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Hillsdale, N.Y. resident Paul Solovay engaging Shiva Ayyadurai who was heckling those lined up to hear U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren speak at the Mahaiwe Theatre in Great Barrington on July 22.

CONNECTIONS: Owning a Berkshire lib

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By Tuesday, Jul 31, 2018 Life In the Berkshires 11

About Connections: Love it or hate it, history is a map. Those who hate history think it irrelevant; many who love history think it escapism. In truth, history is the clearest map to how we got here: America in the 21st century.

It does not happen often in Berkshire County, but it appears we had a cutting-edge event.

On July 22, 74-year-old Paul Solovay, a supporter of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, was arrested for assaulting one of her challengers, independent candidate Shiva Ayyadurai. It happened outside a campaign event at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington (the Berkshire Edge, July 23, 2018).

A video, included in The Edge article, shows Solovay pushing a bullhorn into Ayyadurai’s mouth. Next, three younger men from Ayyadurai’s entourage rush forward and throw Solovay to the pavement and hold him. As the police arrived, one of the three men shouted, “I’m just holding him down.”

In the foreground, Ayyadurai turns toward the camera and asks, “Is my Twitter feed live?” Assured that it is, Ayyadurai describes the foregoing action as proof of Warren and her supporters’ racism.

Another of his followers, wearing a hat with a sequined American flag, inserts himself into the shot and says, “We just want to talk, and they resort to violence.”

All this is followed by dueling chants. On Ayyadurai’s side of Castle Street, the shout is “Take him in. Lock him up.”

On the other side of Castle Street, the crowd chants, “You go low; we go high.”

What makes this Berkshire dust-up a cutting-edge event? It is what preceded. Just before Solovay shoved the bull horn, Ayyadurai was chanting at the people in line for the Warren town hall-style event: “You’re the racists. Racists. Racists. Elizabeth Warren lives on racism.” And for some reason, perhaps because her name was on the marquee, “Whoopi Goldberg is a monkey.” The diatribe was meant to trigger a response and it did.

Solovay was sufficiently triggered to walk across the street. As he did, Ayyadurai escalated by shouting into the bullhorn, “Officer, we have a guy here waving an umbrella.”

More incensed, Solovay continued forward. Ayyadurai continued the accusations, now amplified directly in the septuagenarian’s face. Perhaps more in an effort to silence the bullhorn rather than to injure the speaker, Solovay put a hand on the bullhorn.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, answers question during a press gaggle backstage at a July 22 event at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. Photo: Terry Cowgill

Ben Shapiro, editor-in-chief of the Daily Wire, explains: “Here is the process for how to own a lib: First, you say something that “triggers the libs”; then, when they make clear that they’re triggered, you mock them; then, by virtue of your mockery, you own them. What you choose to do with the libs you own is irrelevant; mere pride of ownership is the important thing.”

“Owning a lib”: now that’s cutting edge; it’s next-level, at least. However, on Monday evening, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley spoke before Turning Point USA’s High School Leadership Summit. She discouraged the students from “owning the libs.”

She explained, “I know that it’s fun and that it can feel good, but step back and think about what you’re accomplishing when you do this — are you persuading anyone?”

Right-wing criticism of Haley was swift and pointed. Paul Joseph Watson of Infowars tweeted, “Nikki Haley is incredibly stupid.” Breitbart headlined, “Nikki Haley Scolds Students.”

We have folks coming in from outside and owning Berkshire libs — wow — and people think we are backwoods and old-fashioned. Not us. We are on the cusp of tomorrow. All of which raises a question: Is owning the libs a worthwhile goal?

Breitbart explains that, since it is impossible to convince the other side of anything, “we might as well have fun watching liberals’ heads explode.”

Haley disagrees: “It doesn’t mean running away from arguments — it means making them. Triggering requires little skill or knowledge. Argumentative victory requires both.”

Haley also cautioned the result of owning libs may be apathy and backtracking, or it could be “ire and backlash especially at the polls.”

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, at her town hall-style meeting July 22 at the Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center in Great Barrington. Photo: Terry Cowgill

That same day, Trump announced he was considering revoking the security clearances of former CIA, FBI and NSA officials. Speaker of the House Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, downplayed the threat, saying, “I think he’s just trolling people, honestly.”

According to the Urban Dictionary, “Trolling is the deliberate act of making random unsolicited and/or controversial comments on various internet forums with the intent to provoke an emotional knee jerk reaction from unsuspecting readers to engage in a fight or argument.”

However, right-wing pundits wondered, “Trolling can enrage the Left, which might feel great, but what if it drives Democrats to the polls?”

So there you have it: Berkshire in the 21st century, not left out or left behind. We are cutting-edge, modern-day, new-wave. We are living in the space between deadly serious in its destructiveness and plain silly in its mindlessness.

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11 Comments   Add Comment

  1. Susan Bachelder says:

    Thanks for a very lucid presentation on what we used to call baiting. I am not sure I think it is worth trying to catch any of those large mouth b.asses with their own tactics, but if trolling and owning will drive democrats to the polls as you suggest, I have my license in case Paul or anyone else needs a ride.
    It’s in the vote, pure and simple.

