Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

Z_CNHI News Service

May 16, 2014

Obama maneuver to silence debate finds followers

Editor's note: CNHI newspapers that are not weekly subscribers to Taylor Armerding's column may publish this one if they notify him at t.armerding@verizon.net.

Travel with me back in time to those good old days when it was so very cool and correct to declare: “Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.”

Remember that? It was a mantra, a slogan, a moral crusade for all conscientious liberals when George W. Bush was president.

If you do remember, you probably also recall the exact day it stopped being cool and correct: Jan. 21, 2009, when Bush became a former president and President Barack Obama was inaugurated. Dissent suddenly became tantamount to sedition.

Yeah, Obama promised the “fundamental transformation” of America. History will judge more objectively than any current analysis whether his encouragement of a vast expansion of dependency on government entitlements; a sluggish economy; an uncertain, weak foreign policy; and blatant disrespect for laws he found inconvenient were all the fault of “the rich” or a Republican “war on women.”

But we don’t need to wait for history to judge the suppression of dissent, by mockery and the weight of government itself, to be very, very bad for the country.

Obama’s acolytes had it right back in 2000-2008: Dissent is patriotic. They were rarely patriotic in their attitude;  their hatred of Bush was so intense that it degenerated into mindless slogans and personal attacks. “Bush Derangement Syndrome” was not an exaggeration for millions of lefties.

But they are (were) correct that dissent from the agenda of those in power is one of the healthy characteristics of a free society.

If Bush called a press conference to declare that “the debate is over” regarding some unpopular program of his, there would have been a meltdown on the Left from sea to shining sea. This, they would have said, is proof from the president’s own mouth that he is a fascist.

Yet, that is this president's direction, and his disgraceful example is spreading.

A few weeks ago, Obama took to his teleprompter to declare the “debate” on Obamacare, his signature legislation, is over since 8 million people have reportedly signed up for it.

Yes, one recent poll found that a majority of Americans want to keep the law in place, but that same poll found only 12 percent consider it a success. Since when does a president get to say that a minority of Americans have to shut up?

Ask the administration for details on those 8 million people, and suddenly, not only is the debate over, but so is any transparency. (Remember, this was going to be the “most transparent administration in history.")

The administration won’t say how many of those people have started making their payments. It won’t say how many previously had insurance but lost it since their plan didn’t conform to new Obamacare rules. In other words, they won’t say how many truly “uninsured” now have insurance.

Do Obama or any of his supporters define success by 8 million people allegedly complying with an order of the federal government when they will be punished if they fail to obey it?

Yet the president tells us the debate is over. He must really dislike democracy.

The same attitude is at play regarding global warming, which has been renamed climate change and more recently “climate disruption.” One obvious way to tell that those on one side of an argument are losing is that they keep changing the euphemisms to cloak what they really mean.

The president and his loyal cohorts insist “the science is settled.” One acolyte said continuing to debate the issue would be like taking an opinion poll on whether 15 is more than 5. Cute. But, as any credible scientist knows, science is never settled.

This president mocks as “deniers” those who question his thinking. What was that about being president of “all the people”? Never mind.

This attitude, not surprisingly, infects all of society. Anyone who publicly questions the gay agenda or gay marriage does not get a reasoned response from the other side, but demands that he or she be silenced.

Twin brothers David and Jason Benham, scheduled to launch an HGTV show on renovating and flipping houses, saw the show canceled because they disagree with gay marriage. Apparently, you can’t be allowed to show people how to renovate houses if you hold politically incorrect views on marriage.

Good thing Obama “evolved” on the issue since his public position on gay marriage was the same allegedly hateful one as the Benhams' until two years ago.

Meanwhile, students at major colleges and universities are doing exactly as they have been taught by their president and allegedly liberal-minded professors. They have successfully banned commencement speakers whose views they don’t like.

The list includes not only conservatives like former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice (her crime was being part of the Bush administration), but also Somali-born feminist Ayaan Hirsi, who has sought to inform the world of the way radical Islamists mistreat women. Challenging radical Islam somehow violates the “core values” of Brandeis University.

In short, they don’t want to debate people they oppose, which is what a free society should be all about. They want to silence them.

That is neither progressive nor liberal. That is totalitarian.

Taylor Armerding is an independent columnist. Contact him at t.armerding@verizon.net

 

1
Text Only
Z_CNHI News Service
  • Sunburn isn't the only sign of summer that can leave you itchy and blistered

    You've got a rash. You quickly rule out the usual suspects: You haven't been gardening or hiking or even picnicking, so it's probably not a plant irritant such as poison ivy or wild parsnip; likewise, it's probably not chiggers or ticks carrying Lyme disease; and you haven't been swimming in a pond, which can harbor the parasite that causes swimmer's itch.

    July 30, 2014

  • Survey results in legislation to battle sexual assault on campus

    Missouri U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill joined a bipartisan group of senators Wednesday to announce legislation that aims to reduce the number of sexual assaults on college campuses.

    July 30, 2014

  • Rodden, Danny.jpg Sheriff accused of lying about relationship with prostitute

    The sheriff of Clark County, Ind., faces an eight-count federal indictment that accuses him of lying about paying a prostitute for a sex act and giving her a badge so that she could claim a discount rate at a hotel.

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • An alarming threat to airlines that no one's talking about

    It's been an abysmal year for the flying public. Planes have crashed in bad weather, disappeared over the Indian Ocean and tragically crossed paths with anti-aircraft missiles over Ukraine.

    July 30, 2014

  • Sharknado.jpg Sharknado 2 set to attack viewers tonight

    In the face of another "Sharknado" TV movie (the even-more-inane "Sharknado 2: The Second One," premiering Wednesday night on Syfy), there isn't much for a critic to say except to echo what the characters themselves so frequently scream when confronted by a great white shark spinning toward them in a funnel cloud:
    "LOOK OUT!!"

    July 30, 2014 1 Photo

  • 20140729-AMX-GIVHAN292.jpg Spanx stretches into new territory with jeans, but promised magic is elusive

    The Spanx empire of stomach-flattening, thigh-slimming, jiggle-reducing foundation garments has expanded to include what the brand promises is the mother of all body-shaping miracles: Spanx jeans.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lindley, Tom.jpg Sideshows involving Rice and Dungy stain NFL's image

    Pro football training camps should be all about, well, football. But the talk around the NFL is about Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice's two-game suspension, Tony Dungy's indelicate remarks about Michael Sam and Jim Irsay's largesse. What kind of league is Roger Goodell running?

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Medical marijuana opponents' most powerful argument is at odds with a mountain of research

    Opponents of marijuana legalization are rapidly losing the battle for hearts and minds. Simply put, the public understands that however you measure the consequences of marijuana use, the drug is significantly less harmful to users and society than tobacco or alcohol.

    July 29, 2014

  • linda-ronstadt.jpg Obama had crush on First Lady of Rock

    Linda Ronstadt remained composed as she walked up to claim her National Medal of Arts at a White House ceremony Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Can black women have it all?

    In a powerful new essay for the National Journal, my friend Michel Martin makes a compelling case for why we need to continue the having-it-all conversation.

    July 29, 2014

House Ads
Hendricks County Marquee
Email News Sign Up
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Poll

Should the government continue to use military bases to house illegal immigrant children?

Yes
No
Undecided
     View Results
AP Video
Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Must Read