Yesterday, a commenter on an Independent Gay Forum thread referred to me — insistently — as a “nutjob.” It was very important for him to assert this, even though I and two other people disputed his claim. I didn’t mind very much, because he’s pretty much a typical Leftist, and they throw around perjorative terms accusing people they dislike of mental illness all the time. It just comes with the territory, and can’t be taken very seriously.
But as I think back a couple of posts ago, to my thoughts on Jared Lee Loughner, it made me wonder. What the hell is it with Leftists and their much-claimed (by themselves) “compassion” for those suffering from mental illness? If a libertarian or conservative calls someone a nut, we are being insensitive and heartless. If a Leftist does, he or she is stoutly defending the faith.
Since the Left decided — in its boundless, infinite compassion — to let multitudes of mentally ill folks out of the institutions that cared for them, they have indeed turned our entire society into a gigantic mental hospital. You can hardly walk down a city street these days without passing half a dozen people who are obviously dangerously disturbed and unable even to care for themselves — people who, when the sun goes down and the street lights come on, are entirely at the mercy of every sort of human predator.
There clearly must be a line that divides those deemed sane enough to live out in society on their own and those kept — for their own safety, as much as others’ — in some kind of protective care. That line would obviously be whether they can be responsible for themselves. Thanks to the Leftists and their “compassion,” that line has been blurred into invisibility.
I personally have seen no indication whatsoever that as individuals, Leftists have more compassion for the mentally ill than anybody else does. They’re certainly not shy about calling people “nuts” or “crazy” when they disagree with them about anything. Would not an intelligent and sensitive understanding of mental illness compel us to lob words like those at one another less often, or at least more thoughfully?
If somebody is genuinely suffering from a mental illness, isn’t it rather stupid to call him or her a “whacko” or a “nut?” What the hell can this person possibly be expected to do about that? It makes about as much sense to get angry at a really mentally ill person as it would to get mad at somebody who was physically ill. If cancer or diabetes isn’t a crime, neither is schizophrenia or bipolarism.
If you’re calling “nuts” a person who is of perfectly sound mind, then you’re reinforcing a cruel stigma. You’re actually contributing to society’s misunderstandings about mental illness. You’re giving those who suffer — through no fault of their own — an even harder row to hoe than they would have otherwise.
Many pious Leftists are phoney baloney. Not only are they not more compassionate or enlightened than anybody else, they give considerable evidence that they are less so. When the parents of a kid like Jared Loughner hear every jerk refer to those he dislikes as “nutjob” or “whacko,” are they more or less likely to feel safe about seeking help?
Why didn’t the Loughners seek professional help for their obviously-troubled son? Perhaps they were surrounded by bottom-feeders like the guy who made a federal case of calling me a “nutjob” yesterday.
Oh, sorry. I have done that myself, from time to time, but at least I know it’s wrong and admit as much. And I don’t mean to be insensitive to snails.