These days, as a result of the Judge Kavanaugh hearings and accusations, my Facebook feed is filled with a lot of rage and I understand and empathize with it. Still, we have to call it out for what it is: the “Killing Baby Hitler” fantasy.
As a binge consumer of all the time travel sci-fi TV series (read this blog), I have seen many versions of what Einstein called the gedankenexperiment or thought experiment. What if we would could go back in time and kill Hitler as a baby? Wouldn’t that be a good thing? Because WWII and state-sponsored genocide of gypsies, Jews, gays, dissidents, and genetic “defectives” were so destructive, people glibly assume that everyone would agree that it would be justified to travel back in time and murder baby Adolf Hitler. The question is almost always posed as rhetorical one despite the deep and troubling aspects of punishing what PK Dick called “pre-crime” in his Minority Report story.
The current political climate is fueled by this moral relativism that indulges a fantasy that the ends justify the means and that acting in alignment with hate and division don’t actually corrupt us morally and spiritually. What you do to another, you do to yourself.
What you learn from watching time travel TV is that karma and destiny are not easy fields to manipulate. Murdering children for crimes that they have not yet committed is dubious. There are many factors and points of intervention that would diffuse any coming storm without murder and we could also argue that more powerful forces in history render certain events almost inevitable.
I listen to the mainstream media from both sides and can understand both narratives. What is missing is the center, human perspective. Tribalism is at a fever pitch and the rule of common sense, civil discourse, and Constitutional principles are now deprecated as bygone idealism.
The phrase “by any means necessary” reportedly was coined by Sartre and elevated by Malcolm X. When I read the rage against Judge Kavanaugh despite the absence of any of the named material witnesses and participants to corroborate the accusations, I gather that the debate is not one of legalism, fairness, or facts. In the minds of many, the ends most certainly justify the means. They want to impeach Trump, protect abortion rights, and stop a rise of what they believe is an emerging fascist America.
Sadly, the struggle has abandoned the most effective tools of transformation such as discourse, electoral platforms, and the peaceful protest. Instead, those that are deranged by confusion and fear are resorting to doxxing, voter shaming, and openly harassing those that don’t agree. There are 25% who would never stray from the so-called Left and 25% who would never stray from the so-called Right. But the majority of people are in the middle and their consciences are still to be won over.
Quite literally, anyone that disagrees with this frenzied level of tribalism and moral relativism is a kind of baby Hitler and justifiably a target of social violence to many of my friends on the Left. At least the Right has payed lip service to honoring social justice, due process, and plurality of opinion. In a bit of irony, the ACLU is now running commercials comparing the accused Kavanaugh to Bill Clinton and Bill Cosby. But I suppose support in the forms of many millions of dollars from donors puts a magnet to the moral compass? Social justice politics reminds me of a bizarro-world these days. It’s like Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, but in reverse. It’s the women’s turn to accuse and hang the old patriarchs, I suppose. But rather than engage in a Hegelian dialectic of historical retribution, perhaps attendance to a principle of equal protection and equal opportunity are more in alignment with where we want to go as a species?
In the final analysis, if a person abandons their morals in favor of greater cause, they can be honored as as heroes and prophets, like Abraham dragging Isaac up the mountain for slaughter. But what gods and monsters are we willing to become to defend principles that might only be spun out of deceit and a banal lust for power?
Disclosure: I am pro abortion rights and anti murdering babies via time travel. Come at me, bro.