Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Over the Top
First, let me begin by saying that I am an over the top unabashed so-called, self-designated liberal when it comes to rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. I am so liberal that I read between the lines to find the right of privacy embodied four-square in the heart of the principles set forth in that document (much like our Supreme Court did in Griswold v Connecticut which allowed women to take birth control pills which subsequently formed the rationale for that Court's decision in Roe v Wade). My liberalism extends completely to the rights of free speech as protected by the First Amendment. As I get older I find that my liberalism is occasionally tempered by the realization that the right to speak carries with it the right to be stupid. It is up to us, the listeners, to evaluate what is being said. What triggers my thought process in this regard this morning is the latest flap over a comment made by presidential candidate Fred Thompson. Apparently he was waiting to be interviewed in a Fox TV channel office and someone said "We can't keep the next President waiting" and he commented "Me neither" or words to that effect. A segment of the media has jumped on that statement as a purported declaration by Thompson that he himself thinks he can't win the election, etc., etc. I have read again and again what Thompson said and I find it difficult, impossible, to see or hear anything other than the humor and self-deprecating comments of a classy man. Another example is the brouhaha over the 'ganging up' on Clinton by the other presidential candidates during the last Democrat televised debate where a shrill segment of the voting population claims that was done because she is a woman. Ladies and Gentlemen of the left. I have a prediction to make, reluctantly so, because I believe that to continue to raise issues such as the above will to be to (as the saying goes) shoot oneself in the foot. I hereby suggest an amendment to the first amendment. "Thou shall not say stupid things just to create a headline." Amongst the caterwauling of persons struggling to make their thoughts known are real issues needing to be thoughtfully analyzed and discussed. The new Democrat controlled Congress has given us an inkling of what we can expect from Democrat presidential hopefuls if one of them ascends to the presidency; more of the same. My suggestion, in addition to the already-mentioned constitutional amendment, is to treat the American public like they have a brain. Don't talk down to us. Don't evade topics that are likely to generate anger. I need to know how the next president proposes to pay for the costs of the Iraq war in that Bush has kept the billions already spent off the books. The answer is obvious; it will be necessary to raise taxes to meet this tremendous financial burden. This is only one example. We are not interested in the numbers of angels that can dance on the head of a pin. The campaigns on both sides of the aisle are breaking down; we expect more. We need more.