An Official Statement Concerning Violence, Threats of Violence, Comparisons to Hitler, Etc.

My official statement. Please refer to this the next time somebody says something stupid.

Since apparently it is now a requirement to pay attention to every misdeed of anybody with whom I share any political opinion, let me know state heretofore and for the record:

  • If anyone commits an act of violence against persons or property that is not in immediate defense of self or others, I condemn them, whether I share their political opinions or not.
  • If anyone threatens an act of violence against persons or property that is not in immediate defense of self or others, I condemn them.
  • As a general rule, I think that it is bad for anyone to compare any American politician or pundit to Hitler, Stalin or any other despot.
  • As a general rule, I think it is bad to attribute political or religious beliefs to a person when said person has not explicitly espoused such a belief.

In addition, just to clarify where I stand on other matters:

  • I am a fan of America, and think that America is generally awesome, despite her flaws.
  • I am a dog person. In particular, I like puppies.
  • I am in favor of motherhood.
  • I also like apple pie, but I’m allergic to wheat so I don’t eat it.

The next time some idiot says or does something stupid and/or violent and/or over the top, please refer to this statement and assume that it holds unless I specifically make a comment otherwise.

Thank you.

FILED UNDER: Popular Culture, US Politics,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.


  1. mantis says:

    Fine. Just know that you are never allowed to criticize anyone for anything unless you subsequently and immediately identify and criticize anyone and everyone who ever does anything similar, for all eternity.

  2. Dave Schuler says:

    You might want to put this on the Policies page for handy reference. We all might.

  3. MM says:

    Doug’s silence on this speaks volumes. Volumes, I say!

  4. michael reynolds says:

    Personally, I endorse all heinous acts I fail to explicitly condemn.

  5. reid says:

    You’re all a bunch of Hitlers!

  6. wr says:

    Sorry to hear about your wheat allergy. That must be tough in a Western culture…

  7. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    I also like apple pie, but I’m allergic to wheat so I don’t eat it.

    Not but excuses from this one:)

  8. rodney dill says:

    I don’t know…. “As a general rule” leaves a little bit of wiggle room.

  9. Your first bullet apparently requires the threat to be imminent. Is that what you meant?

    Personally, I worry more about actual acts rather than threats, but YMMV. Shouldn’t the second bullet come before the first?

    Your third and fourth bullets allow for the “no true Scotsmen” defense of any Hitler, Stalin, etc comparisons or implied belief in some religious or political belief that may be beyond the pale to facilitate guilt by association. And they should apply to all officers and enlisted personnel as well.

    As to the things you stand for, you left out baseball and Chevrolet. And itdoesn’t take idiots to say stupid things. Stupid things come out of the mouths of almost everyone at some time or another.

  10. Dodd says:

    Endorsed, cosigned, and adopted.

    [T]he Transitive Property of Internet Idiocy allows us to impute the utterances of one blogger to every other blogger of his acquaintance, to anyone who shares the same political persuasion or who dares to agree with him. This is entirely justified because, unlike Them, We are always fair and reasonable. Thinking people realize that ‘They’ (yes, every durned one of them!) all think alike. ‘We’ would never do anything like that, though. We think for Ourselves. You see, unlike some folks we could name (you know the type – smug, morally superior, blind to their own faults) we’re just better than they are. We’re tolerant and open minded folk: above the sort of wildly exaggerated, broad brush generalizations They employ with profligate abandon in lieu of, oh, I don’t know, logic, actual arguments, or other irrelevant/boring fare.


    A similar problem arises when you talk about one thing, but someone decides that you should have talked about something else and attacks you for ignoring it/not knowing about it/not caring about it/etc (see, eg., Everything Is About Iraq Syndrome). I made this all-purpose response for such nuisances.


  11. Gustopher says:

    What about Death Panels? The death they would inflict is not immediate, but can’t we all agree to threaten the Death Panels?

