On a dark January evening, I headed to City Hall for my first SSMC meeting. Seattle is a comfortably left-wing city. If you’re liberal, progressive, communist, or socialist (LPCS), you can count on support from 85% of your comrades. This makes it a natural laboratory for observing LPCS behavior.

This was evident at the meeting, where the Mayor’s flack acted as host. The speaker, Scott Berkun, was articulate and sincere. He began by praising the First Amendment and recommending that the Constitution be read once a year–especially since it’s only “about 40* tweets” long.

Sound like a Tea Party meeting? Well, up to a point.

Next, Scott introduced examples of “social media mob behavior” such as Justine Sacco’s mid-air firing and the mistaken ID of a suspect in the Newtown shooting. To me, the incident that stood out was Spike Lee’s tweeting the wrong address to 568,000 followers, urging them to confront George Zimmerman at home. Scott described this as “wrongful harassment” for which Spike Lee apologized.

I asked if the apology was sufficient since Lee only said he was sorry for getting the address wrong. Wasn’t the real offense his attempt to incite an angry mob to physically confront Zimmerman, who was already being tried in the legal system? Scott merely thanked me for my comment. A woman nearby told me she thought he just didn’t understand the question. Who knows?

Scott is basically a fair-minded guy. He urged the audience to check sources and also consider facts that don’t support their biases. But the situation was a classic demonstration of the LPCS mindset: They start with the Constitution, but at a certain point there’s a disconnect: We all know Zimmerman is guilty–so, forget due process; sic the mob on him. It’s social justice. Or human rights. Or international law.

You can believe in those things if you want, but they aren’t in the US Constitution. We don’t do mob rule here.

So here’s my slogan for the LPCS mob: If you don’t get it, don’t share it.

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