I just read where Judge Napolitano asked if there was a such a thing as an “unholy alliance” between the left and the right. My answer:
Everyone seems to long for the glorious idea of “bi-partisanship,” but in my lifetime when I see bi-partisanship it usually comes at the expense of someone’s liberty. Here are two contemporary examples:
1 – The anti-smoking Nazis have been able to usurp property rights and freedom of assembly by bringing together those from the nanny-state left and religious right. As a result of this “unholy alliance” a business/property owner cannot, (by law), allow free people to freely assemble and smoke legal products, (cigarettes, cigars, pipes), in the same room where commercial activity is taking place. Somehow, people who will never enter a particular establishment, and who have plenty of other options for smoke-free dining and assembly, now dictate the behavior of others and what they may do with their own property, their own business, and how they must behave when assembled with other like-minded individuals.
2 – Currently, I fear there will be a backlash against free speech caused by a coalition of those from the left who’d like to characterize Koran-burning as “hate speech,” and those from the right who’d like to do the same with flag-burning.
Allow me to explain . . .
I’ve heard otherwise reasonable people compare Koran–burning to yelling “Fire!” in a crowded theater. They are NOT the same thing:
Crying “Fire!” in a theater creates an immediate and reflexive danger to all those assembled. It is a deliberate act of hooliganism, which in a matter of seconds could lead to injury and possible death by triggering our inherent self-preservation mechanism.
Burning a Koran, (or any other religious book), triggers “offense” only in those you choose to be so offended. Any reaction that follows thereafter, by the offended, is a choice and not a reflexive reaction. Upon seeing a Koran being burned on TV or YouTube, any offended person must rightfully acknowledge that no harm has come to their own property, body, finances, or loved ones. NO HARM . . . whatsoever. If, after witnessing a Koran being burned the offended person then arms himself, takes to the streets, and in retribution for what he has witnessed finds the nearest American and takes their life, that offended person has committed murderer in the first degree. Even if he only throws a rock through a local American business’ window, he is still a criminal . . . by premeditated choice. In either case, he has chosen to bring harm to someone’s property or life who most likely had no part in the burning of the Koran. Irrationalism, at best. Terrorism, at worst.
By contrast, If someone burns the American Flag in my presence, I might be offended. Upon witnessing such, I might even turn to the person next to me and express my disgust . . . verbally . . . with snark — but that will be the extent of my reaction. The flag-burner freely makes his point in protest of his cause du jour. I, in return, may even go so far as to exercise my free speech in calling him out for his disrespect of the very symbol that protects his right to be . . . disrespectful. (The irony – huh?)
There is no logical equivocation between the self-preservation reactions elicited as the result of someone yelling “Fire!,“ in a theater, and the pre-meditated choices made by those offended by the burning of their favorite literature or national symbol. Those offended by the latter, can choose to respond with speech, with violence, or not at all. It is a choice.
I choose free speech, and as such I now fear the politically-progressive desire to create “hate speech” legislation for the express purpose of limiting any speech or expression that any progressively-protected group finds offensive. This is far more dangerous than most any other “slippery slope.” Hate speech laws are tantamount to shoving the Constitution and our most precious freedom over the ledge, and into the abyss of tyranny.
Bi-partisanship only works to our benefit when the left and right ally themselves in support of the Constitution and out of respect for the protections provided by the Bill of Rights. Otherwise, bi-partisanship is nothing more than the manifestation of a “tyrannical majority” — about which we were properly warned by our nation’s Founders.