The Real Liberal Speech Code:What Can I Get Away With?

By | May 31, 2012 | 0 Comments

MSNBC host “uncomfortable” with calling fallen American military personnel “heroes.”
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He jests at scars that never felt a wound.
– Shakespeare, “Romeo and Juliet”

Have you heard MSNBC host Chris Hayes’ comment about Memorial Day? He declared that he doesn’t believe we should call those who were killed in the line of duty “heroes.” If you did hear it, I hope you didn’t lose your lunch. Hayes went on to explain that calling fallen military personnel “heroes” would be “…so rhetorically proximate to justifications for more war.”
If you can get beyond revulsion at his colossal ingratitude for those who risked and gave everything to defend his freedom, you can go on to pick apart his reasoning – or lack thereof. Every military operation undertaken in Hayes’ lifetime was authorized by Congress, with the exception of President Clinton’s bombing of Serbia.
The Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war, but does not specify the words to be used. Authorizing military action is equivalent to declaring war, so these actions were legal. The troops who participated in these military actions did not send themselves – we sent them, by means of our elected representatives. We are responsible, not those who fought and suffered on our behalf.
Besides, what do past wars have to do with justifying “more wars,” as Hayes claims? Each decision we take, either as individuals or as a nation, must be justified on its own merits. For example, does putting a flag on the grave of a Korean War veteran have anything even remotely to do with justifying military intervention in Syria? Only a muddle-headed fool would think so. Only a muddle-headed fool who disrespects our military personnel would say so.
But beyond Hayes’ illogic and ingratitude, we come to one undeniable fact: Hayes thought he could get away with insulting our fallen troops on national TV. He didn’t blurt out a curse in a moment of anger. He spoke calmly. He had obviously though about the subject previously, had probably talked about it with his liberal friends (would he have any other type of friends?), and likely had been taught about it by liberal professors in college (would he have had any other type of professors?).
What a person yells in a moment of anger or pain may – or may not – reflect his real feelings. But what he says quietly and calmly reflects two things: his feelings, and what he thinks he can get away with. Hayes might have felt that insulting our military dead would be controversial, and perhaps might increase his ratings. But he clearly felt that saying it would not endanger his job, much less his safety.
Would Hayes have felt equally free to insult dead Muslims, and to opine that honoring them would only justify more terrorism? Even if he had spent the previous night drinking heavily, Hayes would have had the sense not to say anything remotely resembling an attack on Islam, even on radical Islam. He knew he would be fired that day, would have difficulty finding another job in the media, and would spend years looking over his shoulder – and using a remote starter for his car.
In an ideal world, people would say that they believed. But in this far-from-ideal world, what people say reflects what they think they can get away with:
● Hayes believes he can get away with insulting our military dead – and their survivors.
● Hollywood believes it can get away with insulting our military (“In the Valley of Elah,” “The Hunted,” “The General’s Daughter”), our intelligence agencies (the “Bourne” series, “Syriana”), Christianity (“Sin City,” “The Godfather Part 3”), and Judaism (“Lucky Number Slevin,” “Lord of War”).
● Hollywood believes it can get away with movies that depict the rape of a 12-year-old and mimic the masturbation of a baby.
● Dave Letterman believes he can get away with insulting conservative women (Sarah Palin looks like a “slutty flight attendant,” while her 14-year-old daughter was “knocked up” by a baseball star and attracted a man known to frequent prostitutes).
● Dave Letterman believes he can get away with endless “jokes” about John McCain’s age and supposed senility, as well as his difficulty using a computer – though it is common knowledge that McCain’s wartime wounds make it difficult for him to use his arms.
● NBC believes it can get away with allowing “Saturday Night Live” to put on a skit alleging that Todd Palin was having incest with his daughters. Note the plural – at the time, the Palin daughters were 18-year-old Bristol, 14-year-old Piper, and 7-year-old Piper. And note that this was not on cable or satellite, but on network TV.
● NBC believes it can get away with allowing Jimmy Fallon to introduce Congresswoman Michele Bachmann on “Late Night” while the band plays “Lyin’ Ass Bitch.”
● Liberal commentators believe they can get away with calling conservative author and commentator Michelle Malkin a “Manila whore,” an insult both misogynist and racist.
● Liberal commentators believe they can get away with calling both Republican Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and conservative author and commentator Ann Coulter a “female impersonator.” So much for feminism.
● Liberals doctors believe they can get away with telling Sarah and Todd Palin that they should have aborted Trig, their little boy with Down’s syndrome. So much for “choice.”
● Then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi believes she could get away with calling those who opposed ObamaCare “un-American.” So much for “bringing us together.”
● Former presidential hopeful and Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean believes he could get away with pontificating that Republicans “…want kids to go to bed hungry every night.”
● A prominent member of the Congressional Black Caucus believes he could get away with charging that members of the Tea Party want to see blacks “hanging on a tree.” So much for “sensitivity.”
● ACLU members believe they could get away with calling Justice Clarence Thomas a “serial murderer,” “Hitler,” and the “Antichrist,” while claiming that Justice Samuel Alito should be “sent back to Sicily.” So much for “tolerance.”
● Congressman Robert Kennedy Jr. believes he could get away with charging that those who doubt that human-caused global warming is an imminent threat are “traitors.” So much for “diversity.”
These people said what they thought they could get away with. And they were correct. But that’s our fault. We allow the most anti-woman, anti-child, anti-religious, anti-military, anti-conservative slander and invective, and we don’t do anything. We hardly even say anything. We have been so saturated with insults of the vilest nature that we now accept them as normal political discourse. They aren’t.
Such trash talk is damaging to political dialogue. Democrats can sit down and try to reach a compromise with those with whom they differ on some issues. But how can they reach an understanding with un-American sluts, whores, child molesters, murderers, and thugs who starve children and lynch blacks? How can they sit down with traitors, much less with the Antichrist? If Republicans really were such horrid beasts, they should be imprisoned or worse, not met halfway. Yet liberals accuse conservatives of raising wedge issues and poisoning political dialogue.
If there is a better example of projection, I have yet to hear of it. Liberals spew out hatred and contempt, then accuse the recipients of doing what they just did. Like schoolyard bullies, they try to exonerate themselves by claiming that the other kid started it. But some behavior is unacceptable, no matter who started it. And if we continue to allow people to get away with such behavior, it will continue, or even worsen.
People should regulate their own speech on the basis of what is true, what is moral, and what is not hurtful. But if they don’t regulate their own speech, and they say whatever they think they can get away with, then the responsibility falls on us to prove to them that they can’t get away with it.
We can’t stop trash talk. Even if we could, we shouldn’t. Censorship is destructive of a free society. Similarly, we can’t stop crime, but that doesn’t mean we should disband the police and repeal the penal code. We mustn’t allow the perpetrators to get away with it. For a start, let us send angry but non-threatening, non-obscene letters, e-mails, and phone messages. If these are ineffective, we should consider boycotting companies that sponsor trash-talking commentators. We are in a culture war, but thus far, only the other side is fighting – or even is aware that there is a war.
If we don’t speak up for those who gave everything to protect our freedom, we are unworthy of freedom – and we won’t have it for long.
Dr. Stolinsky writes on political and social issues. Contact: You are welcome to publish or post these articles, provided that you cite the author and website.

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