Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Party of the Falling Sky

 

A crisis may be a terrible thing to waste, but the unfortunate truth — unfortunate, that is, for those in need of a crisis — is that crises aren’t all that common. Sure, each individual life has its complexity and challenges, its microcosmic crises. But the nation as a whole chugs along pretty well, with people and businesses managing to adapt to changing circumstances, and most of us getting along without major conflict.

That’s not a convenient truth if you want to galvanize the masses, to drag them out into the street and into the polling places, where they can vent their righteous fury by electing your candidate. For that, you really do need a crisis, something that will make their blood boil.

The law no longer distinguishes between black and white. A few institutions, notably our universities, give special preferences to non-white non-Asian people, but those are the exceptions: in America, skin color does not matter, as a matter of law. We’ve had a black President, any number of high-ranking black officials, black Senators, and Congressmen, and a plethora of black stars, sports figures, entrepreneurs, writers, journalists, etc., etc. Non-white people are everywhere in our society and our government: by any reasonable measure, ours is a color-blind nation.

That’s good, and as it should be — unless, that is, the goal is to harness the outrage of offended minorities to achieve electoral success. If that is the goal, reality isn’t your friend: best to gin up some racial animosity, and try to paint a plausible picture of widespread oppression. It turns out that isn’t as hard as one might think, if a lazy and compliant press, and a lazy and unaccountable academia, give their full support to the effort. With their help, a demonstrably inclusive and tolerant country, a nation that self-consciously avoids even the appearance of discrimination, will embrace the fiction that racism remains a daily scourge. And that is all it takes to guarantee the turnout on election day.

Or consider the matter of what is euphemistically referred to as “women’s reproductive health,” because no one really likes the word “abortion.” In America, abortion is legal everywhere thanks to a Supreme Court ruling. Absent that ruling, it would still be legal almost everywhere: few states would ban it outright, and some would — as New York recently demonstrated — go out of their way to embrace its legality. Where you think America stands on the issue depends almost entirely on which questions you ask and how you phrase them. Most Americans, I think, are in favor of some degree of legal abortion; most Americans are opposed to unchecked abortion into the third trimester.

But you wouldn’t know that from the way the issue is talked about in the mainstream press and late night television. From that, you’d think that there was a crisis looming, that women were about to be returned to the dark ages when abortion was illegal and women were property. Even absent Roe v. Wade, there is no reason to believe that a woman could not legally terminate a pregnancy if she wished. But in lieu of a thoughtful discussion of the pros and cons of terminating pregnancies at various stages of gestation, we get the spectacle of women in “handmaid” outfits warning us that a crushing theocracy is right around the corner. Selling that fiction, and the resentment and panic it inspires, is good for business — if your business is getting people to vote for your party.

And then there’s the matter of freedom of speech. Our Constitution guarantees everyone the right to speak and write freely, and it’s a right we should guard jealously. One would think, if one listened only to the preening, grandstanding pomposities of the mainstream media, that this freedom was created specifically for those in the journalistic field, and that it was in dire threat of being extinguished by those in power. Neither is true: the freedom to express oneself is everyone’s right, no more guaranteed to journalists than to you and me; and Americans have never been more free to express themselves, nor more capable of doing so, than we are right now.

Freedom of expression is not under assault, even if our mainstream media demonstrates on a daily basis how incompetent, dishonest, and biased it is. Even awful press is protected, and so they have nothing to fear. Criticism, legitimate and otherwise, is not restriction; no one has reduced the freedom of our news agencies to misreport and distort the news. (We haven’t even restricted the freedom of our major social media and search platforms to filter and suppress content that doesn’t agree with their own biases.)

But a non-crisis doesn’t rouse the mob, so let’s pretend that the First Amendment is as much under assault as, say, the Second. Let’s pretend that the endless stream of late night comedy routines that dutifully mock the administration are an exhibition of bravery in the face of near-certain censure — rather than lazy and unimaginative exercises in preaching to the choir. Let’s pretend that, absent any evidence and despite considerable evidence to the contrary, our most precious freedom is precariously balanced on the edge of an electoral knife, and only a vote for the right party can save it. And let’s see if voters are dumb thoughtless enough to ignore the fact that every single comic they hear is telling them the same things — and none of them have been silenced by the powers that be.

