Two events in the last few months provide clear opportunities for us to see what is really at the core of the proponents of censorship. If we are to assume that speech, art, and music that comes from public figures is responsible for moral decay, then we have two very unfortunate opportunities with which to turn the tables. One of them in my city-Boston, another in Washington, D.C.
Jesse Helms, in his macho boasting to a reporter during a radio interview, suggested that if President Clinton came to North Carolina to visit a base, he would need a bodyguard. This unbelievably moronic and dangerous statement/comment, coming from the Senator that has clocked hundreds of taxpayer-subsidized hours trying to connect speech to action, provides an interesting glimpse into the philosophical vacuum that sits at the heart of would-be censors.
Days later, a deranged individual actually opened fire on the White House, spraying bullets from a busy sidewalk. Did Jesse Helms turn himself in, saying, "I am an influential public figure, I hereby claim responsibility for the attack on the President, since my own speech created the climate in which this action occurred."
No, but when a trooper was shot in Texas, and a rap tape was found in the shooter's car that had lyrics touching on fighting with cops, that supposedly was a valid connection for Jesse and his right leaning, heavily monied, country club crowd. With 400,000 people dying every year from Jesse's federally subsidized tobacco clients, God knows where he finds the gumption to be preachy and sell himself off as moral, but he really seems to believe it.
Ironically, it is in the speech, and not deed, that Jesse is moral, Patriotic, too. Jesse served his country alright. He spent a few years firing off press releases during World War II. The problem is, the press releases were from safe, secure North Carolina, thousands of miles from any danger. Remember that when he talks about "heroic men and women, etc." He at least, gets points for leaving home. In the service, they have names for guys like him. I'll let you guess.
The other opportunity for these "speech as advocacy" zealots to practice what they preach is the clinic shootings of December 30th, 1994. After years of blood thirsty propaganda, their moronic troops have finally started to do just what they have been indirectly pushed to do, i.e., treat abortion doctors as murderers. It does not take a great leap of logic to see the underlying message: (doctors murder, thus murder the doctors).
It never ceases to amaze me the extent to which holy people can act in ways that directly contradict what they preach. It is as if these speech foes are actually split personalties created by their own speech. The more moral they preach, the less moral they actually have to act. This gives alot of influential people way too much latitude, and the abuse of that latitude resulted in a demented hairdresser apprentice shooting up people in two different clinics, killing two young women. It contains all the twisted, holy logic of the crusades, another piece of church sponsored mass-hysteria, idiotic and contradictory in intention and execution.
How is it that religious leaders can out and out call for criminal action? They provide direct, open instructions to their underlings, like handing out leaflets targeting particular doctors and clinic workers, and avoid the argument of "your speech caused this." Many of the same psycho-God crowd think that a rap song pushed someone to murder? Are they that blind to their double standard, or are they truly the philosophical, ethical, and moral void that they are proving to be?
Let all the "speech caused this" people forward, bow their heads, and accept responsibility for the shootings of the White House and the clinics. It is the only thing that will prove them sincere.