Tlaib and Omar’s Appetite for Political Porn and Internet Fame

  • Post category:Opinion

Un-American Congresswomen Serve Up Political Controversy for Internet Fame


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In March, I called out four freshmen members of the United States Congress as “Freshmen of the Democrat Apocalypse.” Immediately following this, critics jumped on the bandwagon of saying that it was racist to criticize Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar because they were “Muslim.” I found this odd that the article, calling out their policies and speeches, not their persons, was considered racist against Muslims as both women are of different races. The reply, of course, was simple – moderates deal with the issues, let radicals fight over the emotions. Studying the issues in the “Freshman of the Democrat Apocalypse” article, I came to find that the problem is not with religious ideology or event political ideology; instead, it is with attention.

Fame Whoring and Other Political Stunts

Radicals like Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar thrive on attention. How they get it is not important because other radicals are simply attracted to the loudest notice. However, there is a point when the mindless racket spouting from the mouths of these representatives of chaos reaches the point that it is dangerous. Like crying fire in a crowded theater, there is a point where free speech crosses a line. Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar crossed this line when they provided aid and comfort to the enemies of the United States after the Hamas terrorism against Israel this weekend.

Political Pornography: The Art of Faking It

The actions of Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar are nothing short of political pornography. We use the word “pornography,” of course in the colloquial, meaning that it is something done for the show with no real substance behind it. Based on the pornography industry where the actors “fake it,” we have seen outgrowths of this in violence porn.

The actions of Congresswomen Tlaib and Omar are nothing short of political pornography.

Remember the “Cannibal Holocaust” videos of the 1990s, and food porn, where people eat obscene amounts of food just to get internet views. Political porn is not new; tyrants throughout history have used political porn to increase their name recognition among the people. Kim Jong-Un does it (missile tests and threats). Obama did it (asking to vote for revenge). Bush did it (pre-meditated photo-ops). FDR did it. Hitler did it. Stalin did it. Mao did it. The list goes on back through history. The concept of political pornography is so simple even radicals can do it, which is evidenced by Tlaib’s insensitive and counterproductive tweet supporting the rocket attacks in Israel.  However, being an idiot is not enough to take away a person’s free speech – otherwise we would have no Hollywood.

To take away someone’s free speech, even hate speech like that coming from Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib, there needs to be a reliable standard so that people are not unlawfully censored. To paraphrase Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes in the 1919 cases of Schenck v. United States, a person moves beyond their free speech when they use false or weighted statements to cause panic or rage in a mob. His example of someone yelling “fire” in a crowded theater is often seen as the main example.

In the case of Omar and Tlaib, Omar making thinly veiled claims that the rocket attacks were “justice” and Tlaib tweeting that the New York Times headline did not properly blame the Jews for the attack, we see inflammatory remarks intended to whip up the anxiety, tension and distrust of the people, i.e. the mob, to form a stampede. This hate-filled rhetoric against an ally of the United States in a de facto civil war is quite dangerous and could inspire other potential terrorists around the world to participate in such attacks knowing that American members of Congress “have their backs.”

Obscene Political Speech

However, the problem of political pornography goes more in-depth here. Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib have exceeded the bounds of decency and moved into the realm of “obscene” political speech. Unfortunately, whereas we have a strong test for the violation of free speech, the test for obscenity is much less defined. In Jacobellis v Ohio (1964), Justice Potter Stewart described obscenity as “I will know it when I see it,” and lawyers (and the porn industry) have been pushing those bounds ever since.

In the case of hate speech about Israel, we have seen that the hate-filled remarks of Omar and Tlaib have risen to the point that Congress had a hearing to condemn Omar. However, under pressure from groups such as Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which itself has been noted as a hate group and a terrorist supporting organization, the Congress only passed a watered-down resolution. The question, therefore, becomes whether two sitting United States Congresswomen who are supporting the actions of a known terrorist group to attack a known ally of the United States during an extended Civil War on the allies own soil reaches the point of obscenity and of being farcical. We make the argument that it does and goes well beyond. Through their speeches, tweets, and actions, Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar are providing direct aid and comfort to the members of Hamas and their agents in Israel.

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Using US Congress for Internet Fame

Political pornography is a problem because when extremists use hate speech and justifications of murder to “get views” and “advance a political agenda,” they are using the United States government as a stepping stone for their career and nothing more. No one benefited from the rocket attacks in Israel except the hate-mongers who supported it. Israelis are dead; soon there will be dead Israeli Arabs when the Israeli Defense Forces retaliates – this was pointless violence that just advanced the message of those who support hate.

Omar and Tlaib were not representing Islam, nor were they representing the United States in their speeches and tweets. Their hate served one purpose and one purpose only, advancing their already failing political careers. The United States is wounded by hate, radicals on both sides pull the center apart following a “you must agree with me, or you are the enemy philosophy.” Those of us who are not radicals, which may be well grounded in our ideologies but respect the right of others to think for themselves, need to take a stand.

We need to tell Congress that the hate of Omar and Tlaib should not be given the bully pulpit of the United States Congress. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi should censure Congresswomen Omar and Tlaib for six to 12 months, prohibiting public speeches, campaigning for fundraising because of their hate-filled action. If you believe Pelosi should take action, call her office at (202) 225-4965 (Washington D.C Office) or (415) 556-4862 (San Francisco Office) and politely let her staff know you believe that hate speech should be censured. Be polite, remember it is the radicals that yell at innocent office workers.

Christopher W Smithmyer
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