01.11.2011 2

A Dangerous Turn

James Clybrun Polices Free Speech

By Bill Wilson

It has all taken such a sad and predictable course. A mentally deranged individual commits an act of unspeakable violence. Within minutes the professional Left starts efforts to place blame on conservatives and Republicans, piously demanding some solution that — surprise — gives them tactical advantage in future policy fights.

Let’s call it for what it is: a shameless, callous attempt to use the tragedy of others for gain, political or otherwise. This renders these people as contemptible as the shooter. But it makes these self-appointed moralists something else; it makes them extremely dangerous.

Example One is no less than the number two (or three, depending on how you count) Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Representative James Clyburn had no compunction whatsoever of putting out in stark detail what he wanted to see coming from the violence in Arizona. Mr. Clyburn wants to silence all opposition, he wants to use the incident to install the Third World bullying and censorship he so clearly desires.

Clyburn is quoted as calling for America to “rethink parameters of free speech.” He wants “standards” put in place to ensure “balanced media coverage.” Of course who decides those “standards”? The government, naturally. Mr. Clyburn wants to decide. And, given the fact that his daughter sits on the powerful Federal Communications Commission — the same bureaucracy that is currently ignoring a federal court order to take control of the internet — he has the ability to make his authoritarian rant reality.

Perhaps Mr. Clyburn was asleep last week when the U.S. Constitution was read on the floor of the House. How else can you explain his unfamiliarity with the words, “Congress shall make no law …abridging the freedom of speech…” No matter. For Mr. Clyburn and others of his ilk, little things like Constitutional protections cannot be allowed to stand in the way of their gagging of all dissent.

Example Two is much more subtle than the ravings of James Clyburn but in many ways more insidious. On Sunday Paul Krugman, the high priest of insane economic notions and resident guru of the “progressive” hard-left, attempts to place all blame for a “Climate of Hate” on the GOP. Krugman writes, “Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right.”

His bottom line prescription to the Republican Congress is simple; either surrender or accept total blame for everything bad in America.

Krugman doesn’t come right out and use the word “surrender” but that is his intent. He writes, “will the Arizona massacre make our discourse less toxic? It’s really up to G.O.P. leaders.”

You see, it is Republicans and conservatives who are to blame for opposing the Obama agenda, for openly speaking the truth about the many assaults on freedom and individual liberty that flow from the Obama White House like waters down the Amazon. By not accepting the reality of the brilliance of Obama and crew, it is the Republicans who shoulder all responsibility.

All the GOP has to do is “tone” down their opposition, accept compromise readily, and push all those noisy, rambunctious citizens to the fringes. Ignore the people and their discontent. The super-brains in the Ivory Towers of Harvard and Yale will fix everything.

Both examples of the hyperventilating of the Left are but a taste of the coming weeks. We can depend on the legacy media and their cronies on the left to feed the American people a non-stop diet of guilt by association, dire warnings and character assassination. One leftist blogger went so far as to say it was natural for such a thing to have happened in Arizona, the state that gave America a Presidential candidate who advocated “extremism.”

This slur was aimed at the late Senate Barry Goldwater. As always, the writer took a few words out of context to arrive at his preconceived conclusion. But a full reading of Senator Goldwater’s 1964 clarion call is worth the effort. Senator Goldwater said, “I would remind you that extremism in defense of liberty is no vice and that moderation in pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

It is no vice to loudly and starkly defend liberty in America against those who aim to steal it. And it is no virtue to gently and “moderately” pursue justice against all violations of accepted law.

The American people will not be silenced and intimidated by this pretense that somehow their political rhetoric caused the tragedy in Arizona. Now, more than ever, it is time to voice legitimate objections against a government that turns every tragedy into an opportunity to seize power. Representative Clyburn’s call to “rethink parameters on free speech” should only encourage right-thinking Americans to raise their voices even higher in support of their Constitution.

Bill Wilson is the President of Americans for Limited Government.

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