Last week something occurred that sent anger shock waves throughout the far-left liberal ranks of political activists. At first glance, the anger seemed to be an overreaction, it was simply one human being extending a compliment and exchanging a show of affection with another human being, but upon closer examination, the anger was still overblown but understandable because what occurred amounted to an endorsement of violence and abuse.
After the U.S. Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett last week the ranking Democratic Judiciary Committee member, Senator Diane Feinstein, complimented the Republican Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, Senator Lindsey Graham, on how well he conducted the hearings and gave him a warm embracing hug as she departed the room.
For all the pro-choice activists, all the Bernie Sanders Medicare- For-All but will settle for the Affordable Care Act activists, and all pro-sexual orientation activists, this was an unforgivable stab to the heart of their causes. There was an immediate condemnation of Senator Feinstein and calls for her to be challenged in her next primary. By doing a humanly correct thing Feinstein found herself in a similar predicament that presidential candidate Joe Biden was in last year, they both started with non-violent actions that led to an endorsement of violence.
Biden’s non-violence ending with an endorsement of violence happened when he paid Vice President Mike Pence a compliment while making the following remarks during a forum: “ The fact of the matter is, it was followed on by a guy who’s a decent guy, our vice president, who stood before this group of allies and leaders.” This humane non-violent “ decent guy “ remark which reflected Biden’s acknowledgment and respect for an adversary’s humanity, brought down the same condemnation on him as Feinstein non-violence brought down on her.
Unfortunately, Biden reacted violently, within an hour of the condemnation he received from his political left Biden sent out a tweet rescinding his compliment of Pence, turning his initial non-violence into an endorsement of violence. When Biden withdrew his acknowledgment of Pence’s humanity, it was an endorsement of violence and the proposition that one should not acknowledge the humanity of people who don’t agree with you.
This is a slap in the face of the man the Democratic left claims to revere, Martin Luther King Jr and his non-violent life principles for creating the Beloved Community. In his 1963 sermon, Loving Your Enemies, Dr. King addressed the role of unconditional love for not only a mere political opponent but for the segregationist of his day when he said “ With every ounce of our energy, we must continue to rid this nation of the incubus of segregation. But we shall not in the process relinquish our privilege and our obligation to love. While abhorring segregation, we shall love the segregationist. This is the only way to create the Beloved Community.”
Senator Feinstein’s case is similar to Biden’s but slightly different, she too started from a place of non-violence but she ended in a place that was half violent and half non-violent, so hers was half endorsement of violence and abuse and half endorsement of non-violence and the spirit of cooperation.
Last Thursday Senator Feinstein ended a week of challenging but non-violent questioning of Judge Amy Coney Barrett with an endorsement of violence and abuse. She condoned and reaped praise on to Senator Lindsey Graham for chairing and conducting the constitutional but immoral and therefore violent Barrett confirmation hearings.
Feinstein concluded the hearings by saying “ This has been one of the best set of hearings that I’ve participated in, it leaves one with a lot of hopes, a lot of questions and even some ideas perhaps of good bipartisan legislation we can put together.” It’s logical to doubt how Feinstein can justify saying these things to a man whose word is proven, by his own words on recorded video, to be WORTHLESS and DECEITFUL on the precise matter of when to make an appointment to the Supreme Court!!!
What’s not in doubt is that the Barrett confirmation hearings are the most corrupt, therefore violent, judicial confirmation hearings since World War 2 and maybe in all of American history. An endorsement of violence is 2nd only to an act of violence, Senator Feinstein’s words are a clear endorsement of violence, as the ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee she knows better than everyone else that Graham spoke for himself and all Senate Republicans when he said:
“ I want you to use my words against me. If there’s a Republican president in 2016 and a vacancy occurs in the last year of the first term, you can say Lindsey Graham said let’s let the next president, whoever it might be, make that nomination, we’re setting a precedent here today, Republicans are, that in the last year — at least of a lame-duck eight-year term, I would say it’s gonna be a four-year term — that you’re not gonna fill a vacant seat of the Supreme Court based on what we’re doing here today. That’s gonna be the new rule “
Graham made these comments on the “ new rule” in 2016, during the 1st time Republicans violated the rule of fair play. Back then Republicans chose to deceive and cheat by inventing the fake non-constitutional “ new rule” of not confirming a justice in an election year solely to deny a political opponent, the then-president Barack Obama, and his constitutional right to appoint a judge to the Supreme Court anytime during his 4-year term in office, be it the first or last day of the 4-year term.
Now Republicans are discarding the fake constitutional “ new rule” of no confirmation votes in an election year they invented to cheat the last time, so they can now, 10 days before an election, cheat once again and vote to confirm a Supreme Court Judge of their ideological liking, Feinstein’s praise of Graham and his immoral confirmation hearings was a lapse of judgment. It was an endorsement of violence as well as a clear endorsement for abusing the rules of fair play. At a minimum, Feinstein should have reserved that type of Senate collegiality for private chats in the Senator-only break room or elevator. There is no justifiable or non-violent reason for entering into the public record praise for an immoral hearing, especially a confirmation hearing that is a blatant abuse of fairness and antithetical to the rule of rules.
The most controversial thing to the far left that Feinstein did, her departing embracing hug of Graham, was the best thing Feinstein did and proof positive that while her head went violent her heart remained non-violent. It is never wrong and always non-violent to greet one’s adversary with a handshake and depart from one’s adversary with a hug. There is 1 human relations thing the NFL has done right from day 1, no matter how fierce and violent the competition is during a football game, after the game before they leave the field each opposing head coach finds each other and shakes hands as a sign of mutual respect and non-violence.
Even though Feinstein’s praise of Graham and his immoral confirmation hearings was an endorsement of violence, it was a minor one in the larger political scheme of things. Both her endorsement of violence and her embracing hug of Graham came from a place of non-violence, a place Joe Biden momentarily forgot about when he withdrew his acknowledgment of Vice President Pence’s humanity. Calls for her resignation by those on the far left are an overreaction and are just as wrong as Feinstein’s endorsement of violence.
The worst you can say about Feinstein is that in her statement to Graham she over applied Step 4, Discussion/Negotiation, of Dr. King’s 6 Steps To Non-Violent Social Change which says: Look for what is positive in every action and statement the opposition makes. Do not seek to humiliate the opponent but to call forth the good in the opponent.
But the best you can say about Feinstein is that in her embracing hug of Graham she displayed what Dr. King knew and what Joe Biden momentarily forgot, that you can’t sit down with a person or with people to negotiate, compromise, or convert them to your perspective if they don’t feel that you accept the principle that although we have opposite perspectives, you still acknowledge the DECENT HUMANITY within them.
The far-left must also not forget the near-disaster that was avoided by ignoring their 2018 calls for Nancy Pelosi to resign, no one could have done the job of Speaker better for Democrats than she has done these last 2 crucial years. All Democrats must realize that whether or not Joe Biden is elected President, the wisdom of these 2 great ladies of grey, Diane Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi, is needed now more than ever to counteract against future endorsements of violence and to continue the quest to build Dr. King’s non-violent Beloved Community.
Isaac Newton Farris Jr. is the nephew of Martin Luther King, Jr. and serves as Senior Fellow at the King Center. Growing up in one of the most socially and politically active families has given him a unique perspective on current events. Drop by his website for straight talk free of one-sided political spin.
Originally published at https://isaacnewtonfarris.com on October 19, 2020.