Posts Tagged ‘freedom of speech’

On The So-Called Link Between ‘Rightwing’ Political Rhetoric And Violence

January 1, 2011

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.

I point out in a previous article:

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.

Progressivism Revealed In Words Of Hollywood Liberals Like Tom Hanks And Sean Penn

March 14, 2010

If you want to know what an idea looks like, it is a good idea to look for some examples of that thing in action.

Take “progressivism” or “liberalism,” for instance (please! as the old comic’s joke goes).

What do these people think?  What are they about?  What is their vision for the future, and for this country?  What do they want to do?

Well, why not ask Tom Hanks and Sean Penn, both famed Oscar-winning Hollywood liberals in good standing.

Let’s start with Sean Penn.  That way we can get rid of him faster.

Sean Penn, speaking about Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, said:

Every day, this elected leader is called a dictator here, and we just accept it, and accept it. And this is mainstream media. There should be a bar by which one goes to prison for these kinds of lies.”

Well, what SHOULD we think about Hugo Chavez?  Let’s find out.

From May 2007:

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuelan troops have seized an anti-government television channel’s broadcast equipment, the station said on Sunday, ahead of a controversial midnight EDT/0400 GMT takeover by President Hugo Chavez that will take the broadcaster off the air.

Chavez sparked international criticism with his decision to not renew RCTV’s license and to replace Venezuela’s most-watched channel with a state-backed network that will promote the values of his self-styled socialist revolution.

From November 2008 in the New York Review of Books:

Hugo Chávez Versus Human Rights

On September 18, we released a report in Caracas that shows how President Hugo Chávez has undermined human rights guarantees in Venezuela. That night, we returned to our hotel and found around twenty Venezuelan security agents, some armed and in military uniform, awaiting us outside our rooms. They were accompanied by a man who announced—with no apparent sense of irony—that he was a government “human rights” official and that we were being expelled from the country.

From July 2009 from the Human Rights Watch (which also includes numerous Venezuelan human rights violations):

Jul 31, 2009

The Venezuelan government has adopted and proposed measures that reduce the ability of government critics to voice their opinions and will seriously limit freedom of expression in Venezuela.

From August 2009 via the UK Telegraph:

Thirteen channels ordered to be closed by the Venezuelan government went off the air on Saturday and more than 200 are expected to close in coming weeks.

The government broadcasting watchdog, Conatel, said that 34 radio outlets would be closed because they failed to comply with regulations.

However, critics claimed the crackdown infringed on freedom of speech and hundreds of protesters demonstrated in Caracas against the closures.

And, of course, that is simply scratching the surface of Hugo Chavez’s abuses of freedom:

According to the U.S. State Department and other official government sources, the Venezuelan government has been guilty of numerous human rights violations under Chavez’s rule.

“Politicization of the judiciary and official harassment of the political opposition and the media characterized the human rights situation during the year,” said the State Department’s Country Report on Human Rights in Venezuela for 2008 that was released last month.

The report credits the Chavez regime with unlawful killings, arbitrary arrests and detention, discrimination based on political grounds, widespread corruption at all levels of government, official intimidation and attacks on the independent media.

“According to HRW [Human Rights Watch], ‘Government officials have removed scores of detractors from the career civil service, purged dissidents employees from the national oil company, denied citizens access to social programs based on their political opinions, and denounced critics as subversives deserving of discriminatory treatment,” says the State Department report.

A recent report by the Congressional Research Service also outlined human rights concerns in Chavez’s Venezuela.

“Under the populist rule of President Hugo Chavez … Venezuela has undergone enormous political changes, with a new constitution and unicameral legislature, and a new name for the country, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela,” states a Feb. 5, 2009 CRS report.

“U.S. officials and human rights organizations have expressed concerns about the deterioration of democratic institutions,” the report adds, “and threats to freedom of expression under President Chavez, who has survived several attempts to remove him from power.”

How about Hugo Chavez in his very own words:

CHAVEZ: “Yes, we are indoctrinating the children from the first grade through college, every grade, private schools. The ideology of the revolution! The ideology of socialism! Our ideology.”

So Hugo Chavez is a dictator and a thug who is without any doubt suppressing freedom of speech and other human rights in his country.  And if I may now refresh your memory about Sean Penn’s view of the man:

Sean Penn has defended Hugo Chávez as a model democrat and said those who call him a dictator should be jailed.

The Oscar-winning actor and political activist accused the US media of smearing Venezuela’s socialist president and called for journalists to be punished.

