob. They’re made up of individuals. If you do what is right for the individual, you do what is best for the group as a whole. It’s the natural result.
But, when you do what you think is best for the group, there are individuals that are going to be hurt.
In this case, it’s possible defamation. In another it could be about jobs. Who knows?
What really matters is that collectivists like the American left will always tend to figure they can stomp on the individual, and that’s precisely what Haque is doing here.