08.31.2009 0

The True Meaning of Dissent

  • On: 09/01/2009 09:23:32
  • In: Hard Left
  • by David Bozeman

    Liberals still sport ‘Dissent is Patriotic’ bumper stickers on their fuel-efficient, usually foreign cars (has anyone ever seen one on a clunker or a pickup?). In fact, liberals have accrued moral currency over the years by posing as idealistic rebels fighting the goliaths of institutionalized racism, sexism and oppression in general. By playing the victim card, whether lashing out at big pharmaceuticals and insurance companies blocking health care reform or invoking McCarthyism or the stifling convention of the 50s, liberals have not only framed political discourse but shaped popular culture, as well, from rock and roll to Jack Nicholson movies of the 70’s to the Playboy Philosophy to the Dixie Chicks. Liberal dissent is always cool, edgy and courageous.

    In true Animal Farm fashion, however, the ‘powerless’ liberals have become the establishment.

    Granted, they have dominated the federal government off and on throughout the years and have controlled certain localities and institutions almost exclusively. In 2009, no doubt, with control of the three branches of government, much of the media, academia and Hollywood, liberals are now the establishment. College Republicans are the modern-day equivalents of the free-speech advocates of the 60s. Openly Republican Kelsey Grammar is no doubt the braver man in Hollywood over the hyper-cool George Clooney.

    Who represents the true spirit of dissent liberals celebrate on bumper stickers — billionaire George Soros or the Town Hall attendees? Face it libs, you are the status quo; conservatism is the new cutting edge.

    It is conservatives who now hold the advantage of that great American tradition — storming city hall. The Obama Administration has offered conservatives a golden opportunity to present fresh ideas for health-care reform, immigration reform, energy independence, etc. Despite their blather, there is very little new in the liberal playbook, not even their heath-care plan, which may differ in detail but not in principle from the Clinton plan, which wasn’t new, either.

    No matter how stale their ideas, liberals, because they disproportionately populate the worlds of media and culture, still have the knack to draw attention and shock and define the day’s fashions. Still, whatever their power level, they are wary of actually being the establishment, thus even now they revel in victimhood. Ever the aggrieved outsiders, they liken town hall protestors to mobs organized by the insurance lobbies, and editorial pages routinely feature heartfelt laments that the word ‘Nazi’ is overused and comparisons to National Socialism are coarsening our national discourse. Such concern was noticeably dormant during the Bush years.

    Strategically, none of the above should matter to conservatives. America’s time-honored traditions — faith, family, freedom and hard work — are embedded in our national psyche, and while they need to be defined and celebrated occasionally, they need not be shouted from the town square like revolutionary epithets or wailed about in victim-of-the-moment fashion.

    As columnist Dennis Prager wrote, dissent, in and of itself, is a meaningless concept. Was dissent against federally enforced desegregation patriotic? Dissent against federally mandated Obama-care is no less patriotic than liberal opposition to the Iraq War. The true measure of patriotism is what one is for, and conservatives need not tailor their message to curry sympathy with public fashion. Igniting fervor is fine, but conservatism need only appeal to the nobler aspects of human nature — the deep yearning to be free, for example — to take hold in American life.

    David Bozeman is a Liberty Features Syndicated Writer.


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