Race, abortion, free speech. There are no crises. But convincing people that these things are in danger is necessary to a party that uses fear and grievance to maintain its hold on a gullible electorate.

The sky isn’t falling. I would think it’s a sad, desperate way to live, believing that it is.

There are 30 comments.

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  1. Jim McConnell Member
    Jim McConnellJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Thank you, @henryracette. I think you have said what many of us believe; and said it much better than most of would have.

    • #1
    • January 28, 2019, at 10:29 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  2. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy WeivodaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry Racette: Our Constitution guarantees everyone the right to speak and write freely, and it’s a right we should guard jealously.

    Agreed. Polls going back nearly a century show that decade in, decade out about one-third of Americans think the government should regulate speech and the press. Just like with the Second Amendment, we must remain eternally vigilant against encroachment of the First.

    • #2
    • January 28, 2019, at 10:38 AM PST
    • 1 like
  3. Valiuth Member
    ValiuthJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Henry Racette: Race, abortion, free speech. There are no crises. But convincing people that these things are in danger is necessary to a party that uses fear and grievance to maintain its hold on a gullible electorate.

    Yah, the Republicans are rather nakedly despicable in their fear mongering. 

    • #3
    • January 28, 2019, at 10:43 AM PST
    • Like
  4. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: Race, abortion, free speech. There are no crises. But convincing people that these things are in danger is necessary to a party that uses fear and grievance to maintain its hold on a gullible electorate.

    Yah, the Republicans are rather nakedly despicable in their fear mongering.

    Yeah, no. 

    • #4
    • January 28, 2019, at 10:47 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  5. Bob Thompson Member

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: Race, abortion, free speech. There are no crises. But convincing people that these things are in danger is necessary to a party that uses fear and grievance to maintain its hold on a gullible electorate.

    Yah, the Republicans are rather nakedly despicable in their fear mongering.

    Well, that’s as complete a mischaracterization as I’ve ever seen, but not unexpected, considering the source.

    • #5
    • January 28, 2019, at 11:04 AM PST
    • Like
  6. Jack Hendrix Inactive

    With a bit less snark, isn’t it the case that republicans do try and maximize and create (to an extent) crises for electoral advantage? I’m old enough to remember that the 2016 election was viewed by many on the right as the last chance for our nation’s survival…

    Maybe we should still care about demagoguery but as a nation, both right and left have embraced it as a necessary political tactic. It is excepted still to denounce it when the dreaded other side does it, but if I were to upload a post to the member feed saying I denounce the president for manufacturing a crisis about immigration I would be immediately attacked on the grounds that it is a crisis and even if he exaggerates or used suspect language action must be taken.

    • #6
    • January 28, 2019, at 11:08 AM PST
    • 1 like
  7. Valiuth Member
    ValiuthJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: Race, abortion, free speech. There are no crises. But convincing people that these things are in danger is necessary to a party that uses fear and grievance to maintain its hold on a gullible electorate.

    Yah, the Republicans are rather nakedly despicable in their fear mongering.

    Well, that’s as complete a mischaracterization as I’ve ever seen, but not unexpected, considering the source.

    You think the party that ran on the Flight 93 theory, invading “caravans”, and being Twitter shadow banned isn’t in the business of manufacturing the perception of crisis for political advantage to keep a hold on its gullible electorate? What world do you live in? Everyday you can come on to Ricochet and even more so on less reputable places and see how paranoia and hysterics drive the political feelings on the right. But somehow this phenomenon is so much easier to see on the other side? They are the disingenuous ones who manipulate people but Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, don’t do it? 

    So yah, their kettle is black, but have you looked in a mirror lately Mr. Pot?

