See my previous article, “On the Malicious Connection Between Conservatives And Hate.”
Having documented that the left’s demonization of conservative “rhetoric” was nothing more than a hypocritical and immoral attempt to politically exploit a tragedy, I would like to go a little further and examine whether the 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech should be denounced – as the Democrats have clearly tried to do in the aftermath of the Tucson shooting.
Should angry political rhetoric be suppressed? Our founding fathers clearly didn’t think so. And, truth be told, they freely let a fair amount of “rhetoric” fly themselves, during their day. Furthermore, they codified that belief in the Bill of Rights.
But that isn’t the question I intend to examine. Rather, I want to go further and ask, “Does angry political speech – call it ‘rhetoric’ if you want – lead to violence in a democracy?”
Let me repeat what I wrote when I first learned of this tragedy on Saturday, January 8:
Whoever did this terrible thing, and for whatever reason he did it, we have to be able to disagree in America without resorting to violence. Or our entire system of government will collapse. There can be no democratic republic in a police state.
Pray for Gabrielle Giffords. Pray for her staff, some of whom were terribly wounded or even killed. Pray for the safety of every single politician in America. And especially pray for the safety of those politicians with whom you most disagree.
And later in that same article:
This event is something that should transcend the political arguments and the debate over which party should run America that constantly goes on. Because ANY act of violence which accompanies a political statement of any kind undermines our freedom and liberty.
Because, like I said above, you cannot have a democratic republic in a police state. And the more politically violent any group or individuals become, the more police powers become necessary to impose order.
All that to point out that I, as someone who can easily be identified by the pejorative “right winger,” would in fact NEVER call for acts of violence. And I do not oppose political violence in spite of the fact that I am a conservative, but rather BECAUSE I am a conservative.
The fundamental tenant of political conservatism is the belief in limited government. Conservatives are not “anti-government” any more than are leftists. The far-leftist communists overthrew the current government in Russia in 1917; American liberals were opposed to the government of the Bush administration just a short time ago. Conservatives don’t want NO government, but rather they want a federal government which is limited in size, sphere and power. The debate isn’t between “pro-government” versus “anti-government,” but rather small government versus expansive government. And my point is that as a conservative I don’t want a Big Brother state. I don’t want the police on every corner. I don’t want myriad laws restricting my freedoms. I don’t want government imposing its will on me in order to “restore order” or impose “social justice.” And frankly, if any political ideology in this country wants those things, it is the left.
I would further point out that the reason we do not need to resort to violence in our American democratic system is because we have the ability to use persuasion in place of and instead of violence. But if you take away the ability to use persuasion to change society, all that is left is violence.
For the record, it is not conservatives, but liberals such as former SEIU president Andy Stern (among many others) – who have repeatedly said things like, “If we can’t use the power of persuasion, we will use the persuasion of power” – who have an unfortunate record of conflating persuasion with the raw exercise of “power.”
But let me go even further than that. Let me take the most visceral political issue of all – abortion – and examine that issue in light of the possibility of rightwing violence.
Let me state my position on abortion clearly: it is nothing short of murder. It is the unjustified killing of an innocent human being.
When President Obama gave his speech at the memorial service in Tucson, which shooting victim did he single out for the greatest attention? It wasn’t Rep. Gabrielle Giffords; it was the youngest victim, nine year-old Christina Taylor. What did Obama say? “I want America to be as good as she imagined it.”
For someone who is pro-life, it is no surprise that the president would have focused on the youngest victim. Because 9 year-old Christina had so much unrealized potential, so many dreams that would never be fulfilled, so much life that was taken away from her. And it is precisely that deprivation of potential that makes her death so much more tragic and heart-wrenching than the 79 year-old victim – whose murder was obviously also a tragedy.
Allow me to consider the fifty-three MILLION innocent human beings who likewise should have had their entire lives ahead of them but instead had their lives violently and ruthlessly snuffed out. Entire lifetimes of limitless human potential were ripped and dissolved away with surgical scissors and saline solutions.
Let me say even more: Adolf Hitler treated six million Jews as being “less than human” and ruthlessly exterminated them. One of the greatest monsters in human history, and he is only one-NINTH as murderous as the Democrat Party in the United States of America. There’s a term the Nazis used – Lebensunwertes Leben (“a life unworthy to be lived”) – that with all due respect is every bit as much an ideology of the Democrat Party as it was of the Nazi Party.
I think of Democrats who call themselves “Christians” celebrating Mary the Mother of Jesus’ “right to choose” to kill “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29) in her womb, and I want to puke. Your theology would murder Jesus in His mother’s womb; your “god” is abortion.
And I believe that one day Democrats will stand before a just and holy God, Who will send them to burn in hell for voting in election after election for untold millions of the most innocent of all human beings to be slaughtered for the sake of convenience.
I agree. These are pretty strong words. And yeah, they’re harsh. Truth isn’t always warm and fuzzy.
And yet I’ve never killed anyone, or ever even once advocated the killing of anyone, who was pro-abortion.
Do you want to know why?
I earlier mentioned Adolf Hitler. Let me return to him now for a thought experiment that will help me make my point.
Suppose that I could go back in time and assassinate Adolf Hitler. Would I do it?
Well, first let me ask, would you do it? Take a moment and think about it before reading any further.
