The late, great Clarence Carson wrote the following in 1964:
[W]e are told that there is no need to fear the concentration of power in government so long as that power is checked by the electoral process. We are urged to believe that so long as we can express our disagreement in words, we have our full rights to disagree. Now both freedom of speech and the electoral process are important to liberty, but alone they are only the desiccated remains of liberty. However vigorously we may argue against foreign aid, our substance is still drained away in never-to-be-repaid loans. Quite often, there is not even a candidate to vote for who holds views remotely like my own. To vent one’s spleen against the graduated income tax may be healthy for the psyche, but one must still yield up his freedom of choice as to how his money will be spent when he pays it to the government. The voice of electors in government is not even proportioned to the tax contribution of individuals; thus, those who contribute more lose rather than gain by the “democratic process.” A majority of voters may decide that property cannot be used in such and such ways, but the liberty of the individual is diminished just as much as in that regard as if a dictator had decreed it. Those who believe in the redistribution of wealth should be free to redistribute their own, but they are undoubtedly limiting the freedom of others when they vote to redistribute theirs.
That was one of the critical paragraphs in his essay “To Agree To Disagree,” the Sunday punch in his magnificent The American Tradition. Moreover, it was an exact statement of the left-liberal position about “democracy:” “As long as you can speak your mind and vote your preference, you’re free!”
Well, we all know what’s come about since then: Innumerable silencings and “cancelings” of those who speak their minds against the preference of the Left, plus a new, highly effective set of mechanisms for corrupting elections. I doubt I need to present a Bill of Particulars to my Gentle Readers, who are at least as well informed about such things as I. Why, we even have a “commentator,” who represents himself as a conservative, arguing that for majorities to vote for Republicans two weeks hence is “how democracies die.”
If the current trends hold up, Republicans are likely to take over at least the House and quite possibly the Senate, too, along with many state offices.
This is how democracies die, both at home and abroad. https://t.co/L19xGFbC7x
— Max Boot 🇺🇦🇺🇸 (@MaxBoot) October 24, 2022
So America is only a “democracy” if the Democrat Party retains power. This really deserves the “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” categorization. But it’s right there, in black and white – and Max Boot is not the only opinion-monger saying it:
.@MatthewJDowd: “I’m not going to say that the GOP are Nazis … but it certainly sounds very familiar to what happened in Germany, which is a bunch of citizens, Adolf Hitler gets a third of the vote … they went along because he said he would solve the economy & fix inflation” pic.twitter.com/jex03IEaMZ
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 25, 2022
I have no great regard for the Republican Party. Its egregious under- and non-performance during its times of dominance makes it difficult to expect any substantial changes to the direction of the nation should it gain control once again. Some smart people have argued that it will never again function as a restraint on government and a protector of freedom without first being completely torn down and rebuilt. Today, its principal appeal to the electorate is that “We’re not Democrats.”
But perhaps we must settle for such representatives until a better champion can arise from…wherever. Ejecting the totalitarian Democrats from power seems justification enough. Besides, it would make Boot, Dowd, the groomers at the Lincoln Project, and the viragoes of MSNBC cry. Speaking solely for myself, I’d enjoy a little Schadenfreude, especially after what I just paid for heating oil
Don’t imagine that this is an entirely new initiative from the Left. It most certainly isn’t:
All the parties agree to the facts of the incident at Northwestern University on the night of April 13, 1985. Adolfo Calero, a leader of the contras, was scheduled to speak at Harris Hall. Outside and inside the building, demonstrators were shouting and chanting their protests at Calero’s very presence on campus.
About 10 minutes before Calero was to speak, Barbara Foley, an assistant professor of English and American culture, walked up to the microphone on the stage and said: “This monster that they’re bringing here tonight is not a human being. . . . He had no respect for the free speech, much less the right to live, of the people that he slaughtered . . . with the backing of the CIA. He has no right to speak tonight, and we are not going to let him speak. He should feel lucky to get out of here alive.”
When Calero arrived, someone — not Foley — threw red paint on him, and the roars of rage directed at him were so overpowering that he was unable to give his talk.
That took place thirty-five years ago – and it wasn’t a singular event even then. Remember that Leftist guru Herbert Marcuse prescribed it in 1965:
Liberating tolerance, then, would mean intolerance against movements from the Right and toleration of movements from the Left. As to the scope of this tolerance and intolerance: … it would extend to the stage of action as well as of discussion and propaganda, of deed as well as of word. The traditional criterion of clear and present danger seems no longer adequate to a stage where the whole society is in the situation of the theater audience when somebody cries: ‘fire’. It is a situation in which the total catastrophe could be triggered off any moment, not only by a technical error, but also by a rational miscalculation of risks, or by a rash speech of one of the leaders. In past and different circumstances, the speeches of the Fascist and Nazi leaders were the immediate prologue to the massacre. The distance between the propaganda and the action, between the organization and its release on the people had become too short. But the spreading of the word could have been stopped before it was too late: if democratic tolerance had been withdrawn when the future leaders started their campaign, mankind would have had a chance of avoiding Auschwitz and a World War.
The whole post-fascist period is one of clear and present danger. Consequently, true pacification requires the withdrawal of tolerance before the deed, at the stage of communication in word, print, and picture. Such extreme suspension of the right of free speech and free assembly is indeed justified only if the whole of society is in extreme danger. I maintain that our society is in such an emergency situation, and that it has become the normal state of affairs.
I added the emphasis. I submit that no further evidence is required.
I’ve said all the above many times. Indeed, the quoted passages have appeared many times both here and at Liberty’s Torch V1.0. But matters have come to such a head that lancing the boil is no longer merely a stroke in defense of freedom. Today, it’s a matter of national survival.
Many people have advocated a “fight fire with fire” approach to the Left’s tactics: “They silence our speakers? We’ll silence theirs. They cheat to win elections? Then we’ll cheat too.” I understand the frustration involved, but I can’t endorse the use of the Left’s tactics in the Right’s causes. Nietzsche’s statement about being careful not to become one of the monsters you fight has never been more apposite.
But what then? “Vote harder!” — ? Absurd. “Build your own Twitter?” Perhaps that won’t be required. One way or another, we can’t simply wait for a savior.
Keep thinking. Someone must have an idea more promising than igniting a Second Civil War.