    • #7
    • January 28, 2019, at 11:23 AM PST
    • 1 like
  8. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Jack Hendrix (View Comment):

    With a bit less snark, isn’t it the case that republicans do try and maximize and create (to an extent) crises for electoral advantage? I’m old enough to remember that the 2016 election was viewed by many on the right as the last chance for our nation’s survival…

    Maybe we should still care about demagoguery but as a nation, both right and left have embraced it as a necessary political tactic. It is excepted still to denounce it when the dreaded other side does it, but if I were to upload a post to the member feed saying I denounce the president for manufacturing a crisis about immigration I would be immediately attacked on the grounds that it is a crisis and even if he exaggerates or used suspect language action must be taken.

    Jack, I hear what you’re saying, but I don’t think it’s true. In the case of the Democrats and the demons they foist on their voters, there’s just no there there. Abortion is not threatened; free speech is not threatened (at least, not by the right); illegal aliens are not threatened with mass deportation; racism is not rampant; civil liberties are not imperiled; the environment is not teetering on the brink of disaster; fascism is not ascendant. These are bogeymen issues, things trumped up to excite specific slices of the electorate (women, young people, Hispanics, blacks, upper income whites, other upper income whites and young people, more upper income whites and young people, respectively) and make them desperate and angry. It’s a full-time campaign, not something the fire up only for campaign season.

    In contrast, what do Republicans use to get their people excited? Well, Obamacare, obviously — but that’s isn’t a scare story, it’s something that really happened. Unchecked immigration, but that’s a response to eight years of an administration aggressively enforcing non-enforcement, taking states to court to prevent them from trying to secure the border, encouraging protests demanding an end to border security and amnesty for illegals, etc. What else has been used to excite the Republicans? Gun rights, maybe — but the attacks on gun rights are real.

    That’s the difference: the Democrats are keeping people incensed about issues they’ve won, and won by big margins. None of the things they preach are anywhere near coming true. Republicans have the uncomfortable virtue of being on the losing end of a lot of the things they try to get their people excited about.

     

    • #8
    • January 28, 2019, at 11:29 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  9. George Townsend Inactive

    Pretty good piece, Hank. Congratulations.

    • #9
    • January 28, 2019, at 11:39 AM PST
    • Like
  10. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Valiuth (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: Race, abortion, free speech. There are no crises. But convincing people that these things are in danger is necessary to a party that uses fear and grievance to maintain its hold on a gullible electorate.

    Yah, the Republicans are rather nakedly despicable in their fear mongering.

    Well, that’s as complete a mischaracterization as I’ve ever seen, but not unexpected, considering the source.

    You think the party that ran on the Flight 93 theory, invading “caravans”, and being Twitter shadow banned isn’t in the business of manufacturing the perception of crisis for political advantage to keep a hold on its gullible electorate? What world do you live in? Everyday you can come on to Ricochet and even more so on less reputable places and see how paranoia and hysterics drive the political feelings on the right. But somehow this phenomenon is so much easier to see on the other side? They are the disingenuous ones who manipulate people but Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Mitch McConnell, Donald Trump, don’t do it?

    So yah, their kettle is black, but have you looked in a mirror lately Mr. Pot?

    See my comment above.

    And…

    The idea of the Flight 93 argument was that another four years of a de fact Obama administration would leave our civil institutions dangerously weakened. Given the very real corruption at the DOJ and IRS, and the growing misuse of government to further a progressive agenda, I don’t think that qualified as a manufactured crisis. It was a plausible argument. Until the 2016 election, we were losing the battle for integrity in our government. (Whether or not we’re winning it now is up for debate.)

    The caravan was real, and highlighted a difference between the way Democrats and Republicans see border security. We have been losing the national sovereignty argument for a decade, as a progressive administration and progressive courts have hamstrung our ability to deal with illegal immigration. Illegal immigration isn’t a crisis, but it is an affront to our laws, and turning a blind eye to it is a betrayal of the government’s function to keep the nation secure. If there had not been an actual mass immigration event (the caravan) occurring at the time of the election, it would not have had a crisis feel to it. But it would still have been a problem, and something worth campaigning on. And, as of today, we continue to lose the battle for effective immigration control.

    The Twitter shadow banning, and the larger issue of platform censorship, is real. It isn’t a crisis, but it is a potentially serious problem. Once again, as of today, we are losing the battle for viewpoint-neutral platforms.

