Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Shameless Self-Promotion

Defending 'Toxic' Rhetoric

I've an article at The American Spectator asking: "What if Loughner wasn't a tin-foil-hat lunatic, but a card-carrying member of the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy, a disciple of Sarah Palin and full-throated, tea-dumping critic of Obama's taxation-nation? What difference would it make?"

I humbly recommend that you RTWT.

Discussions - 8 Comments

I just linked to your piece at my blog. As I say there, this "what if" question of yours is one we conservatives absolutely must answer for ourselves before it actually happens.
Nice job!

"before it actually happens" - very funny.

Well done, Justin!

Great article. Herewith my contribution to this discussion. Notice the hsyterical reactions it generated.

I'm much obliged for your generosity - thank you.

Well put, Justin. Abraham Lincoln, our greatest defender and teacher of the right to free speech as the engine of self-government, once had to face down critics of the Republican Party who tried to tar their anti-slavery efforts with the brush of John Brown. While he didn't use the phrase "blood libel" to characterize the reckless rants of those associating Republicans with the Harper's Ferry debacle, he felt no compunction in calling their claims "malicious slander."

Lincoln warned his opponents that if they succeeded in shutting down his party, this would scarcely shut down the "judgment and feeling--that sentiment" against slavery they so desperately wanted quashed. He wondered aloud what they could possibly gain "by forcing the sentiment which created it out of the peaceful channel of the ballot-box, into some other channel. What would that other channel probably be? Would the number of John Browns be lessened or enlarged by the operation?" Lincoln concluded that only one thing would satisfy their opponents: "cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right." In short, the freedom of speech that had already been curtailed in the slaveholding states (e.g., abolition tracts were not permitted to be distributed through the federal mails down South) would be curtailed in the free states: a gag rule, only this time not among congressmen but among their vast constituents, "We the people," north and south of the Mason-Dixon line.

In the aftermath of the tragic Tucson shooting, political correctness has once again reared its ugly head, and whether it's abortion, homosexual marriage, or mandatory national healthcare insurance, the freedom to speak one's mind about vital issues of the day should be defended by any who would deign to inform public opinion and hence the next visit to the ballot-box. Lincoln closed his wondrous Cooper Institute Address with an exhortation to stand their ground in the face of "false accusations": "Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it."

I agree with every word, Justin, but it wouldn't matter. Telling the Left that smearing a conservative group over the actions of a single person violates their own PC tenets just rolls off their backs. These people live by the double-standard, and their only value is to win (at any cost, really). Had this schizo been a real conservative, they would have made lots of hay while the sun (crisis) shined. And we would have paid a massive price for it.

What to do? Well, what we are doing, including gradually building up our own media. More importantly, we need to be more vigilant in pinning Leftist acts of terror on the Left (where they belong). You must fight fire with fire. Calling upon the Marquess of Queensbury rules in a knife fight gets you seriously killed.

I tend to agree ... there's really no point in trying to argue in good faith with a committed liberal. They have neither the intent nor, in many cases, the intellectual capacity to consider reason.

Now, there is good reason to argue in the public forum in a reasoned way. There are many people who sit in a relatively uncommitted middle position who may be swayed by such reasoned, sober arguments.

The results may be seen in individual elections such as 2010, or in a longer-term commitment on their part to some of the tenets of conservative thought and practice.

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