Silence is Not the Answer


German Concentration Camp Markings

Contrary to the popular song, silence is NOT golden.  From the “Break the Silence Campaign”regarding the death of millions in Africa to “Silence is the Death of Liberty” to the “Silence=Death” AIDS campaign (which uses a pink triangle inspired by the chart included in this post) we can see what harm can arise if people are “silent.” Dietrich Bonhoeffer said:

Silence in the face of evil is itself evil; God will not hold us guiltless.  Not to speak is to speak.  Not to act is to act.

In the aftermath of the tragedy in Tuscon where people were killed and a United States Congresswoman was severely injured there has been a vigorous debate about the causes.  These crimes were perpetrated by a seriously disturbed young man.  But, instead of having a conversation about the inadequacy of our mental health system, or the problems caused by deranged people who choose to “stalk” someone we are pulled once again into the narrative that “blames” political rhetoric and, of course, guns.  The fact that a precious nine year old little girl was killed adds to the emotional need to answer the questions:  why?  what caused this?

It did not take long for the media to point to the vitriol from members of the Tea Party and talk show hosts (radio and TV.)  This was done before anyone knew anything about Jared Lee Loughner. (I’m thinking all it would have taken was a google search and a quick read of his youtube videos to come to the conclusion that he was just plain disturbed, but that’s just me.) The sheriff of Pima County, Clarence Dupnik, recklessly blamed the “conservative vitriol and bigotry in Arizona” for the crime before he had gathered evidence.  Much evidence has been found that shows that neither political rhetoric nor Rush Limbaugh nor Sarah Palin motivated this disturbed individual.  But, that does not fit the narrative for the Progressives among us and the mainstream media that echoes their world view.

To contribute to the debate I would like to present the concept that the causes of this tragedy are complex.  What if Jared Loughner had seen Sarah Palin’s map with “cross-hairs?” What if he had listened to conservative talk radio?  What if he was a devout Christian?  I have to tell you honestly that had Jared Lee Loughner met any of that criteria I feared that anyone who was conservative, self-identified as a “Tea Party” member, and/or was a devout Christian would be in danger.

But where was the voice of reason?  Where was President Obama’s calming influence telling us not to “jump to conclusions” as he did after the Fort Hood shootings?  Where was the media warning us not to condemn whole groups of people for the actions of a madman?  That did not happen and THAT is what we need to fear.  Although there were numerous articles outlining the use of vitriol and/or violence by the progressives on the left, one of which concerned the AFL-CIO, I think we all have to take a closer look at what is really going on instead of pointing fingers.

I’ve discussed the two very different “world views” that are at odds in today’s world.  At the risk of over-simplification, the progressive view most people are stupid and need to be told what to think and how to live their lives by a select few; the elite.  That means that they are “easily manipulated.”  Just ask Cass Sunstein, our regulatory czar.  And what that leads to is the elite determining what speech should be regulated and possibly eliminated.  I say that the solution to preventing senseless violence is not to curtail speech, but to allow vigorous debate to continue.  What happens when you silence people?  We can find numerous examples in history, distant past and recent past, where the results were deadly.

There’s a reason our Founders made freedom of speech the first amendment.  They knew what harm could come if that right was violated.  Our beliefs are like a muscle, they must be exercised.  We participate in debate, yes even heated debate, but that leads a thinking person to question their assumptions and beliefs.  When you are presented with evidence as a thinking person you will test that information with what you assume to be true and adjust your beliefs if you find they are in error.  If you find they are not in error your beliefs and convictions will be strengthened.  The progressive elite don’t think you can do that.  They really believe that to protect you from yourself they need to become “enlightened despots.” And that means they have to limit or shut down the debate.

Silence is not the answer and the truth has no agenda.  As the name of my blog states: restoring honor starts here.  That means as individuals we need to adhere to values and principles that are timeless.  We need to change ourselves in order to change our society.  Can we effectively govern ourselves?  I believe we can, contrary to what the progressives believe.  What about you?

Related articles

Arizona Shooting Coverage is a Media Campaign to Criminalize Conservatism (Media Research Center)

The Left’s History of Violence (Human Events)

Massacre, followed by Libel (Charles Krauthammer, The Washington Post)

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