On Fox News’ Hannity, Sarah Palin spent another half an hour defending herself the only way she knows how: by attacking other Americans’ free speech. Sarah Palin, and many conservatives, operate under the illusion that free speech means they can consistently call all liberals enemies of the Republic and call for violent overthrow of the government, but when liberals get upset about their words, all liberals need to shut up or else they are trampling on Sarah Palin’s rights to free speech.
In order to make this specious argument, Palin has to rely upon a transparent strawman and offensive co-opting of American hero Martin Luther King, Jr. Palin suggests that liberals (and now Jewish critics) want to “shut up dissent” and thus they want to “destroy our Republic” as if Palin not talking anymore about reloading and taking aim at political opponents would somehow damage our Republic. It wouldn’t. Of course, in making this strawman argument, Palin dodges the real issue of whether or not she could show a modicum of real leadership by getting over herself for even a moment. She can’t.
This was, once again, all about Sarah. Watch here, courtesy of Media Matters:
Palin cynically tried to shield herself with Martin Luther King, Jr by quoting him as if he would agree with her. He would not. Not only did King advocate for non-violent resistance, but he took it another step: “Another thing that we had to get over was the fact that the nonviolent resister does not seek to humiliate or defeat the opponent but to win his friendship and understanding.”
Sarah Palin has spent her political career humiliating her opponent in order to defeat them. She has never debated an opponent honestly about ideas; instead, she plays the campaign of hate and fear, as far back as her race for mayor of Wasilla when she suggested her opponent was Jewish and thus not fit for office (he was not Jewish, but of course, this shouldn’t have mattered either way. It says a lot about Palin’s world view that she assumed it did). Palin has never sought the understanding of her opponents nor his or her friendship; she seeks dominion, she seeks power, she seeks bitter defeat and abject humiliation of the other. Palin has no relationships of trust.
Sarah Palin was sued over her refusal to comply with the Alaska State Constitution by signing the Juneteenth Proclamation, which is a celebration of the end of slavery. She was the first governor ever to do so. Palin has plenty of other issues with African Americans and hence, her attempt to co-opt King’s message is quite simply a grasping effort to shield herself with another’s spiritual and social courage.
Palin claims that American citizens are trying to killing dissent by criticizing her, and yet, freedom of speech is the freedom to speak freely without censorship or limitation, or both. That right is guaranteed to us all, not just Sarah Palin. Freedom of speech and our right to dissent are guaranteed rights that the government can not restrict our free speech. Contrary to Palin’s frightening concept of this precious freedom, this right wasn’t designed to protect politicians who were elected officials and want to run for President FROM the people. No, it was designed to protect the people from politicians precisely like Sarah Palin; politicians who can’t handle dissent.
The philosophical notion of free speech and the right to dissent was never argued better than by Englishman John Milton in his 1664 book “Areopagitica”, wherein he wrote, “Give me the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties.” See, “to argue freely according to conscience” assumes one is able to engage in a discussion about ideas — that is indeed the fundamental idea behind dissent. Those Americans following their conscience by arguing that Palin’s map and her blood libel statement were offensive and are possibly contributing to an atmosphere of hate and division that is a breeding ground for violence are not enemies of the Republic, but rather law-abiding citizens exercising their right to dissent.
It’s fascinating that Palin calls putting crosshairs on a map with Gabby Giffords’ name clearly listed as the target “dissent.” Is Palin not capable of dissenting peacefully? Can she not engage in an articulate discussion of the issues? Why, exactly, must Palin rely upon the fear-mongering, incendiary crutches of the weak-minded?
Probably because this is the woman who was unable to name a book or paper she read. And after two pretty easy interviews 2008 in which she demonstrated just how unqualified and uninformed she was, Palin hasn’t had the guts to be interviewed anywhere else other than Fox News. But from this place of cowardice, wherein she never has to debate anyone, she lobs invective and violent rhetoric like “Obama wants to kill my baby with Death Panels” and “He doesn’t love America” and “Don’t Retreat, Reload!” and then whimpers and whines about the “left” wanting to kill dissent when called to accountability for her words and graphics.
Violent rhetoric is the craven refuge of a coward who can not tolerate real dissent and it’s not fit for a political leader. Does she have the right to behave like an irresponsible, desperate person who can’t run on ideas and only has hate and fear? Yes, she does. And the American people have a right to say “We don’t want your kind of leadership.” Oh, but we already said that in 2008 and yet Palin is somehow still trying to lead the country, subverting democracy and running a shadow government from her bunker in Wasilla. Just who here is trying to destroy our Republic?
Notice that Sarah Palin is never around after she lobs her carefully aimed missiles of fear, chaos and misinformation. Palin hides behind Facebook, Twitter, and Fox News just like Osama bin Laden hides in his cave. She issues unilateral “videos” from said cave as well wherein she claims anyone who doesn’t worship her is a hater who doesn’t love America. Sarah Palin wants to be President but she doesn’t even like most Americans. She hates a good 57% of them who don’t think like she does.
Palin labels anyone who criticizes her as “opponents,” as if no supporter could possibly ever have a valid criticism and as if American citizens are “opponents.” She wasn’t speaking of political opponents here, but of regular citizens and the media. These are her “opponents”. These are her enemies. And she wants to be President. Palin is someone who demands fealty and worship and doesn’t broker dissent in any way. Imagine if this person were President. Last December, 57% of Americans had a negative view of Palin. Tonight she added Jewish people who dared to criticize her to her list of enemies, so I would imagine her next approval poll will be even lower.
It’s unconscionable that Palin would attempt to call out citizen critics of her crosshairs map and her blood libel whine as people who want to shut down dissent. Obviously this will come as a surprise to Palin, but criticizing her is dissent. It’s our right as Americans and for her to claim that the people will bring down the Republic by exercising their first amendment rights is to suggest that she wants to limit the people’s free speech.
Sarah Palin has a serious case of the bubbling Fascist. Her notion of citizens’ rights should be chilling, as in her mind, they are limited to what makes her feel good. Never once does she try to understand those who think differently from herself, or even bother to demonstrate a shred of respect for them. If Palin loves America so much, and she love free speech so much, why won’t she show a modicum of respect for anyone’s free speech other than her own?