    And that’s the difference: unlike with the Democratic scare machine, these things you mentioned are things we’re actually losing.

    • #10
    • January 28, 2019, at 11:41 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. Bob Thompson Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    Republicans have the uncomfortable virtue of being on the losing end of a lot of the things they try to get their people excited about.

    This seems vague for you. How does one know what this means?

    • #11
    • January 28, 2019, at 11:42 AM PST
    • 1 like
  12. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Bob Thompson (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    Republicans have the uncomfortable virtue of being on the losing end of a lot of the things they try to get their people excited about.

    This seems vague for you. How does one know what this means?

    I expanded on it in #10, above.

    But to summarize: The Democrats have large, permanent constituencies motivated by intense passion about issues that are non-issues: things which are not actually in danger of being overturned. Abortion, women’s rights, minority rights, free speech, civil liberties, secular governance: these are all things that are secure, and yet are the subject of intense scare campaigns from the left.

    I can’t think of similar issues on the right, things that are firmly the way we want them, and yet motivate armies of perpetually outraged voters. Gun rights is probably the closest issue — but even that isn’t close, because gun rights actually are under assault, and are seriously restricted for a substantial fraction of the population.

    There are obviously fringe crazies on all sides, people with strange obsessions. But the left’s utilization of faux crises to get out the vote far outstrips the right’s efforts in that regard.

    • #12
    • January 28, 2019, at 11:49 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  13. Jack Hendrix Inactive

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Jack Hendrix (View Comment):

    Jack, I hear what you’re saying, but I don’t think it’s true. In the case of the Democrats and the demons they foist on their voters, there’s just no there there. Abortion is not threatened; free speech is not threatened (at least, not by the right); illegal aliens are not threatened with mass deportation; racism is not rampant; civil liberties are not imperiled; the environment is not teetering on the brink of disaster; fascism is not ascendant. These are bogeymen issues, things trumped up to excite specific slices of the electorate (women, young people, Hispanics, blacks, upper income whites, other upper income whites and young people, more upper income whites and young people, respectively) and make them desperate and angry. It’s a full-time campaign, not something the fire up only for campaign season.

    In contrast, what do Republicans use to get their people excited? Well, Obamacare, obviously — but that’s isn’t a scare story, it’s something that really happened. Unchecked immigration, but that’s a response to eight years of an administration aggressively enforcing non-enforcement, taking states to court to prevent them from trying to secure the border, encouraging protests demanding an end to border security and amnesty for illegals, etc. What else has been used to excite the Republicans? Gun rights, maybe — but the attacks on gun rights are real.

    That’s the difference: the Democrats are keeping people incensed about issues they’ve won, and won by big margins. None of the things they preach are anywhere near coming true. Republicans have the uncomfortable virtue of being on the losing end of a lot of the things they try to get their people excited about.

     

    Look I tend to agree with just about everything you said. I may quibble about the strength of our (meaning the right generally) relative cases but I do see merit in many of the issues you point to.

    But I assure you that the left views the issues with the exact opposite bias. And they do so in good faith (the vast majority do anyhow). I don’t want to make their case for them here but I recognize they do have a case in most instances. Take abortion. It is in fact the position of the right that the ultimate goal is to reverse Roe (sending it to the states) and to either eliminate it entirely, or heavily regulate it. If you believe (as a sizeable chunk of our countrymen and women do) that abortion must be widely available, this position would be anathema.

    To go back to the post, we have not advanced the argument. We are still in the position where demagoguery is permitted if “your side” is correct. Or as you noted, if your side is losing. These are relative terms determined through a partisan lens.

    • #13
    • January 28, 2019, at 11:51 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  14. Bob Thompson Member

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    Gun rights is probably the closest issue — but even that isn’t close, because gun rights actually are under assault, and are seriously restricted for a substantial fraction of the population.

    Yes, if this were not part of the Bill of Rights, gun rights would be gone.

    • #14
    • January 28, 2019, at 11:52 AM PST
    • Like
  15. The Reticulator Member

    Henry Racette: The sky isn’t falling.

    You must not be in southwest Michigan. Here the sky has been falling steadily since last night.

