In the first instance, some years ago, I was a guest at the lovely Maine lakeside lodge of a relative of a college roommate. At the conclusion of a perfectly pleasant dinner in which the conversation was not at all political, my host asked quite unexpectedly what I thought of (then) president George W. Bush. I said I loved him. (And I do. I think that he is a decent gentlemen who tried in every way to perform his responsibilities honestly, no small matter in such a thoroughly base age in which he was unremittingly slanderously vilified.)
My host rose red-faced from his seat, and smashed his fist on the table, shouting, "How could you be so close minded?" As I recall, I could only laugh at the absurdity of his response. His wife , a proper hostess, tried to smooth it over, but I had seen first hand the tyrannical face behind the mask of a liberal urbanite. I had not raised the matter. I had merely answered honestly and succinctly his question in a way he found intolerable simply because my short reply so challenged his own views that all decent, educated people shared his opinion. Hold a different opinion and you are by definition "close minded."
I have been subjected to similar outbursts, though less polite. I have seen liberals reduced to sputtering unprintable words tossed my way when I pressed the argument with facts that clearly refuted the current liberal theory du jour. What I haven't done is convince anybody to rethink his or her ideas. That would have been too much. But in the violence of such outbursts, one can easily see that more thuggish Leftists will not give up power without a fight.
You are aware of the routine use of censorship to silence debate from the right on many of the issues of the day. The Left uses cat calls of "racism" "terrorist" or "hater" and other other scurrilous characterizations to keep the Right from raising the arguments in the first place. If one suggests that perhaps welfare needs to be pared down to those that truly need it, one is both a racists and a hater. If one suggests means testing for Medicare and Social Security, one obviously wants to throw grandma over the cliff. At universities, Leftist students regularly shout down Ann Coulter or David Horowitz. In Canada, speaking opinions not sanctioned by the Left has been criminalized, and there have been calls to do the same in this country. So, it was with some consternation that I listened to Senator John Kerry telling the press to just not print certain points of view:
While I remain skeptical that the so-called debt ceiling deal represents anything other than the Republicans and Tea party being rolled again by wiley Democrats, Feldman finds some bright spots. In Feldman's formulation, we have shifted the debate away from more and bigger government programs, and toward cutting programs and balanced budgets. Economic conditions are sure to worsen. The stock market, to date propped up by government bail outs and stimulus, can no longer hold its value and is declining. The rush to precious metals can not be covered up by the happy face media. The Keynesian's have shot their wad, and have nothing left. Meanwhile, the fact the George Soros is buy gold tells us something about what he REALLY believes, and when push comes to shove, Soros believes in hard currency and power.
Add to the irony of rank unscientific dogmatists posing as free thinkers, a huge dose of arrogance, and you get John F . Kerry, intellectual poseur , font of internationalist elitist conventional wisdom and avatar of effete snobbery, saying stuff like this:
SEN. JOHN KERRY: "And I have to tell you, I say this to you politely. The media in America has a bigger responsibility than it's exercising today. The media has got to begin to not give equal time or equal balance to an absolutely absurd notion just because somebody asserts it or simply because somebody says something which everybody knows is not factual."
Obviously, the struggle is another generational fight, in which we on the side of personal freedom are going to have to remain ever vigilant, and polite but aggressive if we are to win. It is a fight to the finish with the Left, and is winner take all.
New freshman Senator Marco Rubio of Florida seems to get it in the floor speech he delivered if Joseph Ashby is to be believed in a piece at the American Thinker yesterday entitled Marco Rubio's House Divided Speech. Ashby likens it to Lincoln's speech on slavery in which he famously said that a house divided can not stand. Similarly, Rubio points out that the two visions of America currently dividing the nation can not coexist forever. On the one hand are those who see government as the source of prosperity and who have no philosophical difficulty taking from those who produce wealth to give to those who do not. On the other are those who view the private sector as the proper sphere for creating wealth. These people view equal opportunity, and equal protection of the laws as more important than equal outcomes. Go read the whole article, and consider again that this will eventually involve a fight.
I was at the Raleigh Gun Show yesterday, volunteering at the Grass Roots North Carolina table. During a lull, I was speaking to one of the other men working there about the debt ceiling debate, the Gunwalker hearings, and other political issues. He, of course, is a politically aware individual. He expressed similar opinions to mine that we had been played in the debt deal, and that Gunwalker represented our own government breaking its own laws. Then he said that a bloody civil war was likely in the future, that it was the last thing he wanted to see, but he did not see a way out of it.