Saturday, April 18, 2009

Secessionists on the "lunatic fringe"?

Now that Texas Gov. Rick Perry has made secessionism impossible to ignore, the mainstream media are falling all over themselves trying to ridicule both the secessionist and State sovereignty movements as lunatic fringe movements.

Here are a few examples:

- Akron's Ben Keeler reports that the Cleveland media ignored a turnout of 2,000 to Cleveland's Tea Party Wednesday. He also observes that leftist protestors broke up a speech by former Colorado Congressman Tim Tancredo opposing unrestricted immigration at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The demonstration was so rowdy that Mr. Tancredo had to stop his speech and leave the scene. [But then we have known for some time that public universities don't exist to promote free inquiry, don't we? -- HT]

- I usually prefer to leave Rebellion alone when it battles the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), but when they try to smear Tea Party protestors as "Neo-Nazis, militias, secessionists, and racists," they are crossing a line that shouldn't have been crossed. Even the charge of "secessionist", while it applies to me, certainly does not apply to the great majority of people who appeared at the Tea Parties. Most Americans aren't prepared to think about secession yet -- but with tactics like these, they might be encouraged to do so!

- Rob Williams at Vermont Commons weighs in with an observation from Fox News (which Mr. Williams calls "faux news") commentator Geraldo Rivera, asserting that "you would have to be a lunatic to be a secessionist." (video at link) Then again, I never considered Geraldo Rivera to be a serious journalist...

- Also from Vermont Commons: an observation from Cornell Law professor William A. Jacobson about how talk of secession was just fine with the Left during the previous Administration. How the Left gets away with such bold hypocrisy never ceases to amaze me.

- U.S. News blogger John Aloysius Farrell tries to thoroughly discredit the idea of an independent Texas. Fortunately, the article is laced with ridicule and namecalling. (Fortunately, because it speaks to the weakness of his intellectual arguments).

I attended the Tea Party at the Statehouse Apr. 15 as one of an estimated 7,000 participants. (Figure sounds about right -- the lawn was packed). The crowd seemed pretty well grounded to me. Anyone who has ever known former Congressman John Kasich should know he is smart enough not to pander to a "lunatic fringe" movement, especially if he wants to be elected Governor of Ohio next year. (Keep in mind that Ohio is not exactly a classic "red state" and that Mr. Kasich has a moderate reputation to protect, so he cannot afford to risk it on associations with "wingnuts".)

I don't think anyone I know would call me a "lunatic," but I will embrace "extremist" -- as in:

"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice; moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." -- Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC), quoted by Barry Goldwater in his 1964 acceptance of the Republican nomination for President.


gildone84 said...

The media also largely ignored the protests against the bailouts and the Fed on April 11. These protests are part of a movement calling itself "A New Way Forward":

Brian said...

Check out our summary of the Cleveland/Canton tea parties from the Ohio Objectivist Society - we were there handing out free copies of Atlas Shrugged and holding signs saying, "Atlas Will Shrug", "Who is John Galt?", etc.

"In all, we handed out over 20 copies of Atlas Shrugged, over 40 copies of our booklet, and dozens of business cards. We got on a couple radio shows, one local TV news segment, and were interviewed by a small local newspaper, all to spread our name. And it's working - the emails are already pouring in, with people interested in future meetups, book reviews, etc."