    • #15
    • January 28, 2019, at 12:00 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Jack Hendrix (View Comment):
    But I assure you that the left views the issues with the exact opposite bias. And they do so in good faith (the vast majority do anyhow).

    That’s a fair point and well put — as is the rest of your comment. I don’t dispute the sincerity of the fear many on the left feel. But I don’t think their fears are rational, or based on a realistic understanding of the underlying issues.

    Abortion is, of course, the great divider. I think, were Roe v. Wade reversed, that abortion would remain legal in most states, because most Americans are in favor of limited abortion rights.

    • #16
    • January 28, 2019, at 12:06 PM PST
    • 1 like
  17. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Henry Racette: The sky isn’t falling.

    You must not be in southwest Michigan. Here the sky has been falling steadily since last night.

    No, I live in way-upstate New York — where the sky has been falling for months.

    • #17
    • January 28, 2019, at 12:07 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  18. Jack Hendrix Inactive

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Jack Hendrix (View Comment):
    But I assure you that the left views the issues with the exact opposite bias. And they do so in good faith (the vast majority do anyhow).

    That’s a fair point and well put — as is the rest of your comment. I don’t dispute the sincerity of the fear many on the left feel. But I don’t think their fears are rational, or based on a realistic understanding of the underlying issues.

    Abortion is, of course, the great divider. I think, were Roe v. Wade reversed, that abortion would remain legal in most states, because most Americans are in favor of limited abortion rights.

    Again I have to put on my lefty hat here but let’s put the partisan lens issue this way: 

    Gun control is, of course, the great divider. I think, were Heller reversed, that gun ownership would remain legal in most states, because most Americans are in favor of the private ownership of guns.

    QED, conservatives are irrational to think that the next administration is going to ban guns nationwide.

    • #18
    • January 28, 2019, at 12:26 PM PST
    • Like
  19. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy WeivodaJoined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I think @jackhendrix does make some decent points. If the search feature on Ricochet worked well and you searched for “fall of Western civilization” I think you would see a lot of things that conservatives are afraid of, from gay marriage to post-modern art to birth control to man-buns. Even modern architecture is a sign of the collapse of Western civilization to some on the right. I think the lesson here is that we all should take a deep breath before hitting the panic button.

    • #19
    • January 28, 2019, at 1:16 PM PST
    • 1 like
  20. The Reticulator Member

    Jack Hendrix (View Comment):
    QED, conservatives are irrational to think that the next administration is going to ban guns nationwide.

    Conservatives are irrational if they think a further step in that direction is not to be vigorously opposed.

    • #20
    • January 28, 2019, at 1:20 PM PST
    • Like
  21. Jack Hendrix Inactive

    The Reticulator (View Comment):

    Jack Hendrix (View Comment):
    QED, conservatives are irrational to think that the next administration is going to ban guns nationwide.

    Conservatives are irrational if they think a further step in that direction is not to be vigorously opposed.

    I completely agree but that’s because of my (maybe yours as well) ideological priors and empirical experiences. But that’s my point in a sense. People in the left can and do make well reasoned arguments for why gun ownership should be more tightly regulated. 

    But the problem here is how each side uses these wedge issues to gain political advantage. I’m saying it’s hard to make the argument that demagoguery is valid (or tolerated, Henry did not mention conservative abuses in the o/p) based on partisan reasoning. Of course “we” know we are right and “they” are wrong…

    Again, I don’t like demagogic language but that’s a stylistic concern and I’ve been told to shut up about it when I level it at certain political actors. And maybe I’m wrong (or effete in the words of some) to dislike current political discourse. The parties and their members sure seem to enjoy creating crises and name calling. Maybe that’s just politics.

    • #21
    • January 28, 2019, at 1:49 PM PST
    • 1 like
  22. Bob Thompson Member

    Jack Hendrix (View Comment):
    QED, conservatives are irrational to think that the next administration is going to ban guns nationwide.

    You know some conservatives who think this way?

    • #22
    • January 28, 2019, at 1:50 PM PST
    • Like
  23. Jack Hendrix Inactive

    I suppose some do. It’s a big group of people. Though I was simply replacing Roe and abortion with Heller and guns to make a point about partisan or ideological reasoning.

