Sunday, February 27, 2005

The "Rational" Discourse of the Left

Here at Dr. Sanity's blog (at least in the comments section to this post) we can see political macrocosm in miniature: the psychological tactics of the Left --the projection, the paranoia, the denial, the intense emotion; but unfortunately, very few facts or logical argument--played out as it is in the larger world.

In a post where I quoted New Sisyphus who gave some history about legal decisions related to civil rights during wartime I said:

It seems to me that a free society like ours must make some compromises with the kinds of civil liberties that are discussed above. Not to do so would be to willingly commit suicide and allow those who would destroy our liberties free reign to cynically use our own laws to forward their murderous goals.

Having said that, there must always be some tension, anxiety, and free discussion whenever such powers are invoked; and it is always useful to review them to ensure that there is a balance. The key test of a free society's dedication to liberty is that such powers are easily relinquished, once the threat has passed.

Perhaps the most important function of a democratic government is to protect and defend the homeland so that we can enjoy the blessings of our freedom. Trying to balance that crucial role with maintaining those freedoms is, as New Sisyphus says, figuring out how you "wage a war for our country without losing the liberty that makes our country worth fighting for?"
For saying that it is always useful to review and discuss issues of civil liberties in wartime, one of my commenters has this to say:

Shame on you for turning your education to the service of the willfully blind and power-mad monsters ruining our country.

When Bush is given the power to lock up or kill anyone -- that word anyone includes you. Or are you above the rest of us human beings?
Another one wrote in response to a third commenter who supported my view:

Consider how low you and the freaky doctor have fallen to be supporting torture and oil wars and claiming anyone who doesn't is .. what? Unamurican?

Jesus would slap the shit out of you.
This was said after he used an ad hominem attack on the third commenter, likening him a "whore" and making other vicious attacks on his personal integrity.

I must say that I could not possibly make up better evidence documenting the hysteria (noun: meaning "exaggerated emotional response") of the Left. I could not possibly have asked for better examples of projection, denial, or distortion.

I suggest that there be a rational discussion about the issue of civil liberties during war--what are the legal precedents; what are the differences between being an American citizen and not? What is the definition of "enemy combatant" and how is that different from a POW? These are all important legal questions and have everything to do with how the U.S. government will manage places like Guantanamo--and there are legal precedents that need to be looked at. John Ashcroft acted within the U.S. Law. I'm not saying I completely agree with his actions after 9/11, but he did nothing illegal; nor did he do anything that previous AG's and US government officials have not done during war. Read the link at New Sisyphus, if you would like to understand this point.

Anyway, I suggest a discussion based on differing viewpoints and possibly differing outlooks with the goal of finding some compromise that will not be "national suicide". For that suggestion, I am hit with comparisons of Nazi Germany (always a favorite of the Left to compare anything they don't like to the Nazis); accused of supporting a "war for oil"; and supporting torture.

This appears to be the Left's idea of a rational discussion. Frankly, it is cluelessness like this that permits them to support the academic freedom of Ward Churchill while denouncing Larry Summers; support peace by beating up those who support the military; scream for 'free speech', while trying to drown out any viewpoints they don't agree with; give Clinton's sexual excapades a free pass, while they focus on a nobody's private sex life as the scandal of the century; approve of Clinton's draft dodging, while denouncing Bush's TANG service; support intervention in Kosovo--where the US has NO national interests; yet fanatically oppose a war in which our national interest is paramount; state they are for 'freedom and democracy', yet desperately hope that Iraq's nacent free and democratic society fails so they can blame Bush. Shall I go on?

Oh, and here's an intelligent comment:

When you cheer for ignoring and violating our Bill of Rights, you are destroying it for your own kids and grandkids, you know. You are destroying the very idea behind America.

Our Declaration of Independence claimed all human beings have inalienable rights, and our Bill of Rights codified our citizens' rights, which are also considered inalienable.

Bush and Crew became constitutional traitors, and fifth columnists, when they broke with our Constitution, and ignored our Bill of Rights, after 9/11.
This statement is the same type of distortion that plagues the Left. Anyone who disagrees with them are obviously "traitors" (a psychological projection--it is their own thoughts that likely dwell on betrayal). They claim that they are trying to protect freedom and reference the Declaration of Independence and Constitution when it suits their purposes. But constitutional law and the discussion of this issue go back even to those early times in our history. They who are always "nuanced" in their appreciation of Islamic fundamentalism are constitutional absolutists all of a sudden. The Declaration and the Constitution are not national suicide pacts that insist we protect the rights of people who are actively trying murder us and destroy our way of life.

There is clearly some room for a discussion of how to deal with terrorists without resorting to their tactics and without commiting national suicide. But why not argue the fundamentals with Mssrs. Zarqawi, Zawahiri and Bin Laden, instead of me? It is they who seem to be unclear on the concept.

Let me thank all those who attempted to discuss this rationally in the thread. I appreciate your ideas and arguments.

I'm sure that all politically correct right-thinking Leftists will be outraged at the above arguments. They probably won't like that I have analyzed the psychological mechanisms they are using to avoid the reality of our war with Islamofascism. But, I could care less about their feelings. If they have something rational to contribute to the discussion and can do so without resorting to ad hominem attacks, I welcome the discussion. Until then, they can keep their whining to themselves.

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