Friday, April 1, 2005

Shoes and Pies and Salad-Dressing…For Now

Captain Ed over at the Captain’s Quarters Blog calls attention today to the political Left’s new reasoned argument of choice – the food fight. That is, attempting to silence and humiliate and possibly injure their political enemies by throwing food, and other things, at them.

The latest victim is pundit and sometime presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan, doused last night with salad-dressing by a demonstrator screaming “stop the bigotry !” during an appearance at Western Michigan University. Mr. Buchanan declined to press charges for felony assault. This follows a pie in the face on Tuesday for the conservative Weekly Standard’s editor, William Kristol, then speaking at Earlham College, a Quaker institution in Richmond, Indiana.

Finally, there’s the protester who threw a shoe at Pentagon advisor Richard Perle back in February, screaming “Liar ! Liar !”

The hard Left commonly refuses to engage its political enemies' arguments on their merits, and has for years resorted to the Fascist and Communist tactic of trying to shout-down or sabotage speakers of whom it disapproves. My own first exposure to the preferred Leftie method of reasoned debate was during a speech in 1979 or 1980 at the Student Union of the University of Texas by a former official of the Imperial Iranian Government.

This gentleman, who had fled Iran to escape certain execution by the present bandit regime (his brother was not so lucky), was barely able to say “good afternoon” before being heckled and shouted-down by the anti-Shah friends of the liberty and democracy the mullahs were bringing to Iran. Most of these persons were not Iranians, but American leftists, all on fire to stand-up for freedom by muzzling the speaker. After all, anything is fair if one is “speaking truth to power,” and if it’s done for the “people” and not for the “powerful.”

Instead of summoning the campus police to clear the room of the screamers so the rest of the audience, (the great majority) could hear what the man had to say, the organizers and the administration cravenly folded and cancelled the event. I’ve read this gentleman’s books, and I still, to this day, regret the lost opportunity to hear what he had to say in person. (Aside: fascist tactics only work when the authorities are weak-kneed enough to let them).

It was already obvious to most sentient life-forms that the mullahs were going to make the Shah positively look like Thomas Jefferson by comparison, and at the time, I wrote-off the Screaming Friends of Democracy as dolts and idiots. Revolution usually begets dictatorship, not liberty. On reflection, that rabble had instincts much more in common with the Fascist regime of the Mullahs then I realized. But even these people contrived not to throw things.

Conservative speakers need to be careful and keep their heads down and perhaps invest in flak-jackets. The defeats in the last two general elections, the policy choices of the Bush administration, and the evident approval of these things by the American people has stoked the rage of the hard Left to white-hot intensity. The turn of events in Iraq for the better, since the January elections, is just making the Left angrier, because the Bush administration, the Lefty True Believers think, is “getting away with it.”

Shoes and pies and salad-dressing. What’s next ? I’ve written at another place about what I’m afraid may be the answer to this question. Watch out, people.

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