    • #23
    • January 28, 2019, at 2:01 PM PST
    • Like
  24. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Jack Hendrix (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    Jack Hendrix (View Comment):
    But I assure you that the left views the issues with the exact opposite bias. And they do so in good faith (the vast majority do anyhow).

    That’s a fair point and well put — as is the rest of your comment. I don’t dispute the sincerity of the fear many on the left feel. But I don’t think their fears are rational, or based on a realistic understanding of the underlying issues.

    Abortion is, of course, the great divider. I think, were Roe v. Wade reversed, that abortion would remain legal in most states, because most Americans are in favor of limited abortion rights.

    Again I have to put on my lefty hat here but let’s put the partisan lens issue this way:

    Gun control is, of course, the great divider. I think, were Heller reversed, that gun ownership would remain legal in most states, because most Americans are in favor of the private ownership of guns.

    QED, conservatives are irrational to think that the next administration is going to ban guns nationwide.

    Jack,

    I appreciate your perspective, and I won’t deny the possibility that I’m myopic in this regard, unable to see similar excesses coming from my side. But I’m not aware of them — of any group on the right, including gun-rights activists — that rises to the level, or even approaches the level, of the left-wing causes I mentioned.

    The issue of identity politics and victimization is similar. One could argue that both sides try to use these things to their advantage, and one could probably find examples to bolster the case. But I don’t think the right’s use of identity politics, nor its claims of victim status, begin to approach the left’s.

    In fact, conservatives would be irrational to think that the next administration is going to ban guns nationwide. When conservatives start organizing big marches in D.C. expressing that concern, I’ll accuse them of unjustified panic as well.

    Both sides have people who express extreme views. One side weaponizes them and stokes them to motivate a big population of single-issue voters who honestly seem to believe that they’re in danger of being returned to one or another form of slavery. I think it’s standard operating procedure on the left, and a flaky fringe on the right.

    H.

    • #24
    • January 28, 2019, at 2:50 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  25. Unsk Member

    “Race, abortion, free speech. There are no crises. But convincing people that these things are in danger is necessary to a party that uses fear and grievance to maintain its hold on a gullible electorate.”

    Unbelievable.

    • We have been come along way on way on racial issues, but it too is exploited- most often by the Left who prefer now to judge someone by their skin color and not by the quality of their character.
    • Many people feel abortion is murder as is expressed on this blog often. I definitely feel that way about partial birth abortions which I find indefensible on many grounds as well as being illegal under the original Roe vs Wade ruling. I tend to opt for a neutral religious stance by our government to protect our Religious Liberty which would allow some abortions ( I still think abortion is murder morally) but would abort almost all of the Left’s most cherished discriminatory practices against religious practice and would allow discussions the abortionists abhor like those with the mother discussing sonograms of the baby and the like.
    • But it is your characterization of the movement to quell free speech as non-existent and a non factor in our society that I find to be so unbelievably harmful, unhinged and so completely disconnected from reality.
      • Did we not just last week witness the spectacle of the young Covington School kids being abused and harassed for wearing MAGA hats, with the mainstream media along the many,many celebrities piling on to the point that the kids received death sentences? Did not the media overwhelmingly assault those kids right to free speech?
      • Haven’t we seen in recent years where conservative speakers at publicly funded college campus are denied the right to hold rallies and speak freely? And haven’t those conservative supporters of those rallies often then been assaulted by Antifa with the fawning approval of the media?
      • Show me the publicly funded University where conservative students can freely speak their mind in the classroom, and isn’t that a criminal denial of their free speech rights?
      • Why, if there is not an assault on free speech, did several southern States feel the need to pass “Free Speech” laws that grant students the right to free speech in public assemblies?
      • Why then did the Academic set come up with the idea of “safe spaces” free of conservative or religiously favored discourse so the precious snowflakes would not have to hear free speech?
      • Since I live in Hollywood, I know of many in the entertainment business who cannot speak freely their minds for fear of being outed as some right wing kook and having the careers completely destroyed as a result.
      • I also know of many millennials who cannot even utter a semi conservative thought for fear of being shockingly verbally assaulted by their so-called Progressive “friends”.

