“I disagree with you so shut up!” is not an argument; it’s tyranny

Kendall JonesYesterday, as we were driving along, my daughter asked me if I’d heard about the gal in Texas, a college student, who posts pictures of her African big game shots (some dead, some tranquilized) on Facebook. I’d heard about it vaguely, so my daughter elaborated.

“They’re trying to kick her off Facebook. I think she should be banned.”

“I don’t,” I replied.

She gave an outraged gasp!

“You support her going around and killing all those innocent animals? Some of them are endangered! That’s awful.”

I answered, “I don’t like big game hunting. It doesn’t make sense to me to kill for sport, but not everyone agrees with me. So let me ask you this: Is what she’s doing legal?”

“Yes,” said my daughter, “but it’s a horrible thing to do.”

I gave the only answer a good First Amendment libertarian could give: “Just because you don’t like it, that’s not a reason to ban her from speaking. Banning her from speaking is tyrannical. Saying ‘I disagree with you, so shut up’ is not a valid argument in a free society. A functional free society has to let people speak even if they disagree with each other. There are extremes where even the most free society should and will prevent speech, such as a gathering to talk about killing a president or the famous ‘shouting Fire! in a crowded theater’ type of talk. Otherwise, you have to be willing to accept that others don’t agree with you. If you don’t, you end up with a country in which everyone has to think the same thoughts and do, and say, the same things.”

“Okay, I get it,” she wearily replied. “Don’t get on the soapbox again. Anyway, this whole thing has been good for her. She says she got 600 new fans. [Pause.] Who would ever like her page?”

“That’s easy. People who believe in hunting or people who want to make a point that, in a free society, ‘free speech’ includes speech that not everyone supports.”

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  • Charles Martel

    Well, Book, I fear that the best you’ve been able to do here with your daughter is plant some seeds very deeply. It’s obvious from her take on the Texas hunter that she has ingested Zeitgeist Plus and the ingredients in it that pass for thinking. Now that she’s ready to head off to a four-year indoctrination mill, be ready for some real duckspeak from her in the days to come.

    Your best hope is those seeds. If some rational part of her can resist the mental swill her generation swims in, she may come back to reality a few years after receiving her credential in PCness. That’s how it worked with you and me, so maybe it’ll work that way with her, too.

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  • jj

    I trust you’re right.

    I must have missed a fundamental piece of human development or something. I never had to ‘come back’ to a ‘real’ or ‘based-in-logic’ or however you’d like to express it point of view, because I never left it. And I don’t know how that happened: I was never ‘fed’ much of anything.

    Growing up we didn’t talk politics around the house. I knew my parents were conservative, but I couldn’t – and can’t – tell you how I knew that. My mother was always very apolitical, and my father never offered much of his opinions. (Though he did stop reading the NY Times regularly in the late 1960s because it was too liberal for him.) I knew what he thought of some people, but I also knew that what he thought of FDR, Truman, Eisenhower and JFK were opinions based more on the personal than the political. He thought the whole FDR program was crap, and demonstrably didn’t work. (Ditto the whole LBJ program.) He didn’t like Nixon much, didn’t like what Carter did, and didn’t have much of an opinion about Reagan, though you could often enough find old pal Bill Casey around the house, so I imagine he was pretty updated on what Reagan was up to. (Given he turned 80 in 1980, I can’t guarantee that he gave a damn.)

    So I don’t know how it happened that I never needed to find my way back. My first two years at Boston University exposed me to Murray Levin, Howard Zinn, and Frances Piven – all lovely people. Complete assholes, of course; and what they had to say pretty much bounced off. Howard knew the Constitution backwards and forwards, but he believed in it literally, as a child would. For example he had supported striking British dock-workers in the middle of WWII. I would have supposed he might have seen the larger issue – he wasn’t stupid – but he didn’t. He was that way about everything and that’s how I thought of him: as a child.

    Anyway, she’ll do fine. She has the concept, she knows how to think, the only question will be: will she exercise the capacity? I suspect so. She may have a couple of wobbly years, as Charles says, but she’ll be okay.

  • Danny Lemieux

    The important thing is that she learned that there is always more-than one side to a story, such as this:


    It is so easy, just couple of Google clicks away, to understand the other sides of issues. At minimum, you would expect someone to CHECK THEIR FACTS before bloviating on an issue. DemProgs seem incapable of comprehending that. In that, they are no different than the rabid, ululating mobs that infect discourse in the Middle East.

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

    If this girl is taking African Lions with a BOW, I’m genuinely impressed!!

    And her rationale for the rightness of big game hunting is spot on!! Shut down hunters like her and the game ranchers will go out of business. If that happens, then the amazing African wildlife will dwindle and disappear. That which is not valued (and monetary value is what counts) won’t stay around.

    The ranches hire local people, share meat with local people, and everyone benefits. The National Parks cost huge sums to run properly, and wildlife leaves the premises and damages nearby village croplands. If the government isn’t too corrupt, they pay damages, meaning that the Park costs even MORE money. Where does a poor country come up with the funds needed? Mostly derived from (yes, wealthy) hunters from abroad.

    As for Little Miss Bookworm…..Hillsdale College, Grove City College, Biola Universtiy Torrey Honors Institute, St. John’s College, or one of the many Great Books programs in the U.S. (http://astro.temple.edu/~szelnick/actc/ListofGreatBooksPrograms2.htm)

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    Your daughter probably thinks you are on the soapbox because she sees your husband restricting freedoms all the time in the household. Which movies to watch, which DVDs, which this, what that, it’s all about the Authorities telling her what to do and when to do it. Thus on Facebook, she emotes her learned co habitation, where the Top Authority decides to shut things down, as is proper and normal to such as her.

    The Left convinces people via example and demonstration of how power crushes Truth. Meanwhile, everyone else has to get into a philosophy debate, and people get bored, tune out, and tired.

  • http://ymarsakar.wordpress.com Ymarsakar

    As for me, my response to this issue, if someone raised it to me, would be:

    They just want Kendall back in the kitchen, so that their Wooden Allens and Polanskis can rape her. To do that, she needs to be taken off safari and her guns taken away. It’s the same concept as Hobby Lobby taking away birth control to make women into baby factories for rapist men.

    See, that’s not a debate, but it’s an effective offensive tactic.

    See, I don’t support people going around and killing animals or humans. But if I wanted to, I would do it myself, I have no need to “support” or not support such. If they’re not using my resources and tribute to the IRS for it, what do I care.

    What I do care about is Americans trying to tie down college girls in the US to make them into weak women and rape them, however. It’s very very easy for people to see the hate in my reflection, if I get on this topic. That’s probably why nobody talks about this or wants to talk about this with me.

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