My answer is yes, I believe I would do so. I believe that I would kill Adolf Hitler. Not for sake of revenge; but for the sake of all living things. I would kill Adolf Hitler to save millions of human lives and prevent human misery and suffering beyond imagination.
Ah, you say. So why not apply that reasoning to abortion doctors, and prevent the murders of untold babies? Wouldn’t that be consistent?
And I would answer no, it isn’t. Because in the case of Adolf Hitler, we have the benefit of 100%, 20/2o hindsight. We have the record of Hitler’s entire life. We know what he did, and we know what he intended to continue to do.
Now consider abortion doctor George Tiller, aka “Tiller the baby killer.” He was murdered – in a church, no less – by someone who said that “preborn children’s lives were in imminent danger.” And yet it is important to recognize that the pro-life movement immediately denounced the murder.
Let me tell you what I don’t know about George Tiller’s life that I did know about Adolf Hitler’s life.
Just like every single one of those fifty-three million innocent human beings who were murdered in abortion mills, I don’t know what George Tiller’s future would have been.
Would George Tiller have changed his beliefs on abortion if he hadn’t been murdered? It certainly isn’t impossible that he would have. Take the case of former head abortion nurse and former active member of N.O.W. Joan Appleton.
What would have happened if had I killed Joan Appleton while she was still performing abortions?
Think of the potential for good that she has since done with her life that would have been snuffed out.
And, neither I or the murderer of George Tiller or anyone else knows what would have happened in George Tiller’s life had he not been murdered. Imagine the testimony that the world could have heard had the most notorious abortion doctor in the country come out condemning abortion.
In point of fact, the man who murdered George Tiller in his moral ignorance committed the very same crime that abortionists commit which makes abortion so evil; he failed to consider the very essence of what he professed to stand for.
In effect, George Tiller’s murderer committed a retroactive abortion. He put aside Tiller’s humanity, personhood and Imago Dei; he dismissed Tiller’s “right to life”; he ignored Tiller’s “potential.” And he killed him.
Paradoxially, all the murderer of George Tiller did – condemned as he was by the pro-abortion movement – was use the exact same mindset that the abortion movement employs every single day.
And there really is no doubt, once we truly consider the issues. Ever hear the argument that fetuses aren’t human beings, so it’s okay to kill them? Think again. Both science and logic assure us that – from the moment of conception – that thing in the womb of a human mother is fully a human being. Take a moment and consider the taxonomic system by which every living thing is rigorously categorized and classified. By that system a human embryo is of the kingdom Anamalia, of the phylum Chordata, of the class Mammalia, of the order Primate, of the family Pongidae, of the genus Homo, and of the species Sapiens – same as any other human being. Put even more simply, that embryo is a human by virtue of its parents, and a being by the fact that it is a living thing: it is a human being.
I’ve heard the Nazi argument that Jews weren’t human beings. I’ve heard the argument that unborn babies aren’t human beings. Wrong, and wrong.
I’ve heard the declaration that conservatives such as Dick Cheney and Michelle Bauchmann don’t deserve to live. I’ve heard the declaration that babies growing up in their mothers’ wombs don’t deserve to live. Wrong, and wrong.
So, yes, I will be a voice crying out in the wilderness about the vicious evil of abortion. I will cry out in despair about the tragedy of millions upon millions of little Christina Taylors who were eradicated as if they were diseases before they got any chance to live out the potential that they should have had. But I won’t kill. Because I believe in human life.
Governments have what St. Paul described as the power of the sword to carry out justice (see Romans 13:1-4). But I, acting on my own authority, don’t have the right of either vengeance or vigilantism. Because vengeance is not mine; and because justice for criminals is not mine to carry out. It is for God and for the governments which He has ordained on this earth to carry out those tasks.
Let me now also say that there is no connection in a healthy mind, in a healthy society, between rhetoric and violence. None whatsoever.
And what of an unhealthy mind?
I made the point in a previous article that I once had a mentally ill woman literally come unglued on me as I held a sign that merely said, “YARD SALE.” And I concluded then what I point out here: that if we’re going to ban or condemn “angry political rhetoric” for its possible effects upon sick minds, we’re going to have to condemn far more than just political speech. Because literally anything can set off a sick mind. Even a yard sale becomes dangerous.
If we banish everything that could set off a diseased mind, we necessarily must become the Big Brother totalitarian state which I earlier described fearing. Because what couldn’t set off such a mind, which would then mean what sphere of life would the government not need to control?
I believe that I have explained why a consistent conservative would never employ violence to advance a political cause. I also believe I have done so by employing a worldview and an argument that Democrats not only don’t acknowledge, but frankly don’t even understand.
Which is why it is the political left – and not the political right – which has been responsible for the overwhelming majority of global political violence. Whether it be Marxist or Maoist communist socialist violence or Nazi fascist socialist violence, whether it be union violence, or whether it be radical group violence (in the 1960s the FBI nearly exclusively identified leftwing groups as being violent even throughout Democrat administrations). The political hatred and violence that we have seen has almost invariably been leftwing.
[For those who would like to see more regarding the relationship between Nazism and the political left, see my article on the connection between leftist thought and fascism; please see my comment on the connection between "fascism" and American liberalism, and see my articles on the connection between postmodernism and fascism here and see also here, especially before you post a comment trying to argue with me].
So it is long past time for liberals to stop denouncing conservatives and finally turn their examination upon themselves.