Good People Can Disagree (As Long as They Have Permission)

In the 2000 presidential campaign, then-Governor George W. Bush was visiting a charter school in Newark with New Jersey Governor Whitman.  When he was asked about Whitman's pro-abortion rights position, Bush stated,
"Good people can disagree on the issue, and I understand that I'm standing up here with a friend of mine...I respect Gov. Whitman's views and I respect her as a person." 
This in essence is the "new tone" which the optimistic, and seemingly naïve Governor Bush took to Washington.  To this day he has not abandoned this acceptance of basic human goodness and sincerity, in spite of his Christian faith which would clearly argue against it.  It is one thing to love your enemy; but it is also important to recognize that you have an enemy.

It may all be for public consumption, but you cannot be an effective leader of the free world while compromising and chumming with the enemies of freedom, both foreign and especially domestic.  Peering into Vladimir Putin's soul might have been an interesting experience, but the darkness which lurks there should not have left President Bush all warm and fuzzy.  Watching Bush side with Senators Kennedy and McCain on giving up our national sovereignty through the amnesty of illegal immigrants makes my head spin and my stomach churn.  If good people can disagree, then it is also true that bad people can lie and seem to agree. And therein lies the heart of the matter.

Much of the muted conservative debate left in Washington loses its power because of the castration induced by the new tone.  Rather than being a noble position of peace and understanding, the new tone is a mask which not only fools the public, but emasculates the Conservative defense against the Left.  The Left has no illusions about its agenda, nor does it need to be nice or civil.  If a Leftist politician argues for civility, he is only attempting to convince his Conservative opponent to lay down his sword, so that he can stab him in the heart, or in the back.  This is the nature of Leftist argument:  it is fundamentally insincere, daring not reveal its real agenda.

The most recent example of this, and truly an artful expression of Leftist propaganda, is a tome crafted by the Center for American Progress titled
"The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio".  Although it falls short of becoming the Communist Manifesto for the 21st century, it does accomplish a primary goal of the Left:  framing the political debate and redefining the language used.  Even if one could not smell the Clintonesque odor (John Podesta is CEO of the Center), one knows that this document comes from the headquarters of the Ministry of Truth.

The Left has substituted the word "Progressive" in place of "Leftist" or "Socialist" or "Liberal" because these words have fallen out of favor with the American public.  This immediately creates a value judgment in the mind of the reader. After all, who could be against progress, except of course the evil Conservatives?  Progressive is a word that has been successfully market tested.

The title of the study betrays the way in which the debate is framed.  Rather than accept the obvious fact that people who listen to talk radio like Conservative talk rather than Leftist talk, the writers blame this market response on a structural imbalance; i.e., insufficient federal regulation of ownership.  This is the Leftist answer to all problems.  The market cannot be trusted because it will inevitably be dominated by a few powerful individuals, so bust up the monopolies and force the market to move in the direction desired by the Left. 

Now, I could pretend that these Progressive writers mean well, that in their warm and loving hearts they are genuinely concerned about the need for balance in the marketplace of ideas.  This would be the same as adopting the new tone, that good people can disagree on an issue and still have a beer together. 

But what if they don't mean well?

Quoting from the paper:

Our conclusion is that the gap between conservative and progressive talk radio is the result of multiple structural problems in the U.S. regulatory system, particularly the complete breakdown of the public trustee concept of broadcast, the elimination of clear public interest requirements for broadcasting, and the relaxation of ownership rules including the requirement of local participation in management.

Ownership diversity is perhaps the single most important variable contributing to the structural imbalance based on the data. Quantitative analysis conducted by Free Press of all 10,506 licensed commercial radio stations reveals that stations owned by women, minorities, or local owners are statistically less likely to air conservative hosts or shows.
To support their sweeping conclusions, the authors of the paper assume the following axioms:
  • There needs to be a public trustee concept of broadcast in a commercial broadcasting enterprise.
  • There is a clear public interest requirement, and that someone in the federal government determines what this clear requirement should be.
  • There is a need for local control of the content of political discourse.
The solution (according to the Clintonistas) to this structural imbalance is to:

  • Restore local and national caps on the ownership of commercial radio stations.
  • Ensure greater local accountability over radio licensing.
  • Require commercial owners who fail to abide by enforceable public interest obligations to pay a fee to support public broadcasting.
All of these conclusions, assumptions and recommendations are founded on a single, unquestioned principle, that the Federal government must regulate the political content of the electromagnetic spectrum because the electromagnetic spectrum is a finite resource.  I could say the same for the easements which carry cable or phone lines, the trees frok national forests that go into making newsprint, or the spaces available for billboards along the streets and highways.  Where does this argument end, or why does it stop with radio?  Why not television?  Why not the internet?  What about the political or even religious balance in our public schools and academia?