  12. rodney dill says:

    You’re not even going to get agreement that Death Panels even exist, and if they don’t exist they aren’t a threat to anyone.

  13. michael reynolds says:

    I favor death panels.

    I’ve got a list . . .

  14. Alex Knapp says:


    I love that picture.

  15. tom p says:

    All I can say is: “Kill them all…. Let God sort them out.”

  16. Have A Nice G.A. says:

    I have seen the death panels! The liberals use them to suck the energy out of the sun, to induce global warming!!!! It’s like a newwave Russian weather machine!!!!!!

    Damn those green commies!!!!!

  17. Pete says:

    “You are f—ing dead!”

    That’s what Sarah Palin yelled at Gabrielle Giffords before she was shot, right? Or was it Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh?

    Just kidding. Conservatives don’t talk like that. But liberals do–as we are now learning, they do it a lot. This time it was Rep. Gordon Hintz (D Oshkosh) who, immediately after the Republicans had passed their budget in Wisconsin’s Assembly, turned to Rep. Michelle Litjens (R-Winneconne) and yelled, “You are f****** dead!” This is Assemblyman Hintz; is it just my imagination, or does he look like a jerk?


    There is a great deal of violent talk going on these days, substantially all of it by liberals. You could try to explain it by saying it is because they are losing, but conservatives didn’t go postal when they were losing just a few years ago. I think there is a close correlation between anger and liberalism. Many liberals–not all, but a great many–are liberal precisely because they seethe with resentment against the world. It doesn’t take much for that anger to break through, as we are seeing very often these days.

    From John Hinderaker

  18. Drew says:

    “I favor death panels.

    I’ve got a list . . ”

    Thank god my panel is more connected than yours…………

  19. Ben Wolf says:

    To the contrary Pete, guys like you mean we can’t stop laughing.

  20. Douglas says:

    What a cop-out.

  21. sam says:

    “From John Hinderaker”

    That is effing hilarious. Esp the part about the resentment. Here’s something from someone orders of magnitude smarter than Hindrocket:

    Think back to the 2004 RNC—which I happened to be up in New York covering. After witnessing three days of inchoate, spittle-flecked rage from the people who had the run of all three branches of government, some wag (probably Jon Stewart) puzzled over the “anger of the enfranchised.” And itwould be puzzling if the driving force here were a public policy agenda, rather than a set of cultural grievances. Jay Gatsby learned too late that wealth alone wouldn’t confer the status he had truly craved all along. What we saw in ‘04 was fury at the realization that ascendancy to political power had not (post-9/11 Lee Greenwood renaissance notwithstanding) brought parallel culturalpower. The secret shame of the conservative base is that they’ve internalized the enemy’s secular cosmopolitan value set and status hierarchy—hence this obsession with the idea that somewhere, someone who went to Harvard might be snickering at them.


    Even if conservatives retook power, they wouldn’t be able to provide a political solution to a psychological problem, assuming they’re not willing to go the Pol Pot route. At the same time, it signals a resignation to impotence on the cultural front where the real conflict lies. It effectively says: We cede to the bogeyman cultural elites the power of stereotypical definition, so becoming the stereotype more fully and grotesquely is our only means of empowerment.

    Julian Sanchez, The Right-Wing Politics of Ressentiment, quoted by Wil Wilkinson (the original is no longer available apparently).

  22. sam says:

    Correction: The original of Julian’s piece is still around:

    The Politics of Ressentiment

    Nut: “Conservatism is a political philosophy; the farce currently performing under that marquee is an inferiority complex in political philosophy drag.”

  23. john personna says:

    I was traveling when the “death panel” thing was in play. I’d stopped at a small, dark, truck stop diner for breakfast. One other table there, the cook talking politics … I was really surprised to find the cook actually afraid of them … the death panels.

    … he also claimed to have actually met Patty Hearst toting a machine gun in the woods. I’d like to believe that part.