I groaned as I went to Facebook today and saw that several people had posted a link reading “An Open Letter to Ann Coulter”. It was concerning Ann’s use of the “R word” (retard) in a tweet during Monday night’s presidential debate. A young man with Down's syndrome took exception. I thought….here we go again……but there was more…
Others were upset because Richard Mourdock, Senate candidate from Indiana stated during a debate that it is God who allows a life to begen, even if it begins through the horrible act of rape. Seems the Left is trying to make it out that Mourdock was calling the rape the act that God had allowed, not the life of the innocent child.
My first response was “here we go with the old double standard….Bill Maher can use “the R word for Trig Palin, and no one utters a peep…Coulter uses the "R" word and unleashes a viral firestorm”. I then began to ponder recent events and mull the implications regarding free speech and the debate of ideas in a free society, especially when one side is receives microscopic scrutiny and the other receives carte blanche license to say anything…and everything.
My first thought…”code words”, the frequent attempts by Libs to comb over any musing by a conservative pundit or candidate for sinister hidden messages, sort of like the “backwards masking” speculation of the 70’s. Describe someone as “angry”…you’re a racist…say “Chicago”…you’re against the poor…and who can forget the court battles that took place in several states over “Choose Life” vanity plates. Seems that some thought those were “code words” to motivate The Faithful to shoot the neighborhood abortionist.
Another quick phrase flashed through my mind “hate speech”, a concept where some groups and behaviors are immune to criticism, and even pointing out the obvious harm from certain forms of conduct is tantamount to bullying, and therefore should not be uttered. In a similar vein, "toxic speech on the right" was blamed for a plethora of violent events such as the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995.
And what about us on the right? Just like high school nerds trying to ingratiate themselves with the “cool kids” we trip all over ourselves trying to distance ourselves from the controversies. “We need to tone down our rhetoric!” they cluck like self-righteous schoolmarms in the comment sections of conservative blogs. On one Mourdock discussion thread, it was hard to tell who the trolls were. There were so many conservative trying to “disavow” Mourdock’s comments and compete as to who could offer the best civility lecture.
Granted, Coulter is a trained lawyer who uses words as weapons of mass destruction to dismantle specious arguments made by her opponents. That is why so many of us love her….and hate her. She also can be a bit of a tactless bonehead at times, and doesn't know when to drop an argument and move on.
Granted, trying to articulate that rape is not the fault of the child is an almost impossibly delicate task.
However, “selecting words carefully” truly is an impossible task when the other side is so bereft of ideas that they will search through our candidate list…from President to dogcatcher for some misspoken comment they can twist into a controversy. On some days it seems that a grocery list left on a conservative pundit’s desk can become the subject of some kind of sinister interpretation.
BUT SERIOUSLY????? HAVEN’T WE LEARNED ANYTHING FROM PAST MISTAKES???
Appeasement doesn’t work…ask Neville Chamberlain.
“Finding common ground" doesn’t work. Just ask Dull Bob Dole or John McCain who ran insipid, uninspiring (and failed) presidential campaigns.
“Distancing ourselves” doesn’t work. Did throwing Todd Akin under the bus keep the Left from drumming up another controversy....and another?
NO. What does work is being bold, standing ground and articulating sound conservative principles including social principles.
Ronald Reagan did so in 1980…and won by two sweeping landslides.
The GOP candidates of 1994 did so…and retook the House for the first time in decades.
Rush Limbaugh did so, and came back stronger than before from a trumped up “outrage”. As for Ms. Fluke...she had 10 people attend her recent rally in Reno, NV. I’m guessing they were hoping for free food.
As for Akin…rumor has it he’s making a comeback, despite being sawed off at the knees by the GOP establishment. And the "gender gap" seems to be closing despite the constant harping from the Left about the "war on women".
Consider what can happen if conservative allow themselves to be intimidated into silence.
In a recent column, the U.K. Daily Mail’s Amanda Platell described a case where Adrian Smith, a respectable, decent man who had not mistreated or spoken ill of his co-workers in any way nevertheless faced disciplinary action and a 40% cut in salary. His crime..posting on his Facebook page that the civil authorities shouldn’t meddle in the practices of individual religious institutions in regard to the ceremonies they choose to perform for their members.
Closer to home, a young black student with sterling academic record was expelled from Georgetown (the same university where the president praised Sandra Fluke for “speaking his mind”). Jarrett Roby also spoke his mind about his discomfort at being forced to attend a politically correct sexuality “diversity training” seminar held in his dorm. He was given his walking papers. His accusers said they "felt threatened" by his comments even though he later claimed he never said or did anything that could be construed as violent. Those who could have vouched for Roby, instead went scurrying for cover to save their own reputations.
Thoughtcrime, anyone? George Orwell would be so proud!
So untwist your panties, conservatives and THINK.
Where is the outrage? Is it in the fact that Ann Coulter tweeted the “R” word or the fact that Down ’s syndrome children are left to die alone in laundry rooms after they are born alive after an abortion?
Where is the controversy? Is it a clumsily worded position that a life conceived in rape deserves protection or the fact that tax dollars go to an organization that abets the crime of statutory rape?
Don't be fooled, conservatives. We are the party of better ideas. It's time to go boldly with confidence. If we allow the Left to define the terms of discourse and debate, everybody loses.