Thursday, January 19, 2006

I’m going to answer Jamie Goodwin’s comment as a new post, because I have an important point to make. Yes, it’s true that there’s way too much toeing of the party line, and both sides think little of the logical abilities of the other- I, for example, am fond of the Churchill quote “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart; if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain”. But the left has taken this to a new level that the right is ideologically incapable of following- a dangerous and undemocratic level.

Their argument is that since there is no rational opposition to their views, then any opposition must be based on something else- hatred. This goes way beyond the “Hatred is not a family value” bumper sticker that serves as the access pass to UU parking lots. Colleges all over the country are defining conservative opinions as “hate speech”- which allows them to suppress those views without shame and with impunity; the first amendment does not apply to hate speech. If, for example, you publicly espouse anti-affirmative action views, you have committed a racist act- since there is no rational argument against a liberal position. There may be hearings to decide whether you can stay, and you will undoubtedly have to take sensitivity classes.


So there will be some fodder for the AM radio, and some lawsuits by some conservative kids- so what? Let’s suppose you were one of those kids- flash forward a few years. Say you get involved in a bar fight, or perhaps an apres traffic accident dust-up. You’re in front of the judge when the DA suddenly says “Your honor, the other man is gay- and this man has a history of hate speech. This isn’t misdemeanor public nuisance; this is a felony hate crime!” It can’t happen here? The President can’t throw citizens into concentration camps because of the color of their skin, either- and yet that happened in 1942. It would take only a little change in the law- perhaps just a court decision- to make “hate speech” itself a hate crime. The more I hear Democratic politicians take up the view that there is no rational opposition to certain positions, and that such opposition is “out of the mainstream”, the less sure I am that free speech will be protected in the future.

Nor can we certain the Supreme court will defend it. The McCain-Feingold campaign finance law is a clear violation of “Congress shall make no law”, and the Court upheld that. The (to me) inexplicable eminent domain decision showed that the Supreme Court is no longer the champion of the individual citizen. And there’s always the capricious nature of courts in general- my father used to say that not even God himself knew what would happen once court was in session.


Perhaps I am being chicken little- but I get a little chill whenever I hear someone deny another’s inherent dignity and worth because of a differing political view.



8 comments:

Chalicechick said...

Prediction: In 2040, all of the student radicals making those silly fusses will be Marxist college professors who live on campus and are silently mocked by their students. Right now, the U.S. president that will be elected then is too busy between his time on the football field and his time studying to read the school papers where those dramas are being played out.

Radical college kids have been saying all sorts of dramatic stuff about social conservatives for some four decades now.

And still the world goes round.

CC

Ps. Something very close to that homophobia thing was a plot on "Desperate Housewives" earlier this season.

Jamie Goodwin said...

Is it so hard to see the hatred with the Jerry Fallwell and Ann Coltures of the world arguing right along side the conservatives in this country.

I think the cons need to take their party back from them, just as the libs need to take it back for Micheal Moore and Ted Kennedy.

They don't represent me as a liberal, I assume being a UU yourself the hate mongers and shock jocks of conservative politics do not represent you either.

BTW, never had my name in a blog title before!! thanks for the response!

smijer said...

You know... I bet you'd see less bumper stickers about hate not being a family value if certain people would spend less time marketing intolerance toward gays as the central and overriding "family value".

You know, the folks who are hearing ignorance and intolerance preached as a family value are not likely to drop by a UU church on any given Sunday morning and hear our message. They aren't likely to have any impetus for thinking critically about the notion that our society should not tolerate gays and lesbians if it values "families". That bumper sticker, in three little words, challenges that weekly preaching they hear. Don't you think we're doing them a favor if we get inside their bubble a little bit and remind them that there's more than one way to see the world -- ask them whether family values should be about valuing families or tearing down gays?

I certainly think that to do so is not to "deny another’s inherent dignity and worth because of a differing political view". In fact, I think it's dern near the opposite...

Like CC said, there are people on the left who scream "hate speech" if you so much as express disagreement with affirmative action. Just like there are people on the right who scream "religious persecution" if you so much as ask the state not to allow public school teachers to play the role of priest in the classroom... The biggest difference is that angry fringe - the one you object to on the left - are rarely elected to represent the state of Pennsylvania in the Senate, or to host the 700 Club, or to write child psychology books and lead our social movements. Get what I mean?

smijer said...

btw... with respect to the Court championing the little guy... I don't know. I certainly share your outrage on the New London i.d. case, and I fear that with Alito on the bench rathe than O'Connor, it would be a 6-3 decision instead of 5-4.