Senator Inhofe has been the only politician to take some risk and expose the Leftist agenda for what it really is, nothing more than an attempt by the Leftists (including Clinton, Feinstein, McCain, and Lott) to stifle free speech.  Good people may disagree, but these people aren't good people.  They do not stand for freedom.  They do not mean well.  They do not misunderstand the issue, nor is their collectivist heart in the right place. 

This proposal to regulate political speech carries the stench of totalitarianism, and whether it comes from the Democrats or the Republicans, it is still a greater threat to our national security than the suicidal Islamic zealots who at least have the consideration to kill themselves in the process of killing others.

The new tone has now reached its inevitable climax.  By showing weakness, the Republicans (starting with the budget battle in 1995) have appeased and played nice, and allowed their base to carry their water.  The rise of alternative media, both internet and talk radio, has been a grass roots response to the spinelessness of the elected leadership.  The Democrats have succeeded in emasculating and demonizing the Republicans, culminating in the absurd elevation of Pelosi and Reid as King and Queen of Washington DC.  Is it any wonder that a hapless George Bush decides that if you can't beat 'em, then join 'em? 

The Amnesty Bill has now become the battleground to determine whether or not our nation deserves to be the leader of the free world.  The Fairness Doctrine (another label brought to you by the Ministry of Truth) is the weapon by which to slay the grass roots opposition.  Just as the United States cannot be defeated from without, but must be eroded from within, so too the Conservative movement must be betrayed by those who have been elected to defend the gates.  President Bush, do you understand?

They have failed and have joined the enemy.  Good people don't disagree because there are no good people.  There are only sinners and timeless truths, one of which is that freedom is good and worth defending.  Our founding fathers understood this.  The First Amendment could not be any clearer:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

In the 2000 presidential campaign, then-Governor George W. Bush was visiting a charter school in Newark with New Jersey Governor Whitman.  When he was asked about Whitman's pro-abortion rights position, Bush stated,
"Good people can disagree on the issue, and I understand that I'm standing up here with a friend of mine...I respect Gov. Whitman's views and I respect her as a person." 
This in essence is the "new tone" which the optimistic, and seemingly naïve Governor Bush took to Washington.  To this day he has not abandoned this acceptance of basic human goodness and sincerity, in spite of his Christian faith which would clearly argue against it.  It is one thing to love your enemy; but it is also important to recognize that you have an enemy.

It may all be for public consumption, but you cannot be an effective leader of the free world while compromising and chumming with the enemies of freedom, both foreign and especially domestic.  Peering into Vladimir Putin's soul might have been an interesting experience, but the darkness which lurks there should not have left President Bush all warm and fuzzy.  Watching Bush side with Senators Kennedy and McCain on giving up our national sovereignty through the amnesty of illegal immigrants makes my head spin and my stomach churn.  If good people can disagree, then it is also true that bad people can lie and seem to agree. And therein lies the heart of the matter.

Much of the muted conservative debate left in Washington loses its power because of the castration induced by the new tone.  Rather than being a noble position of peace and understanding, the new tone is a mask which not only fools the public, but emasculates the Conservative defense against the Left.  The Left has no illusions about its agenda, nor does it need to be nice or civil.  If a Leftist politician argues for civility, he is only attempting to convince his Conservative opponent to lay down his sword, so that he can stab him in the heart, or in the back.  This is the nature of Leftist argument:  it is fundamentally insincere, daring not reveal its real agenda.

The most recent example of this, and truly an artful expression of Leftist propaganda, is a tome crafted by the Center for American Progress titled
"The Structural Imbalance of Political Talk Radio".  Although it falls short of becoming the Communist Manifesto for the 21st century, it does accomplish a primary goal of the Left:  framing the political debate and redefining the language used.  Even if one could not smell the Clintonesque odor (John Podesta is CEO of the Center), one knows that this document comes from the headquarters of the Ministry of Truth.

