It’s an age-old trick, most often used by those who are losing a debate. When you use this trick, it makes your opponent defend something he never said or did, and takes the focus off of your opinions, proposals, or ideals. It works even better when you can convince people that the ONLY reason someone would disagree with you is because they are prejudiced.
The most recent example, of course, is the now-common Democratic claim that people only disagree with Obama because he is black. They want to convince the American public that anyone who disagrees with Obama is a racist. Wow. What sort of chilling effect will this have on public debate? The Democrats won’t even have to defend their policies! All they have to do, is point at someone and say “They disagree with us! They are RACIST!”
There was even a Democrat representative from Georgia in the past couple of days who said if people are allowed to continue to disagree with Obama’s policies, then it won’t be long before people start putting on white hoods and burning down houses of black people. WTF?!
Many on the left are claiming that no other president has been subjected to the hatred and resistance that Obama has. In reply, I give them two words: Bill Clinton. If you want to expand it a little, I could also give two more words: Janet Reno. People apparently forget just how tense things got when those two were in office. I could give two more words: Richard Nixon.
This country, and indeed most legitimate forms of government, are based on the ability of people to dissent and express opposing opinions. Once you remove that ability, you might as well institute a dictatorship. Most long-lasting dictators effectively outlawed opposing viewpoints: Stalin, Lenin, Hitler, Mao, etc. You might be tempted to say “yeah, but WE have a Constitution that protects us.” A little research will show that both the Soviet Union and 1930’s Germany also had constitutions, with very similar protections. When the full-force of a government is put to use depriving people of their rights, a Constitution is of little use, no matter how well written or fully featured it is.
When debate is stifled, and a constitution ignored, a government will run rough-shod over its citizens, and those citizens have no ‘polite’ recourse.
Our Constitution wasn’t written by a group of people who all agreed with each other. Far from it! There were energetic debates and opposing viewpoints.
All it will take to get a law passed, no matter how bad the proposed law is, will be to have a black congressman introduce it, or for Obama to promote it. Nobody will be able to speak against it for fear of being labeled a racist. Public discourse will be repressed through fear of being ridiculed. Anyone who does dare speak against such a bill would immediately have to defend himself against charges of racism, and the merits of the proposed law will never get a public airing.
But wait, it seems that I did hear some congresspeople claim that everyone who attended a “Tea Party” or the recent protest in Washington was a racist or a Nazi.
(NAZI= National Socialism = privatizing profits while socializing losses. Hmmm, sounds rather like TARP and the auto handouts, doesn’t it? Who’s the NAZI?)
This all will have a drastic chilling effect on free speech if left to continue. Of course, we only have to watch what congressmen say about each other to guess at what would happen to us lowly citizens if we dare speak out. Every person has the right to say whatever he wants, for whatever reason (with VERY few restrictions, mostly dealing with commercial restrictions, or public safety (The infamous ‘shouting fire in a crowded theater’)) The 1st Amendment exists to protect that right, and extends to unpopular speech. Popular speech needs no such protection, simply because it is popular. Who would seek to prohibit it? This is called the ‘marketplace of ideas.’ The idea is that you can listen to everyone’s ideas, and their reasons for those ideas, and decide for yourself what you think of them. If you hear an idea with which you disagree, or which offends you, you are free to speak against it. Other citizens can then listen to both of you, and make their own decisions about who makes more sense.
Once you eliminate all forms of peaceful protest and dissent, all that is left are non-peaceful forms.