Every day, this elected leader is called a dictator here, and we just accept it, and accept it. And this is mainstream media. There should be a bar by which one goes to prison for these kinds of lies.”

This one’s pretty easy.  Sean Penn demonizes the press for smearing a dictator by calling him a “dictator.”  And proceeds to argue that journalists who report the truth about Chavez be jailed.

Which is, of course, precisely what a dictator would do, isn’t it???

You see, Hugo Chavez is a dictator and thug; but he is a LEFTWING dictator and thug (just as most dictatorial thugs almost always are).

So, to put a thousand words into a picture:

Mind you, Sean Penn is not the only Hollywood liberal who has embraced this dictatorial thug. There’s Danny Glover, Oliver Stone, Benicio del Toro, and others.

And earlier progressives eagerly flocked around the communist revolution under Vladimir Lenin and the fascist revolutions under first Benito Mussolini and then Adolf Hitler, too.  Which is to say that this behavior from progressives – as bizarre and as morally insane as it is – is part of a century-old tradition.

Let’s go back to Woodrow Wilson, the father of the progressive movement.  In his unintentionally chilling essay, “Leaders of Men,” Wilson wrote:

The competent leader of men cares little for the interior niceties of other people’s characters: he cares much – everything – for the external uses to which they may be put. His will seeks the lines of least resistance; but the whole question with him is a question as to the application of force. There are men to be moved: how shall he move them? He supplies the power; others supply only the materials upon which that power operatesIt is the power which dictates, dominates; the materials yield. Men are as clay in the hands of the consummate leader.

On Wilson’s elitist view, American citizens truly ARE as clay.  They are incapable of understanding anything remotely complex.  And therefore the half-truths (which very often amount to whole lies) of the skillful demagogue become justified:

only a very gross substance of concrete conception can make any impression on the minds of the masses; they must get their ideas very absolutely put, and are much readier to receive a half-truth which they can understand than a whole truth which has too many sides to be seen all at once.

And how did the father of the progressive movement – who viewed men as uncomprehending clay waiting to be shaped by the half-truths of the skillful demagogue – view the Constitution?  Wilson wrote:

Justly revered as our great Constitution is, it could be stripped off and thrown aside like a garment, and the nation would still stand forth in the living vestment of flesh and sinew, warm with the heart-blood of one people, ready to recreate constitutions and laws

And uncomprehending clay men do not particularly deserve the inalienable rights bestowed upon them by a Constitution which itself is of little actual value.  Thus the father of the progressive movement wrote:

No doubt a lot of nonsense has been talked about the inalienable rights of the individual, and a great deal that was mere sentiment and pleasing speculation has been put forward as fundamental principle.

And what should be the limitations of power on the government Leviathan – which could easily be stripped of its limiting Constitution – over uncomprehending and infinitely malleable men of clay?  In The State, Wilson said that:

“Government does now whatever experience permits or the times demand.”

In his “Congressional Government,” Wilson wrote that:

“I cannot imagine power as a thing negative and not positive.”

In other words, Progressivism sees no limitations against the power of raw government power.

But I can certainly imagine such power being a negative thing.  As a student of history, I am vividly aware of the fact that in just one such form of government – communism – more than 100 million people were systematically and brutally murdered by their own government during peacetime.

Conservatives favor limited government with limited and well-defined powers.  Which is the exact OPPOSITE of fascistic totalitarian governments.  When you start demanding bigger and bigger and more activistic and socialist government, you begin meandering over to fascist land.

Thus you should understand why it  shouldn’t be surprising that Sean Penn and Danny Glover should think this way about Hugo Chavez.  Chavez is the Great Leader who shapes stupid clay men with his skillful demagoguery; and thus woe be unto any who seek to get in his way.

And, good news for progressives, the magnificent Hugo Chavez’s socialist revolution is coming to America in the form of Barack Hussein Obama:

(CNSNews.com) – Inspired by his meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama at the Americas Summit, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez declared on Sunday that Venezuelan socialism has begun to reach the United States under the Obama administration.

And it’s completely reasonable that Chavez would think this way about Obama.  After all, the American president who did nothing while the Venezuelan dictator nationalized U.S. businesses has done plenty of nationalizing himself.  Which prompted Hugo Chavez to point out:

CARACAS (Reuters) – Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez said on Tuesday that he and Cuban ally Fidel Castro risk being more conservative than U.S. President Barack Obama as Washington prepares to take control of General Motors Corp.

