Friday, October 13, 2006


Selective Silencing

I love Peggy Noonan, (spouse alert on) in much the same way I love Abraham Lincoln (/spouse alert off). Noonan’s prose always bears tribute, that her cogent analysis and passionate argument once graced the speech-making of Ronald Reagan.

In her Opinion Journal piece today, Noonan reports four occasions of the suppression of free speech, or the advocacy for such suppression. She notes that in each case, partisans and participants of the political left demonstrated a deep-rooted intolerance towards opposed view points and political expressions:

What is most missing from the left in America is an element of grace--of civic grace, democratic grace, the kind that assumes disagreements are part of the fabric, but we can make the fabric hold together. The Democratic Party hasn't had enough of this kind of thing since Bobby Kennedy died. What also seems missing is the courage to ask a question. Conservatives these days are asking themselves very many questions, but I wonder if the left could tolerate asking itself even a few. Such as: Why are we producing so many adherents who defy the old liberal virtues of free and open inquiry, free and open speech? Why are we producing so many bullies? And dim dullard ones, at that.

Astonishingly, yet predictably, this mild rebuke from Noonan will certainly generate much heat and criticism from the very denizens of the left to whom Noonan appeals.

I can hear it now: Of course we have to scream, denounce, and shout down our political opponents. Otherwise, they will completely silence “we brave few” who stand against the lurch towards fascism, with each accusation against our patriotism and love of America.

Funny, how one ever actually hears a Republican or Conservative actually accuse Democrats of being unpatriotic. Funny, too, how many of these brave voices there are, all over the media and entertainment industries, fair to drowning each other out with loud, discordant voices of opposition.

The Sounds of Silencing, indeed. But for only certain, conservative voices.

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