Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Ben Shapiro is out of his mind

Well, it's been a while since I've posted here, and I know barely anyone will read this, but I feel compelled to fisk, which is a rare occurrance in my ever-increasingly busy life.

The only news and political scene I can handle right now is headlines and RSS feeds from and Lew Rockwell. Tonight, I read a LRC blog post calling attention to this obscenity by Ben Shapiro.

What infects Shapiro is something that once infected me as well, so I feel qualified to identify this boy as a mentally unbalanced individual better than most.

In one single column, Shapiro summed up the totalitarian mentality that infects the Republican party going all the way back to Lincoln.

At some point, opposition must be considered disloyal. At some point, the American people must say "enough." At some point, Republicans in Congress must stop delicately tiptoeing with regard to sedition and must pass legislation to prosecute such sedition.

Wow. Way to protect freedom, Ben. Why don't we just bomb every country that doesn't like us, too? I don't agree with the administration and am willing to say things against it. Shall I go to prison, now?

In case you never read the first amendment, Ben (I grant the benefit of the doubt when I know I shouldn't) it reads "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." When it says "Congress shall make no law," Ben, I think, kinda sorta, that perhaps, maybe, it might mean that CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW restricting the freedom of speech. But what do I know? I'm an ignoramus compared to your wisdom, and you are obviously able to divine meanings from the text that are not immediately apparent to the plebian such as myself.

"Freedom of speech!" the American Civil Liberties Union will protest. Before we buy into the slogan, we must remember our history. President Abraham Lincoln suspended the writ of habeas corpus and allowed governmental officials to arrest Rep. Clement Vallandigham after Vallandigham called the Civil War "cruel" and "wicked," shut down hundreds of opposition newspapers, and had members of the Maryland legislature placed in prison to prevent Maryland's secession. The Union won the Civil War.

Yes, and Lincoln was a villain for doing those things. Lincoln's actions towards his opponents in the North should prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that his fight was not for freedom. If the law compels you to behave a certain way, ie. not protesting against the government, is that not a form of slavery? Wasn't the Civil War about ending slavery? What Lincoln did was categorically illegal, regardless of the outcome, and had he not been assassinated, he should have been impeached and thrown in prison for his actions.

Under the Espionage Act of 1917, opponents of World War I were routinely prosecuted, and the Supreme Court routinely upheld their convictions. Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes rightly wrote, "When a nation is at war, many things that might be said in time of peace are such a hindrance to its effort that their utterance will not be endured so long as men fight and that no Court could regard them as protected by any constitutional right." The Allies won World War I.

Regardless of the outcome, the Espionage Act of 1917 was an abomination, and Holmes disregarded the constitution in as much a cavalier manner as today's motley crew, who decide that any law can be ignored if there is a "compelling state interest."

During the Vietnam War, the Supreme Court repeatedly upheld the free speech rights of war opponents, whether those opponents distributed leaflets depicting the rape of the Statue of Liberty or wore jackets emblazoned with the slogan "F--- the Draft." America lost the Vietnam War.

So, we lost a war in which we never should have involved ourselves due to lack of popular support, and because of that, the protesters, in retrospect, should have been arrested for opposing Johnson and Nixon? How about arresting Republicans for opposing Clinton' military excapades?

This is not to argue that every measure taken by the government to prosecute opponents of American wars is just or right or Constitutional. Some restrictions, however, are just and right and Constitutional -- and necessary. No war can be won when members of a disloyal opposition are given free reign to undermine it.

No, Ben, you statist, totalitarian, fascist. No restriction by the government on speech is just, right, and especially not Constitutional.

In other words, you respect free speech, as long as the speaker says what you like. If that's free speech, what was the point of the Founders writing the first amendment? Were they seeking to protect something that didn't require protection?


At 9:49 PM, Blogger The Chainik Hocker said...

Look who's back!

At 12:10 AM, Blogger Yid said...

Sigh. Not really. I haven't time for these things anymore.

At 10:21 AM, Blogger Scarpacci, T. B. said...

You seem to say that you want sedition to be protected as a demonstration of free speech. Or, did I miss something?


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