The Nature of Dissent
Recents posts like my post on a Seattle school's opposition to having military recruiters on campus and John's story about how liberals have latched on to the latest Star Wars movie as some kind of anti-American diatribe have got me thinking about the nature of modern dissent in America.
Men and women have fought and died to make sure that we have the right to disagree with our government. I thank God for them because, as Ronald Reagan said:
"The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would hire them away."
Let's face it, often times the government is inefficient at best and simply wrong at worst. However, the looney left isn't saying the American government is wrong. They're saying the American government is evil.
To illustrate the difference, consider the following two arguments:
1. "I don't support the war in Iraq. I, like most Americans, originally supported the war because I believed Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and under a leader like Saddam Hussein, thought it was an imminent threat to the United States. However, we didn't find any big stockpiles of WMDs there, and that made me question our motives for going to war. Bush says he wants to bring democracy to the Middle East, and while that's a noble goal, I don't think it's the best way to fight the War on Terror. I think we're going to radicalize a bunch of Muslims and make the region far worse before it gets better. Wouldn't we be better off getting out of Iraq as soon as possible and concentrating our fight against terrorism on securing our borders with the occasional covert action about specific targets? Bringing democracy to the Middle East would be great, but, in my mind, the risks associated with that goal far outweigh the rewards."
2. "Everybody knows that Bushitler lied about WMDs in Iraq because he wanted to attack Saddam to avenge his father and get oil for Halliburton. America is well on the way to becoming an evil empire to rival the Soviet Union. Just look at what happened at Abu Ghraib and what's going on down in Gitmo. I'm ashamed of this country and I can't blame the insurgents for hating us."
The first argument is one that, while I disagree with it, I can respect. I know many people who oppose the war in Iraq. Some of them even post here. It's worth examining why they feel they way they do.
The second argument has all the gravitas of a drunken baseball fan shouting "Yankees suck!". Uh, no, the Yankees don't suck, you just hate them. They are mistakening passion for facts. It reminds me of these lines from the movie "Dogma":
BETHANY: Having beliefs isn't good?
RUFUS: I think it's better to have ideas. You can change an idea. Changing a belief is trickier. Life should malleable and progressive; working from idea to idea permits that. Beliefs anchor you to certain points and limit growth; new ideas can't generate. Life becomes stagnant.
I don't see any ideas coming out of the looney left these days. All I see is the continued belief that Bush=Hitler, conservatives are fascists and American power is bad. If debate in this country has been stifled, it's not because of any chilling effect on dissent, it's because too many people have nothing to offer but rhymes and rhetoric.
Posted by at May 20, 2005 12:42 AM
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|# May 20th, 2005 10:21 AM PackerFan63|
|"Let's face it, often times the government is inefficient at best and simply wrong at worst. However, the looney left isn't saying the American government is wrong. They're saying the American government is evil."
IF ONLY the left would then take the next step: If the government is evil, then its ability to do harm must be limited. Severely.
How can we do that? I know! Let's pass some laws to limit the role of government. And those laws can never change...like a Magna Carta or Constitution or something! And the Constitution-thingy will enable the citizens to make their own laws, not like bureaucrats in some far away city or some crap like that. And let's set up some kind of offsetting power, in case the law doesn't work, like...um... independent States! With their own small armies...hey! a militia! Yeah, that's it! And in case the states get too greedy, we'll make sure that the citizens can defend themselves. I got it! We can use juries...of your own peers! To make sure that they can't just call you a criminal. And we'll let them have guns so they can't just be rounded up by the army.
But wait! How will we know what the people want? Hey! Let's let them elect their own representatives, like a parlaiment or something. And we'll divide them up by population, no, wait, the states... hey! by population AND states, so that the federal government doesn't corrupt them all. But what if a state with big population wants to overrun a state with a small population? I got it! We'll split the representation into two sides, ONE for population, and the OTHER for the states...and we'll make all the states equal, like give 'em two representatives each. Then, in order to pass any laws, you have to get them through both bodies.
But what if we have to fight a war or something against a whole other country? I mean, one state can't stand up all by itself... I got it! We'll elect an Administrator to take care of stuff like telling the army to fight and pay the bills and stuff. But we don't want the administrator to be too powerful, so we'll use that Magna Carta-Constitution-thingamabob to limit him. And the representatives will have control over the money, so he can't, like, go raise a private army or something and make himself king or do crazy stuff, like give all the money from one state to another.
But who's going to settle disputes between states or the federal government and the states? I mean, we don't want to threaten wars between states all the time over stuff like borders and trade, do we? Hey! let's have courts that can't be arrested by the feds or can't be cut off by the states! Then, we can make our cases to a judge, instead of shooting all the time. And if the judge stinks, we'll have a big judge...Wait! a bunch of judges! who are appointed for life, so they can't be bought off...and we'll have the Administrator appoint them...and the representatives have to approve them! And they'll have to vote on issues, so one guy doesn't rule everything!
Hey, lefties! Welcome to the 18th century. Thanks for catching up.