    We unfortunately live in a time where many ridicule the idea of Free Speech while posing as being respectful to others.

    • #25
    • January 28, 2019, at 2:54 PM PST
    • 1 like
  26. Henry Racette Contributor
    Henry Racette

    Unsk (View Comment):

    “Race, abortion, free speech. There are no crises. But convincing people that these things are in danger is necessary to a party that uses fear and grievance to maintain its hold on a gullible electorate.”

    Unbelievable.

    There may be some on the right who think we’re at a crisis point regarding free speech. They’re mistaken. Campus intolerance is wrong, but we’re not about to lose our ability to express ourselves. And I don’t think any significant number on the right think we’re facing a crisis of racism, however much we deplore the ugliness and bigotry of Black Lives Matter, Nation of Islam, La Raza, etc.

    I’m talking about a practical get-out-the-vote and fundraising movement based on stoking apocalyptic concerns about things that aren’t going to happen. If the right is doing that, I’m not seeing it.

     

     

    • #26
    • January 28, 2019, at 3:05 PM PST
    • Like
  27. Unsk Member

    “Campus intolerance is wrong, but we’re not about to lose our ability to express ourselves.”

    Students, teachers and professors in many publicly funded and supposedly protected speech environments have already lost their ability to express themselves and are not only discriminated against but viscerally intimidated every day for their views. For a professor in many universities to utter a conservative thought is a death sentence for their career. That is an environment that intimidates those who practice free speech other than the authorized politically correct version without a doubt. It is clearly an assault on Free Speech and has indoctrinated millions of our young to believe in their right to limit the speech of others.

    Henry, you just last week demanded that we all respect the opinions of Progressives no matter how stupid or demonstratively harmful they be. I can respect the right of a Progressive to say stupid even dangerous things if they are not directly harmful to an individual, but I reserve the right to respect what they say. Now you deride those who demand we respect the right to Free Speech of the Right, and we are not asking you to respect what they say. Your opinion is your opinion and you need only respect what you choose to respect. That said your unwillingness to defend the right of Free Speech and to admit that many public officials deny the Constitutionally guaranteed right to Free Speech to the religious and conservatives, which can be proven over and over again, is appalling. 

    The concept of Hate Speech, which is by now a standard position of most Democrat politicians and outright demanded by the Democrat Establishment, is undeniably a direct assault on Free Speech. One man’s hate speech is another man’s righteous speech. I find much of what many prominent Democrats say to be hateful and un-American, but I will defend their right to say it. 

    • #27
    • January 28, 2019, at 3:44 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  28. Bob Thompson Member

    Unsk (View Comment):
    The concept of Hate Speech, which is by now a standard position of most Democrat politicians and outright demanded by the Democrat Establishment, is undeniably a direct assault on Free Speech.

    I’ll take that statement on free speech.

    On abortion, there are two schools opposed to Roe vs Wade – those who oppose abortion as morally wrong and those who think Roe vs Wade was wrongly decided from a constitutional standpoint. The first could and would be argued at the state government level were the proper decision in place at the federal level.

    The race issue today in America is just stupid, nothing more to say except how in the world can Leftists spend so much time making false accusations.

    • #28
    • January 28, 2019, at 4:00 PM PST
    • Like
  29. GrannyDude Member

    Great discussion—thank you Henry and everyone. 

    I tend to agree with Henry—incoherent, irrational, apocalyptic hysteria is far more pronounced on the left—but “whataboutism” in the context of a real, civil, reasoned discussion isn’t a vice but a necessary reminder to turn the beam around and shine the same harsh light on your own side. Ricochet is richer for not being a mere choir to preach to. So a grateful shout-out to Valiuth, Jack, et al!

    • #29
    • January 29, 2019, at 1:34 PM PST
    • 1 like
  30. Bob Thompson Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):
    Ricochet is richer for not being a mere choir to preach to. So a grateful shout-out to Valiuth, Jack, et al!

    I’m good with this when specifics are put forth, not just general statements.

    • #30
    • January 29, 2019, at 1:44 PM PST
    • Like

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