The Left has substituted the word "Progressive" in place of "Leftist" or "Socialist" or "Liberal" because these words have fallen out of favor with the American public.  This immediately creates a value judgment in the mind of the reader. After all, who could be against progress, except of course the evil Conservatives?  Progressive is a word that has been successfully market tested.

The title of the study betrays the way in which the debate is framed.  Rather than accept the obvious fact that people who listen to talk radio like Conservative talk rather than Leftist talk, the writers blame this market response on a structural imbalance; i.e., insufficient federal regulation of ownership.  This is the Leftist answer to all problems.  The market cannot be trusted because it will inevitably be dominated by a few powerful individuals, so bust up the monopolies and force the market to move in the direction desired by the Left. 

Now, I could pretend that these Progressive writers mean well, that in their warm and loving hearts they are genuinely concerned about the need for balance in the marketplace of ideas.  This would be the same as adopting the new tone, that good people can disagree on an issue and still have a beer together. 

But what if they don't mean well?

Quoting from the paper:

Our conclusion is that the gap between conservative and progressive talk radio is the result of multiple structural problems in the U.S. regulatory system, particularly the complete breakdown of the public trustee concept of broadcast, the elimination of clear public interest requirements for broadcasting, and the relaxation of ownership rules including the requirement of local participation in management.

Ownership diversity is perhaps the single most important variable contributing to the structural imbalance based on the data. Quantitative analysis conducted by Free Press of all 10,506 licensed commercial radio stations reveals that stations owned by women, minorities, or local owners are statistically less likely to air conservative hosts or shows.
To support their sweeping conclusions, the authors of the paper assume the following axioms:
  • There needs to be a public trustee concept of broadcast in a commercial broadcasting enterprise.
  • There is a clear public interest requirement, and that someone in the federal government determines what this clear requirement should be.
  • There is a need for local control of the content of political discourse.
The solution (according to the Clintonistas) to this structural imbalance is to:

  • Restore local and national caps on the ownership of commercial radio stations.
  • Ensure greater local accountability over radio licensing.
  • Require commercial owners who fail to abide by enforceable public interest obligations to pay a fee to support public broadcasting.
All of these conclusions, assumptions and recommendations are founded on a single, unquestioned principle, that the Federal government must regulate the political content of the electromagnetic spectrum because the electromagnetic spectrum is a finite resource.  I could say the same for the easements which carry cable or phone lines, the trees frok national forests that go into making newsprint, or the spaces available for billboards along the streets and highways.  Where does this argument end, or why does it stop with radio?  Why not television?  Why not the internet?  What about the political or even religious balance in our public schools and academia?

Senator Inhofe has been the only politician to take some risk and expose the Leftist agenda for what it really is, nothing more than an attempt by the Leftists (including Clinton, Feinstein, McCain, and Lott) to stifle free speech.  Good people may disagree, but these people aren't good people.  They do not stand for freedom.  They do not mean well.  They do not misunderstand the issue, nor is their collectivist heart in the right place. 

This proposal to regulate political speech carries the stench of totalitarianism, and whether it comes from the Democrats or the Republicans, it is still a greater threat to our national security than the suicidal Islamic zealots who at least have the consideration to kill themselves in the process of killing others.

The new tone has now reached its inevitable climax.  By showing weakness, the Republicans (starting with the budget battle in 1995) have appeased and played nice, and allowed their base to carry their water.  The rise of alternative media, both internet and talk radio, has been a grass roots response to the spinelessness of the elected leadership.  The Democrats have succeeded in emasculating and demonizing the Republicans, culminating in the absurd elevation of Pelosi and Reid as King and Queen of Washington DC.  Is it any wonder that a hapless George Bush decides that if you can't beat 'em, then join 'em? 

The Amnesty Bill has now become the battleground to determine whether or not our nation deserves to be the leader of the free world.  The Fairness Doctrine (another label brought to you by the Ministry of Truth) is the weapon by which to slay the grass roots opposition.  Just as the United States cannot be defeated from without, but must be eroded from within, so too the Conservative movement must be betrayed by those who have been elected to defend the gates.  President Bush, do you understand?

They have failed and have joined the enemy.  Good people don't disagree because there are no good people.  There are only sinners and timeless truths, one of which is that freedom is good and worth defending.  Our founding fathers understood this.  The First Amendment could not be any clearer:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.