Free Markets, Free People

Daily Archives: January 11, 2011

Beware of those who would trade freedom for security

The most recent example of that is Rep. James Clyburn who thinks it is time the concept of free speech is rethought in the wake of the Tucson shooting:

The shooting is cause for the country to rethink parameters on free speech, Clyburn said from his office, just blocks from the South Carolina Statehouse. He wants standards put in place to guarantee balanced media coverage with a reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine, in addition to calling on elected officials and media pundits to use ‘better judgment.’

‘Free speech is as free speech does,’ he said. ‘You cannot yell ‘fire’ in a crowded theater and call it free speech and some of what I hear, and is being called free speech, is worse than that.’

“Free speech is as free speech does?”  Does that sort of Gumpian nonsense pass for wisdom now?  Of course you can’t yell “fire” in a crowded theater – unless there’s a fire, of course.  But comparing what politicians (and others) have said to that, I find nothing of relevance (and yes, that includes “crosshairs”) that compares. 

However those who would restrict your freedoms for their perceived safety don’t see it that way.  And facts are simply an inconvenience to be ignored as they try to move their argument along.  Clyburn again:

Clyburn used as an example a comment made by Sharron Angle, an unsuccessful U.S. senatorial candidate in Nevada, who said the frustrated public may consider turning to ‘Second Amendment remedies’ for political disputes unless Congress changed course.

Clyburn said the man accused of shooting Giffords did just that.

‘He saw a Second Amendment remedy and that’s what occurred here and there is no way not to make that connection,’ Clyburn said.

Despite Clyburn’s position, law enforcement has not yet revealed any motives in the shooting.

In fact, and as Clyburn must know even as he uttered those words, there appears to be no real political motive for the shooting in Tucson.  But that doesn’t change the narrative does it? 

More control of speech (in an effort to better control the opposition’s speech) has been an goal of the left for decades.  Political correctness, birthed among academics from the left (and most evident on campuses today) ,is a speech code that has successfully limited and suppressed free speech.  And there are other attempts being made.  But the Clyburns of the world would, if they could and you would give them the okay, limit your speech despite the fact that the words “Congress shall make no law” appear in the amendment limiting government’s ability to do just that.

After all, It’s only the Constitution and we all know that it is followed by Congress only when it is convenient for Congress to do so.

~McQ

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‘No sale’ on the ‘hateful’ rhetoric/Tucson shooting connection

According to a CBS New poll It appears the American public isn’t buying the attempt to connect what is termed “hateful” rhetoric and the Tucson shooting of Rep. Giffords:

Overall, 57 percent of respondents said the harsh political tone had nothing to do with the shooting, compared to 32 percent who felt it did. Republicans were more likely to feel the two were unrelated – 69 percent said rhetoric was not to blame; 19 percent said it played a part. Democrats were more split on the issue – 49 percent saw no connection; 42 percent said there was.

Independents more closely reflected the overall breakdown – 56 percent said rhetoric had nothing to do with the attack; 33 percent felt it did.

So a note to the left trying to make political hay with this incident – the meme is not resonating.  And, as usual, you’ve underestimated the good sense of the American people and their ability to separate political nonsense from the truth.  I think we can reasonably call the attempt to establish the “hateful rhetoric caused the shooting” a “FAIL.”

~McQ

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