-A response to Leonard Pitts
There’s no end to things that I as a conservative might disagree with when confronted with liberal ideology. That’s the result of people with differing values and personalities discussing our views. But it does seem like the disinformation on the left as to what a conservative believes is reaching new heights —- or is it lows? Is it believed or just promoted by those who propagate it?
Today’s topic stems from a recent editorial by MIAMI HERALD liberal columnist Leonard Pitts. This article also appeared in the local RICHMOND TIMES DISPATCH. Mr. Pitts begins with a quick historical summary of various domestic terrorism horrors in America:
[the] Oklahoma City [bombing] …a bombing at the Olympics in Atlanta; seven people … arrested for plotting to attack U.S. military bases; Dr. Barnett Slepian is shot and killed; five people die in a shooting spree near Pittsburgh; the FBI arrests a man who tried to buy ingredients for sarin, the deadly nerve gas, from an undercover agent; Dr. George Tiller is shot and killed in Wichita; a man and his daughter are killed in their home in Arivaca, Ariz; a man flies a small plane into a building in Austin, killing himself and one other. And now, [a] white supremacist [shoots] up a Sikh temple near Milwaukee.
What they all have in common is that they spring from motivations (i.e., opposition to taxation, government, immigrants, blacks, gays, abortion and Muslims) that more or less define modern, mainstream, conservatism.
There’s a lot wrong here, but the immediate question is “What does it mean to be opposed to immigrants, blacks, gays, or Muslims?” How am I (or any conservative) opposed to these groups? I might differ with some members of said groups (as I might with any subset of America) on a variety of issues; but when does disagreeing with someone or some group mean that I’m opposed to that group, whatever that connotes exactly?
If the pollsters can be believed, some 95% to 99% of black Americans will vote for Mr. Obama on Election Day. I will vote for Mr. Romney. I have many black friends who will continue to be friends even though we disagree on who will make the best President. There will also be non-black friends who will also vote differently from me. So when do I arrive at this status of “opposing people?”
Here’s a better question: How does Mr. Pitts get away with writing this stuff? I believe in my heart of hearts that lots of his readers — and I fear many black ones — will read that column and believe it. They’ll believe that we conservatives oppose (or maybe, more accurately under the liberal dog whistle, hate) taxation, government, immigrants, blacks, gays, abortion and Muslims. Mr. Pitts is a very successful, syndicated columnist who obviously influences a lot of people. What are his readers thinking after reading this article?
And as for the inanimate objects in Mr. Pitts’ list, let me point out that I’m certainly not opposed to taxation or government, for that matter; the issues here are not that these practices exist, but we conservatives are very concerned are about size, control, power, and use of said monies. No thinking person opposes all taxes or all government. Nevertheless, that’s the assumption that Mr. Pitts is throwing out. Really, now what does it mean for me to be opposed to blacks? Or immigrants? Or gays?
Above, I maintain that disagreeing with someone or some group doesn’t remotely suggest that I’m somehow opposed to that group. Or does it? Well, it does when you understand some of the underlying principles of liberal ideology. What underscores Mr. Pitts’ logic here is the liberal notion that if you disagree with me, you hate me. This thread is common throughout much of progressive thought. The term homophobic is a good illustration of this concept. A homophobe, as it’s usually leveraged, is simply someone who objects to the practice of same-sex activity, usually on religious grounds. The liberals wield it as though it connotes fear or hatred of homosexuals, but that rarely seems to be the case. This logic is trotted out regularly in discussion of same-sex marriage. If you disapprove, you hate gay people. Regardless of your feelings on gay-rights, the newspeak of homophobia is clear. And it’s a bit scary.
Thus, I think the answer to my own question above is that what Mr. Pitts is really doing is vilifying those who disagree by painting us as haters. If we object to some policy aspect of immigration or abortion or homosexuality, we hate the requisite group. Or perhaps, if we have an opinion different than his, we oppose that group. In any case, if you still doubt this liberal principle exists, just ask the CEO of Chick-Fil-A.
Of course, this discourse leads me next to ask myself, “Does Mr. Pitts really believe his own caricature of conservatives — that we oppose (hate?) these groups – or is he just vilifying in this way so that his party will win at the polls?” I don’t know, but either answer is sad and disturbing. And I’m not sure which is worse.
As we move further through Mr. Pitts’ article, we come to his main point, which is that “we are reluctant to call right-wing terror by name. And you can forget requiring conservatives to distance themselves from it.”
Really? John Tanner, a writer to the TIMES-DISPATCH deals with this spurious claim nicely:
Has [Mr. Pitts] forgotten ABC’s Brian Ross falsely labeling the Aurora shooter a Tea Party member? Has he forgotten the accusation that Jared Loughner was acting on Tea Party beliefs? Has he forgotten how many in the media refused to call Nidal Hasan a jihadist, even after hearing him shout, “Allahu Akbar”? It is upsetting to see someone deny the liberal bias of the media when new evidence is shamelessly added every day. Pitts suggests that conservatives are hypocrites because “When al-Qaida kills and maims, we are not shy about branding it Islamic terrorism.” Why wouldn’t we call it Islamic terrorism when terror is committed in the name of Islam? Does he remember Anders Breivik, the Norwegian terrorist? The left wasted no time pointing out he was a Christian.
I can’t really improve on Mr. Tanner’s excellent summary. Who’s reading Mr. Pitts’ columns and believing it? Many, I fear.
As for the second part of the quote, “And you can forget requiring conservatives to distance themselves from it,” I’m quick to do so if I see a linkage. None of the terrorist activities that Mr. Pitts describes at the opening of his article seem connected to ideas of limited government or constitutional authority or reducing deficits. Even pro-lifers are quick to point out that our position and actions are totally non-violent. The killing of anyone in the name of our cause is a direct violation of our core belief: the protection of life.
A final point I’d like to add to this ‘linkage to terrorism’ reference of Mr. Pitts’ concerns Mr. Obama’s own relationships back during his days as a Community Organizer. Mr. Obama was personally connected to a number of key, sinister people that, because of liberal media protection, went largely un-broadcast as he ran for the highest office in the land. “Preceding his presidency Barack Obama enjoyed close, longtime associations with the likes of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn (co-founders of the Weather Underground, a revolutionary group responsible for bombing public buildings in the 1960s and ’70s); Pastor Jeremiah Wright (a black liberation theology proponent, famous for his rants against America, whites and Jews); and Acorn (an organization for which Mr. Obama worked as a community organizer, which promoted left-leaning candidates and causes….” including practicing and funding genuine, modern day America slavery. Where is Mr. Pitts to condemn the elected president for these activities and associations? Who’s getting a free ride here?