Does the Obama administration share the totalitarian views of Hugo Chavez, and even admire them?  It certainly does, according to the words of Obama’s Diversity czar, Mark Lloyd:

“It should be clear by now that my focus here is not freedom of speech or the press.  This freedom is all too often an exaggeration. At the very least, blind references to freedom of speech or the press serve as a distraction from the critical examination of other communications policies.

[T]he purpose of free speech is warped to protect global corporations and block rules that would promote democratic governance.”

[…]

“In Venezuela, with Chavez, is really an incredible revolution – a democratic revolution.  To begin to put in place things that are going to have an impact on the people of Venezuela.

The property owners and the folks who then controlled the media in Venezuela rebelled – worked, frankly, with folks here in the U.S. government – worked to oust him.  But he came back with another revolution, and then Chavez began to take very seriously the media in his country.

And we’ve had complaints about this ever since.”

“Complaints,” of course, which bother genuine progressives such as Sean Penn and Obama’s diversity czar Mark Lloyd.  Which is why they think that “complainers” should be thrown in jail.

The left loves – and even worships as a surrogate for God – big government, and seemingly the bigger the better.  And of course, the very biggest governments, the ones that can control the populations and guide their nations to the next socialist Utopia, invariably are or descend into totalitarian regimes.

It’s not that Sean Penn is stupid for his views.  Sean Penn is accurately explaining his progressive philosophy.  He is not a politician who needs your vote, so he can be honest.  And as a multi-millionaire celebrity, he epitomizes the mindset of progressivism: that the peon clay masses are ignorant and need to be ruled over, and that they should surrender their wills and allow the government of their superiors to do whatever they think is best.  And who better than an elitist Hollywood celebrity to explain why the more than 300 million Americans constituting the lower classes are like maggots crawling across the landscape, and that they should be compelled to shut up and do as their betters tell them?

So let us be rid of Sean Penn and introduce ourselves to the “wisdom” of Tom Hanks.  Recently – in acquainting America with the 10 part HBO series on World War II he took part in – had this to say:

“Back in World War II,” he told Brinkley, “we viewed the Japanese as ‘yellow, slant-eyed dogs’ that believed in different gods. They were out to kill us because our way of living was different. We, in turn, wanted to annihilate them because they were different. Does that sound familiar, by any chance, to what’s going on today?” In a separate interview, Hanks referred to the war in the Pacific as one of “racism and terror.”

Damn racist American bastards.  They were called “the greatest generation”; the generation that rose up from the ashes of the Great Depression to defeat the greatest evil the world has ever seen.  But you and Tom Hanks know the truth, don’t you: they were just a bunch of racists.  The vicious cheap-shot sneak attack at Pearl Harbor didn’t have anything to do with our going to war against Japan.  Heck, in the spirit of the modern “truthers” who claim that Bush bombed the World Trade Center, FDR probably sent in American planes painted to look like Japanese Zeroes.

Stupid unAmerican fool.  We didn’t want to annihilate the Japanese “because they were different.”  We were forced to annihilate them because they were utterly fanatic and refused to surrender.  We were forced to annihilate them because they started a war of annihilation and wouldn’t stop.  Tom Hanks is too ignorant and too much an ideologue to consider the Rape of Nanking, or the Bataan Death March, or the Banzai charges, or the first suicide bombers known as the Kamikaze.  I’d like to see Tom Hanks take part in a movie about the monstrous and utterly despicable Unit 731.

If Tom Hanks wasn’t a complete moral idiot, he would simply realize that Japan attacked us without provocation with a vengeance, and the United States of America responded with a vengeance.  Just as they would have done had their attackers had white skin and round eyes.

And when Tom Hanks asks, “Does that sound familiar, by any chance, to what’s going on today?”  he is not content to label the greatest generation as a bunch of racist warmongers; no, he seeks to do the same thing to our great warriors who are protecting us today.

Why are we fighting against Islamic jihadism?  Because they’re “different,” as Tom Hanks maintains?  How about because they attacked us in vicious act of war that left 3,000 innocent civilians murdered?  Maybe THAT had something to do with it?

Contrary to being “racists,” our soldiers today are operating with a level of restraint against an utterly despicable terrorist enemy – who hide among and prey upon their own civilian people – that is simply amazing to behold.  Our soldiers as a matter of routine are the most enthusiastic back-patting cheerleaders of the courage and toughness they are beginning to see in their Afghani and Iraqi counterparts.

Tom Hanks, like Sean Penn, see only ugliness in America and Americans, and only beauty in the totalitarian regimes of brutal dictators.

And that is, and always has been, the progressive way.