We cannot give lunatics editorial control of our discourse.
Within hours of the attack on Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords, liberal bloggers, pundits, and even politicians raced to pin responsibility on the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and the general “climate of hate” produced by opposition to President Obama’s agenda.
Much was made of Republicans and Tea Party activists who “targeted” Giffords for defeat in the midterm elections. This kind of rhetoric and imagery has been used constantly by both parties for many years. There will probably be a self-imposed ban on it, by all politicians, in the wake of this tragedy. No great loss there.
What would be a great loss would be allowing madmen to censor our discourse. The idea that millions of Americans should meekly submit to an aggressive statist agenda, because resistance might provoke a lunatic to shoot a congresswoman, is deeply offensive to the ideals of liberty and free speech.
Liberals always shriek about a new “climate of hate” when they see an opportunity to bury conservatives beneath a pile of corpses. It’s just another example of “climate change” being used to compel obedience. Let’s focus instead on the climate of free speech, and our united refusal to allow a platoon of maniacs to change it.
To his credit, President Obama has not descended to the depths of Bill Clinton, who casually blamed the Oklahoma City bombings on Rush Limbaugh back in the 90s. Quite a few prominent leftists have refused to follow Obama’s example. This is the disgusting, reflexive opportunism of those who believe every aspect of life is political. We are all property of the State. All resistance to the State is evil. Therefore, all evil is caused by resistance to the State.
Certainly there is anger simmering in the growing resistance to this radical President. Why wouldn’t there be? The Obama Democrats are “transformative,” which means they are aggressive. They want to force you to do a great many things. They’re not shy about using the most insulting rhetoric to shout down your objections. They provide no opportunity for you to gracefully decline participation in their plans… unless you happen to be one of the favored few who receive an ObamaCare waiver. The “consent of the governed” plays no role in thousand-page bills negotiated through secret backroom deals, and pushed through Congress with earmark bribes, in obnoxious defiance of the American people.
The Tea Party movement has done a fantastic job of controlling this anger, and converting its energy to constructive ends. You didn’t see angry mobs at Tea Party rallies, Sarah Palin speeches, or Glenn Beck’s “Restoring Honor” event. They were warm, welcoming, and optimistic, not to mention neat and orderly. Even the idiotic attempt to create “false flag” hate speech for the benefit of the media went belly up. When people attended their first Tea Party rally, they found America waiting for them, and America is inspirational. The gifts of its countenance are courage and good humor.
The attempts to link resistance to violence, or discredit it through manufactured charges of racism, is nothing less than totalitarian. If the exercise of free speech makes you an accessory to murder, there is no such thing as free speech. The Left has spent the last few hours screaming that all dissent from their ideology leads to violence. Well, there is only one form of government that requires violence to achieve dissent. If the Left wants to push this meme, they are indicting themselves as tyrants.
You can’t put a paranoid lunatic like Jared Loughner, the Tucson shooter, anywhere on the Left or Right of our political spectrum. This was equally true of Clay Duke, the Panama City school board shooter, who was marinated in a thick stew of socialist literature, class envy, and hard-Left websites. It was true of Joseph Stack, the man who flew his airplane into an IRS building in Austin, Texas, leaving behind an anti-capitalist manifesto that approvingly cited the “communist creed.” It was true of James Lee, the environmental extremist who used bombs to take hostages at the Discovery Channel headquarters last September.
No matter what any of these deranged individuals professed to believe, their crimes should not be pinned on the free expression of liberals, because we should not grant editorial control of our speech to lunatics. Likewise, Jared Loughner is responsible for his actions. No matter what ultimately motivated him to shoot Representative Giffords and murder six other people, including a little girl, no part of the blame rests with whoever he happened to agree with, or criticize.
Those who use the corpses of his victims as marionettes for political theater are also responsible for their actions, and deserve our contempt. If liberal Americans have any self-respect, a lot of loudmouths will come to remember January 8, 2011 as they day their soulless careers finally ended.