from the Congress Action newsletter
by: Kim Weissman
March 19, 2000
Bill Clinton is shocked and outraged that anyone would dare to call him a liar (a federal judge did precisely that last year), or suggest that he puts political power above the good of the nation. In Clinton's world of left-wing extremism, demonizing and lying about one's opponent is perfectly acceptable. But when that opponent refuses to shoulder the blame that rightly should be laid on self-anointed liberal visionaries, that's just plain unacceptable, that's "political smear tactics" and "slash and burn" politics according to Bill Clinton. And according to no-controlling-legal-authority Gore, Lapierre's comments revealed "a kind of sickness at the very heart of the NRA."
Yes, let's hear about "sickness at the very heart" from the politician who thinks that returning your own money to you is a "risky scheme", who thinks that car engines are a greater threat than Chinese nuclear missiles, whose own staff warned him about his persistent and obvious lying. Lapierre spoke the truth, but the problem is far deeper than that.
The NRA cannot be blamed for the cesspool of social pathologies that a morally vacant liberalism has turned our society into (just this week a 10 year old stabbed his father to death with a knife over a can of cake frosting — life is cheap in a society that accepts widespread abortion). Nobody in their right mind really believes that another law, or another hundred laws, or strict enforcement of those laws, would have saved the life of that child in Michigan. Anyone with an ounce of honesty and integrity knows that even if they are totally banned, guns will always be available to criminals. Just as crack cocaine — already totally illegal — is available on the street corners of every American city. The problem is not some inanimate object. The problem is a morally dead liberal ideology that thinks legislation can take the place of a conscience.
Bill Clinton would never engage in "political smear tactics" or "slash and burn" politics. Of course not. Usually, he just lets his friends in the like-minded media do it for him. Any time some criminal thug (who should be in jail but isn't because of lax law enforcement, or the left's typical laissez faire attitude toward criminals) shoots someone, or some disturbed kid illegally gets a gun and uses it in violation of any number of laws already on the books, as sure as night follows day Bill Clinton or some member of his administration or of the left-wing press will bring up the name of the National Rifle Association, as though Wayne Lapierre or Charlton Heston personally pulled the trigger:
Columnist Charley Reese recently wrote,
Where do the self-proclaimed guardians of freedom, the republicans, stand in this fight between Clinton and the few remaining defenders of the Second Amendment? Most have remained silent, afraid to confront this administration or the American people with the truth. Don't rock the boat, be polite, and maybe Clinton won't be too mean.
At least one republican, however, understands: "It's a misplaced hope that by simply being nice to the White House, we will get the White House to stop beating us up. The White House will beat us up no matter what. I wonder why our people haven't figured that out yet." — Rep. Bob Barr. This week, 46 House republicans joined 171 democrats in voting to conference Clinton's Juvenile Justice gun control bill, versions of which the House and Senate passed last year (H.R.1501/S.254).
In all the millennia since mankind emerged from the jungle, the proudest achievement of civilization has been the establishment of the Rule of Law. The highest embodiment of that Rule of Law begins with the words
Our Constitution is all that stands between us and the tyrannies that have engulfed other people around the world. Nor are our Constitutional rights dependent on popularity polls, as a recent news story implied ("…the 25% of Americans who own handguns are far outnumbered by the 37% who favor a handgun ban…"). Yet that Constitution is eroded every day by demagogues skilled at emotional manipulation and by judges who use the authority of their office to impose their ideas on the country.
Today they come after gun owners. Yesterday it was smokers. Every day, its property owners who get in the way of their vision, those with religious faith, and those with the wrong skin color or ethnicity or gender. Do you feel complaisant because you don't smoke or own a gun? Because your skin color or ethnicity or gender is politically correct? Wait until tomorrow, when it will be your turn, because tyrants are never satisfied with partial power.
Our century has seen the worst horrors of human history: death camps, and the enslavement and slaughter of millions, made possible by the concentration of unbridled political power in the hands of a few self-obsessed visionaries proclaiming themselves to be agents of "change" and champions of "the people". Some of those visionaries used brute force to destroy the existing Rule of Law. At least one whipped up public frenzy by his demagoguery of national issues, and used the resulting public outcry to intimidate fearful legislators into ignoring his usurpation of arbitrary and unlimited power.
Sound familiar? When the U.S. Senate refused to hold the Chief Executive accountable to the Rule of Law following his impeachment, those Senators thought they were closing a sordid chapter in our history. They closed nothing. What they did was to set this country on a new course, admitting that from then on, that Chief Executive would be unaccountable for his actions. They discarded our Constitution and the Rule of Law, and replaced it with the law of the jungle, in which government power alone rules. And uncontrolled government power is the most dangerous sort of power there is. How many times must we re-learn the lesson enunciated by George Washington, that "Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force. Like fire, it is a troublesome servant and a fearful master."? How much suffering will we all have to endure, this time, before we learn that lesson once again?
The above article is the
property of Kim Weissman, and is reprinted with his permission.
19 mar 2000