Sedition Or Difference Of Opinion?
April 22, 2010 by Bob Livingston
The double standard that is liberalism apparently knows no bounds, for now liberal pundits are effectively calling prominent conservatives criminals because of their disagreement with the policies of the Barack Obama administration.
On NBC’s The Chris Matthews Show on April 18, Time columnist Joe Klein all but accused former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and Fox News’ Glenn Beck of sedition.
“I did a little bit of research just before this show—it’s on the napkin here. I looked up the definition of sedition which is conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of the state. And a lot of these statements, especially the ones coming from people like Glenn Beck and to a certain extent Sarah Palin, rub right up close to being seditious.”
According to Klein, the legal definition of sedition is “a revolt or an incitement to revolt against established authority.”
John Heilemann one-upped Klein, invoking the name of Rush Limbaugh as someone else who is seditious, because he calls the Obama administration the Obama regime.
So that’s where we are now in the political discourse?
Prior to and during the Revolutionary War, many of our Founding Fathers spoke and wrote privately and publicly about the tyranny of the British government. Today, we consider them heroes. To the British they were seditious.
In the 1960s blacks and some whites marched and held peaceful demonstrations—despite violent efforts to silence them—in order to secure equal rights for the black race. Today we consider them heroes. To many, they were seditious.
In the 1970s a group of radical students with communist ideologies bombed 25 sites in the United States—including the Pentagon—and murdered two New York police officers and Brinks truck driver in a botched robbery attempt. They were called The Weather Underground, and their manifesto said, “Our aim is to disrupt the empire… to incapacitate it, to put pressure on the cracks.”
Was that sedition?
One of the members of that group is William Ayers. He’s an Obama mentor and in all likelihood the ghost author of Obama’s Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance.
During the administration of George W. Bush, liberal activists protested Bush’s every move. A play was even written and performed which celebrated Bush’s assassination. Sedition? None of the liberal media thought so.
But speak out against the Marxist redistributionist policies of the Obama administration and call it a regime—as liberal pundits did to Bush during his administration—and you are somehow being seditious.
Thomas Jefferson once said, “I tolerate with the utmost latitude the right of others to differ from me in opinion without imputing to them criminality.”
Liberals apparently can’t do that. Of course the reason and wisdom of Jefferson and the rest of Founders is as foreign to today’s liberals as the reasoning behind Mao Zedong’s murderous policies is to conservatives.
Perhaps that’s why political discourse has taken such an ugly turn.