Lies, Doxing, and Harassment: Why the Policemen of Progressive Politics Can’t Stand Accountability

The dogmatic alt-left has, like its horseshoe alt-right counterparts, defined their existence by being self-appointed policemen and gatekeepers of progressive politics. That has included creating litmus tests on particular policy positions, but more importantly, a litmus test on inflexible posture. To be in the club, you must support single-payer health care and only single-payer health care, free college and only free college, etc.

But they don’t care much about issues of respect and personal dignity. Proudly sporting audiences that are, by their own admissions, up to 97% male, these bros are eager to talk about anything but disrespectful, dehumanizing bro culture. They will cheer ‘stand for Rand’ even though Rand Paul was involved in an actual cult, provide moral support for a racist, xenophobic, Trumpophile former Arizona sheriff, and even join Trump in dismissing Russian invasion of our democracy. In fact, some on the alt-let media have even suggested that a Trump-like misogynistic past should be no impediment to running for public office on the Democratic side, as long as you agree with them on free stuff.

The same people who built their reputations on insinuating the vilest things about the motives of Democratic elected officials and party officials are the most fragile frogs when anyone questions their record.

When one of the heroes of this formerly obscure faction announced that he would be running for Congress in a special election in California, the alt-left had much to celebrate. They were finally going to have someone who had the nads to call any and all campaign contributions they didn’t agree with ‘bribes,’ and someone who was going to be “shot across the heads of Nancy Pelosi and others in the Democratic establishment.” But the premature celebration was about to quickly run into a wall when someone did exactly what the policemen of progressive politics complain isn’t done enough: look into the candidate’s (mostly recent) past. Except this time, it was their candidate.

After Cenk Uygur was exposed by a citizen who did the legwork of finding and posting on Twitter disgusting, racist, and sexist ideas Uygur had espoused on his own show, The Yong Turks, the fallout wasn’t something his fans, unaccustomed to being challenged, were prepared for. The swift blowback included the embarrassment of national figures like Ro Khanna and Bernie Sanders, the non-retraction retraction of Bernie Sanders’s endorsement Uygur, as well as wide distribution of the snapshots of Uygur’s true nature once national news outlets picked up the work of the citizen journalist, which ironically only became big news because of Bernie Sanders’s tone-deaf decision to endorse Uygur.

True to their nature, they attacked - and punished - the messenger. Uygur’s own cohost Ana Kasparian threatened on Uygur’s flagship show to expose the identity of the citizen who dared make Uygur look bad by putting out videos of his own words. Cenk Uygur’s nephew Hasan Piker - who is taking right after his uncle and has called for letting the blood of property owners run in the streets (“in a video game of course”) - encouraged what is known as doxing against the citizen, finding their private, personal information and posting it online (out of respect for the family, I will not post the screenshots).

That, of course, is exactly what they did. Not just to the citizen, but to her family. Someone has published information about a family member’s work, phone number, and fax number.

Other defenders of Uygur, who have not (yet) called for mob justice against a citizen for the crime of vetting a candidate for office, have complained loudly that their candidate is being subjected to scrutiny. They have alternately called the material in question the ancient past (the vast majority of the videos are from 2012 and after), out of context (because somehow inviting David Duke on your show and taking compliments from him requires context), or simply jokes (the verbatim Trump excuse), or all of the above orchestrated by the big bad corporate powers that also fuel Uygur’s own media network.

There is reason for the policeman of the left to be concerned about the amount of backlash Uygur has faced. There has been test cases of the alt-left preparing and running candidates in deep-blue Democratic districts before, but Uygur’s bid for the 25th Congressional District in California is the first test of how the actual puppetmasters do in purple districts.

The alt-left always believed that their candidates would skate under the radar, that no one would look closely enough to make them withstand scrutiny, and that in the few instances they did get elected, they would be celebrated as populist rage against the establishment machine. At least, that is how it has worked so far in a few races backed by the “Justice Democrats,” where Uygur is an alumnus.

But this time was different. This time, not only was there plenty of material to find, someone found it. Not only did someone find it, the national media picked up the story and embarrassed their national leaders. What bothered Uygur and his fans the most aren’t the things he said, but the fact that a light was shined on it.

And that’s the rub. Uygur’s campaign isn’t going well, and that’s a problem. Because they know that this is the caliber of candidates they mostly plan to run: toxic masculinity and bro-culture enthusiasts who believe beating up Democrats - rather than learning to legislate - is the way to policy nirvana. Because of Cenk Uygur, now every candidate they try to run against a district-appropriate, traditional Democrat will be subject to some policing themselves, and those who love nothing better than policing every other Democrat for socialist purity can’t stand the vetting themselves.

That’s too bad. We’re going to vet them all.

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