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I've pretty much had my fill of liberals condemning free speech, and then using the specters of racism and/or violent right-wing boogeymen as the excuse. In my last three posts, I have outlined examples of the left calling the right racist. It's the number one argument they use to discount the Tea Party protests. That argument was shot down by President Obama himself on Meet The Press on sunday:
DAVID GREGORY: ...this week you had former President Jimmy Carter saying most, not just a little, but most of this Republican opposition against you is motivated by racism. Do you agree with that?
PRESIDENT OBAMA: No. Look, I said, during the campaign, are there some people who still think through the prism of race when it comes to evaluating me and my candidacy? Absolutely. Sometimes they vote for me for that reason, sometimes they vote against me for that reason. I'm sure that was true during the campaign, I'm sure that's true now. But I think you actually put your finger on what this argument's really about. And it's an argument that's gone on for the history of this republic. And that is what's the right role of government? How do we balance freedom with our need to look after one another?
The President is absolutely correct. The argument here is about the role of government, not race. The President pointed out that the argument about the government's role goes all the way back to Thomas Jefferson versus Alexander Hamilton, and that it always evokes passionate debate. Nothing has changed. Our President is apparently much more intelligent than many of his clueless supporters, who play the race card at the drop of a hat. Kudos to President Obama for saying this.
After the racism charge, the number two free speech stopper used by the left is the politics of fear (which I seem to remember the left condemning not too long ago, ironically enough), in the form of those right-wing boogeymen I mentioned earlier. Apparently, liberals think there are cadres of right-wing nutjobs sitting in front of tv sets and radios all across the country, with their helmets on, armed with hand guns, hand grenades, and Billy Beer, just waiting for Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, or Glenn Beck to give them their marching orders about who or what to go blow up. We saw Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) playing the politics of fear card recently, when she weepily worried about potential violence in front of the cameras. The latest version of this inanity I've read came from the blissfully ignorant Media Matters (aka, George Soros Media Inc.), who had a profound enough lack of self-awareness to write a piece called 'A President was killed the last time right-wing hatred ran wild like this'. That President was John F. Kennedy, of course, and, as much as I hate to pierce Media Matters' bubble of historical revisionism, JFK was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald, a self-avowed communist. The last I heard, communism was a left-wing ideology. It wasn't "right-wing hatred" that killed JFK. It was left-wing hatred. Not that Media Matters let's the truth get in the way of a good old phony political diatribe.
I can point out ten acts of left-wing violence for every act of right-wing violence over the last several decades, and left-wing governments killed approximately 100 million people in the 20th century alone, (yet somehow liberals NEVER profess a fear of left-wing violence), but liberals do have a real right-wing boogeyman to whom they can point. That is Timothy McVeigh, the man who blew up the Federal Building in Oklahoma City in the 1990's, killing 168 people. Heinous. He received the death penalty, which he richly deserved.
McVeigh was an anti-tax, anti-big government Libertarian who voted for Libertarian candidate Harry Browne in the 1996 Presidential election. That makes McVeigh sound a lot like......ME. I voted for Harry Browne, and I agree with many Libertarian ideas. In light of McVeigh's violence, the question is, does that make the ideas themselves dangerous ??? Should I stop writing what I do because some nut might misinterpret it ? Should I self-censor my political rhetoric ? Liberals have been answering "YES" to that question for months now. They see a bunch of peaceful Tea Party protests (zero examples of right-wing violence) as some kind of powder keg, ready to explode. Liberal accuse the Tea Partiers of fear-mongering even as liberals fear-monger themselves. It's absurd, and we should all be able to see right through it.
Here are a couple things Timothy McVeigh said that I agree with (horrors ! You better arrest me NOW):
"Taxes are a joke. Regardless of what a political candidate "promises," they will increase. More taxes are always the answer to government mismanagement. They mess up. We suffer. Taxes are reaching cataclysmic levels, with no slowdown in sight"
"The government is afraid of the guns people have because they have to have control of the people at all times. Once you take away the guns, you can do anything to the people. You give them an inch and they take a mile. I believe we are slowly turning into a socialist government. The government is continually growing bigger and more powerful."
Dangerous ideas ? I think not. The Founding Fathers held those ideas, and they are ideas about liberty. I think the dangerous people are the ones who don't object to the ever-growing government, which has the inevitable crushing effect of taking away ever more property and choice (freedom) from the citizenry. McVeigh's gigantic mistake was moving into calls for civil war and violence. Naturally, I don't agree with that. I'm all for using peaceful means, as Martin Luther King advocated. You don't defeat tyranny by becoming a tyrant yourself. In America, we can defeat tyranny at the ballot box.
What McVeigh does represent is what I'll call The Lunatic Factor. We have a country of over 300 million people. Because human nature is fallible, some of those people are bound to be unhinged (I should name names here, but I'll resist). These people might listen to political speech and be motivated to do stupid and destructive things, as McVeigh did. What liberals seem not to understand is, this can manifest itself across the political spectrum. Liberals quake in their boots over largely imaginary right-wing violence, but then they turn around and call right-wingers racists, which is about as inflammatory as political rhetoric can get. If so-called "dangerous" speech is to be controlled, as liberals are advocating, then we can start with the liberals themselves. By labeling all the Tea Party protesters as racists, are not liberals, by their own standards, inciting violence against those alleged "racists" ? After all, racists are dangeous people who must be stopped. If Limbaugh and Beck are inciting violence, so are Olbermann, Garofalo, Maxine Waters, Jimmy Carter, etc.
It's one more liberal example of "do as I say, not as I do." The lack of self-awareness is nothing short of astounding. Are liberals incapable of remembering all the way back to LAST YEAR, when they were calling former President Bush all manners of inflammatory names ? For that matter, they still are calling Bush those names.
The bottom line here is, free speech is allowed in this country. We can't ever allow that to be lost. The people we should always cast a skeptical eye upon are the ones who are attempting to stifle it with their scare tactics. At this moment in history, the stiflers in this country are coming from the left. That also happens to be where the stiflers most often come from - from the big, all-powerful totalitarian governments the left is constantly advocating for (knowingly or not). The belief in freedom is not just an ideological exercise. The real world consequences are immense.