    1. Sharon Ann says:

      The idiot with the bullhorn is a former repub and a trouble maker..that goes hand in hand! Your orange leader is also a violence inciter! repubs are the worst hypocrites! I and my whole family will be voting for Liz Warren! Listen to AgolfTwittler…https://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000004269364/trump-and-violence.html

  2. Jim Balfanz says:

    “We have folks coming in from outside and owning Berkshire libs — wow — and people think we are backwoods and old-fashioned. Not us. We are on the cusp of tomorrow. All of which raises a question: Is owning the libs a worthwhile goal?After viewing the video several times, I came to the conclusion that the man with the bullhorn was looking to achieve the result he did.”

    I agree with this comment. But, let’s also realize that the man who responded ALSO came from outside the Berkshires, AND IN FACT, cannot even vote for Warren. Isn’t that a clear example of being an “outsider.” But, perhaps he is just another liberal registered to vote in several cities and states?

    Let’s also recognize the insanity of the Berkshire Liberals who have refused to accept the results of a legal election that resulted in the defeat of one of the most corrupt politicians in American history. You refuse to accept the simple fact that she lost the election simply because she ran such a poor race.

    And, frankly, when you dig into Warren’s history, you find another individual who has achieved her “results” via shady and, even illegal actions. No need to go into the details, because they are there for anyone wanting to do some actual research, but “The Indian Princess” is actually trolling her own supporters in an effort to avoid answering serious questions about her inactions/actions.

    The “RESIST” movement in this area popped up as early as the evening of November 6, 2016. A sign in Glendale has been up since almost that very day. That was before the “RUSSIAN’S AFFECTED THE ELECTION.”

    Sadly, the Liberals around here have fallen even deeper into the abyss of Democrat Party lies.

    Frankly, anyone voting for the man with the bullhorn hasn’t been paying attention to Massachusetts politics. There are some very good candidates in the GOP running this year. Check them out. Beth Lindstrom (SHOCK – A CONSERVATIVE WOMAN!). Geoff Diehl, and John Kingston. Anyone of them will actually work harder for us in Massachusetts than the the woman considered to be the next woman candidate for President.

    Yes, do your homework, if you are going to vote this year. The job you save; the lower taxes you are now getting; the continued improvement in all aspects of our Country’s standards will depend on it. Vote for Warren, and be assured that the lower taxes will go away; that the jobs that are returning to America will leave again; and that America will no longer be “that shining city on the hill .”

    If the Democrats win, America will no longer be. We will become a country without ANY borders, and that means the USA will no longer exist.

    Bottom line – Ignore the man with the bullhorn, and VOTE out Elizabeth Warren. Massachusetts will be better off. Period.

    1. Darrell English says:

      Very well Stated Sir

  3. Darrell English says:

    First off the individual in question was not a resident Berkshire County or Massachusetts he is a so called artist from New York State .

  4. Lucinda Shmulsky says:

    Divisive politics is not new, but it is unnecessary. We as individuals can rise above it and do not need to perpetuate it under the false pretense that there is a significant difference in policy when parties change. If history is our guide, as it should be, let’s not forget the famous quote from noted historian Carroll Quigley in his book “Tragedy & Hope.”

    “The argument that the two parties should represent opposed ideals and policies, one, perhaps, of the Right and the other of the Left, is a foolish idea acceptable only to doctrinaire and academic thinkers. Instead, the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can “throw the rascals out” at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy.”
    ― Carroll Quigley, Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time

    We perceive great differences in our two party system, but a review of history would support Carroll Quigley’s thesis.

    1. Carl Stewart says:

      Aren’t you, Ms. Shmulsky, the person who only a few days ago suggested that Dinesh D’Souza would be a candidate preferable to Liz Warren? If you were really serious with that suggestion…and I apologize if your comment praising D’Souza was meant as a goof…can you expect any thinking person to pay attention to your current comment?

      1. Lucinda Shmulsky says:

        Mr. Stewart, thank you for your comments, as I appreciate diverse points of view.
        However, if you care to reread my post about Senator Warren’s presentation: “A missed Opportunity,” you will find the opening sentence states my personal view: “I believe the power people perceive their political party holds, Democratic or Republican, actually resides far above the Congressional level; therefore, I am a registered independent voter — apolitical by nature.”
        The rest was offered merely as a critique of Senator Warren’s presentation after watching Terry Cowgill’s video of the event; not my personal view. The observation that you have made reference to was if the Democratic Party moves too far to the radical left or remains in disarray they will run the risk of losing their base as “many choices await Democrats looking elsewhere for a home.”
        However; the easy fix to all of this is to simply identify and present a strong coherent platform to the Democratic base with specifics on how to achieve those goals. This I believe was the “missed opportunity” in Senator Warren’s presentation.
        Personally, I believe the far greater problem for both parties to resolve is the $ 21 Trillion dollar National Debt .

  5. Claudia d'Alessandro says:

    Name calling, taunting, shouting are all hallmarks of the bully: a small soul desperately trying to loom large. He shouted at a peaceful line of people. He taunted and insulted them. And, sadly, it produced an indignant reaction. BUT, shouting, insulting, and name calling do not constitute useful or meaningful sharing of ideas and should be given NO quarter. That he shouted at a “captive” audience, that his followers assaulted Solovay, and that he exercised a disturbance of the peace SHOULD be questioned by some very sharp civil rights attorneys.

    1. Paul Boden says:

      Absolutely right.
      And bullhorns should be banned from these events.

  6. I Puplius says:

    An angry old white guy arrested for assault and battery against a person of color should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

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