Good, serious progressives are supposed to condemn violence as a political tactic, because it's wrong and in many cases counterproductive. But do we really need to condemn the union protestor who socked Fox News comedian Steven Crowder in the jaw?
Steven Crowder, the frequent Fox News contributor and YouTube comedia behind videos like "MARIJUANA!! The Truth!" and "HOLLYWOOD BIGOTRY! (Jon Stewart Busted)," was in Michigan yesterday, to visit in the pro-union protests over the governor's shady signing of a union-busting "right to work" law.
He wanted to "provoke" people into "rational thought and civil debate," he told Fox & Friends this morning. Instead he ended up inserting himself in the middle of a tense argument between protestors and staffers of Americans for Prosperity, the anti-union group funded by libertarian billionaires Charles and David Koch. And then he got punched in the face, for reasons that have been edited out of the video. Below, two photos of his injuries, which he tweeted immediately:
"I literally believe, Sean, that if I had defended myself at all, even flicked a small little jab, that they would have killed me where I stood," he told Sean Hannity later that night. This morning, understanding in some lizard-brain capacity that elaborate performances of masculinity are as important to Team Conservative as stereotypes of violent union "thugs," Crowder literally challenged his puncher to "a legal, sanctioned mixed martial arts bout" on Fox & Friends:
Tony, we know who you are, come forward. I am offering you an ultimatum right now. You come forward, I press charges, you will go to jail. Or — since you like to sucker punch people — I will allow you to face me in the people's octagon, in a legal, sanctioned mixed martial arts bout, where we can settle it man-to-man, one-on-one. And all of the money that's been raised to find you, I will match it if you beat me and give it to a union of your choice. It's your choice: jail or face me like a man. Send your answer on Twitter.
I have a third solution: Steven, stop whining, take your licks, and accept that getting hit in the face is a hazard of inserting yourself in the middle of an argument between billionaire-funded know-nothing ideologues and people whose livelihoods and stability are being threatened by the insatiable greed of the super-rich and the blind extremism of their wooden-headed political allies. In exchange, liberals will buy you a band-aid for the cut on your forehead and re-iterate that Punching Is Bad. Sound good? Send your answer on Twitter.