His name was Thomas Jefferson, third US president and the principal author of the US Declaration of Independence.
The full quote goes like this:
“When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government there is tyranny.”
What Jefferson wasn’t talking about here, I suspect, was the threat of total nutcases coming at politicians randomly with guns. (Only a total nutcase – or, perhaps, a liberal – would seek to regulate society on the basis of what other total nutcases might or might not do). What he meant simply was that for government to be in a state of apprehension about the people’s likely response if it overstepped its mark was a healthy thing, not a sign of civil society’s imminent collapse.
It’s in this context that we need to examine – or rather dismiss with proper contempt – the attempts by the American left (and, come to that, the European left) to co-opt the senseless, deranged killing of a 9-year old girl and five others in Arizona into its ongoing campaign to silence its political opponents.
Of course I understand why US liberals should try this cynical, poisonous ploy. For one thing they are very sore about both the mid-term election results and the disastrous ongoing performance of their ex-White House poster boy, the former Obamessiah. For another, in a straightforward, no-holds-barred battle of words, the political right is almost always going to win.
Consider, for example, why it is that so few of America’s Talk Radio stations represent liberal or “progressive” values. It’s not for want of trying. Former New York mayor Ed Koch, California governor elect Jerry Brown, Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz, actress Janeane Garofalo and ex-presidential candidate Gary Hart are among liberals who have had their radio shows cancelled due to lack of listener interest. The big guns (if you’ll excuse such dangerous, inflammatory language) – Limbaugh, Hannity, Savage, Levin, Beck, Ingraham, O’Reilly, Liddy, Miller, et al, are all on the political right.
And the same is true of the blogosphere. Sure, there are exceptions such as the flabby, effete libtard smug-fest that is the ineffably tedious Huffington Post, but by far the liveliest, most incisive political commentary and investigative exposes on the internet come from people who believe, more or less, in liberty and limited government and other essentially Tea Party values.
I’ve talked about the reasons for this – the psychopathology of liberalism et al – a lot before in books like Welcome To Obamaland and also in my new one 365 Ways To Drive A Liberal Crazy. What it comes down to is that as Margaret Thatcher once said: “The facts of life are Conservative.” It only requires the most basic commonsense to appreciate, for example, that you know how to look after and spend your money better than the government does; that talent and hard work deserve better rewards than laziness and ineptitude; that education requires a certain amount of discipline and “elitism”; that people behave better when they accept responsibility for their own actions; that the law should be blind to race and religion, offering no special favours to privileged minorities; and so on.
This is why you’ll so rarely hear the liberal-left arguing its case on the basis of facts or hard evidence. Instead, when it’s not emotionally blackmailing us with false sentiment, it’s busy besmirching the name of its opponents by making out that the reason they think they do is not because they’ve thought long and hard about the world and seen it as it is but because they’re evil.
It’s funny to read in the Guardian this morning a liberal called Michael Tomasky (H/T Ed West) claiming that this technique is the preserve of the right.
This kind of rhetoric will go into hibernation now, but only for a bit. Because not only is it too central to rightwing mythology; it is central to Republican electoral strategy. This is one of those things that no one says, because it can’t really and truly be proved forensically, but everyone knows. Get people to hate liberals. Get them to think not only that liberals have ideas for the country that are wrong – get them to believe that liberals despise the country and are actively attempting to hasten its demise. Say progressivism isn’t just invalid or even dangerous, but “evil” and a “cancer,” as Glenn Beck says. Fear gets people to the ballot box.
Funny because it’s such a warped inversion of reality. I’m not saying that conservatives and libertarians don’t ever diss their opponents with colourful insults – I certainly do: it’s fun. But the idea that inflammatory language is the preserve of the political right is bizarre to the point of lunacy. What about all those snarling leftist mobs protesting against “Bushitler”? What about the socialists over here who fantasise almost daily about how joyously they’re going to celebrate when the hated Margaret Thatcher is dead? If we on the right have started upping the rhetorical ante, it’s because we’ve learned our lesson from the rabble-rousers of the left.
The language of politics has, in any case, always been the language of combat because politics is a life or death issue. Whether we live comfortably or on the breadline; whether or not our children have an economic future; whether or not we get blown up by home grown terrorists on our way to work; what quality of healthcare we can afford: these are all, to a degree, issues which will be decided by the success or failure of our politicians to do the right thing. Of course people on both sides of the argument are going to get angry about it because there’s a lot right now to BE angry about.
UPDATE: great post from Michelle Malkin abounding with examples of left-liberal hate in action (H/T Brad Lundgren).
- Nigel Farage – the only politician who dares say what we’re thinking
- Lady Thatcher was a statesman. Blair and Cameron are mere politicians
- David Cameron, renewable energy and the death of British property rights.
- Be afraid: German ex-Chancellor demands ‘United States of Europe’.
2 thoughts on “’Politicians SHOULD be afraid of the people!’ says dangerous US radical politician”
Comments are closed.