But, on McCain-Feingold... and I haven't put enough research and thought into it to say whether I think it was rightly decided. But, if they erred, they erred on the side of the little guy in that case. By the way... if it really is McCain-Feingold is truly unconstitutional... then either a better law needs to be written, or the Constitution needs to be amended. Our government is being sold daily to the highest bidder. Amd that's wrong.

In fact, generally speaking, it seems to me that the court has recently erred more on the side of the little guy than not...

Joel Monka said...

>smijer “Don't you think we're doing them a favor if we get inside their bubble a little bit and remind them that there's more than one way to see the world...” Actually, no I don’t, because we’re not getting inside their bubble. I see the underside of both worlds; on one hand being an old Goldwater/Reagan type trying to get the party back from the social conservatives, and on the other being a UU trying to get a little tolerance and respect despite being conservative. Do you really want to know what that bumper sticker conveys to a Republican? It says “The driver of this car believes that anyone who disagrees with him is evil. The driver of this car is incapable of being swayed so discussion is pointless- just nod, and change the subject to sports.” It doesn’t get them to think, it only hardens their hearts- because nobody enjoys being called a villain. It always amazes me that Democrats think they can win hearts, minds, or elections by saying “You’re stupid, irrational, a Nazi, and you believe the things you do not because you see the world differently, but because you’re filled with hate... oh, by the way, will you vote for me?”

The screaming left may not get elected in Pennsylvania, but they sure do in California, NY, many other places. Ask Reps. Waters or Boxer, or Rangel- I heard Karl Marx crawled out of his grave to tell them to grow up and move a little towards center. Well, ok, that’s an exaggeration... they had to use a Ouija board.

On McCain Feingold, I don’t know the exact wording either, to tell the truth, nor all the cases cited. But I do know that the founding fathers intended political speech to be the most free type of speech, and they knew that you had to pay to get published- Ben Franklin got rich charging people to print their stuff. If you cannot be free in buying airtime or column inches, you do not have freedom of political speech- no one ever got elected, not even in 1792, reaching only those within the sound of his unamplified voice. And how much regulation did they think there should be on that speech? “Congress shall make no laws...”

As to the Supreme court being on the side of the small guy, it’s a mixed lot- but the marijuana decision and the eminent domain decision are so terribly bad that it would take quite a lot to balance it out in my books. But I agree Alito is unlikely to make any positive difference in that regard.

smijer said...

***Do you really want to know what that bumper sticker conveys to a Republican? It says “The driver of this car believes that anyone who disagrees with him is evil. The driver of this car is incapable of being swayed so discussion is pointless- just nod, and change the subject to sports.” It doesn’t get them to think, it only hardens their hearts- because nobody enjoys being called a villain.***

I know there are deaf ears out there... There are some Republicans that think that way - that view any criticism of the party line as a personal attack...

But then I believe that not all R's are so defensive. I think that there are those who hear a voice saying "family values is all about (self-important voice) 'defeating the gay agenda'", and who, upon hearing someone say "hate isn't a family value" will reflect on that, and, will consider whether their preacher has his priorities in order.

I like to think that, were I a republican, I would be in the latter group.

I'm not saying that bumper stickers are the best way to get the message out, but on the other hand - there aren't that many avenues open... I guess we could go back to posting theses on the church doors... but who besides the deacon that came to unlock do you think would ever see them?

Do you have any other ideas for opening minds on the other side? It's not like a Baptist Blog aggregator is going to take an RSS feed from somebody like me, even if I had stayed with the church of my youth...

Joel Monka said...

No reason to abandon the bumper sticker or T-shirt, just make the message a positive argument for your position instead of a sneer. Perhaps “Married men are productive, profitable workers” but instead of a Promise-keeper logo, you have a rainbow. Or try humorous- a picture of Sister Boom-Boom, or a Gay Pride parade scene that sets religious right teeth on edge with the caption “If I were married, I’d be home with my husband”. OK, it’s obvious I don’t make bumper stickers for a living- but at least those would start a conversation instead of ending it.

smijer said...

Answer the negative with the positive... I guess that's a pretty good ethic.