The Rest of the Story, editorial, by Pat J. Merriman: A new interpretation has entered the public debate and, I’m not real clear. “Moral equivalence” has been tossed around by the libs a lot these past two weeks. As I understand it, the term used to mean that two protagonists are to be judged and treated the same way. Example—two children scuffling on the playground are each punished by their teacher for fighting because of “moral equivalence.” They shouldn’t have been fighting regardless of their subjective motivation.
My problem with that concept has always been that the doctrine completely ignores the issue of right and wrong! If one of these kids was a bully and the other was acting in self-defense, it’s legally wrong to punish both equally. Bullying is evil (wrong) and, therefore, one should not punish the one acting in accordance with the law (in the right) with the same severity. Logic…not emotion. It has always been a clear principle in civil or criminal law called “mitigation”.
Now libs are morphing the term by only attacking the “damage” that conservative values have caused while completely ignoring their own harm to society. Case in point? Bemoaning the Christian crusades while ignoring Islam’s atrocities over the centuries. Likewise, the alt-left’s vilification of capitalism and free enterprise that’s the sole reason that America stands head and shoulders above the rest of the world when it comes to the liberties and comfort of modern man.
The current tempest in a teapot is the moral equivalency argument about the events in Charlottesville which is spawning a new alt-left mantra, “Hate speech is not free speech.” Uh, yes it is and, it’s constitutionally protected folks. Like it or not, that is the underpinning of our First Amendment. Unappealing viewpoints are protected just like political correctness.
One of the most ignored parts of that civil RIGHT is that uncomfortable, hateful speech is PROTECTED. We’ve had to watch it from the left since the Vietnam War in these modern times. It flows from a largely forgotten portion of constitutional interpretation called “freedom of association”. The concept that two conflicting, competing, liberal views of the world have to be reconciled in favor of the INDIVIDUAL’s rights protected from government interference.
Creating an inherent conflict in these two competing liberal viewpoints. First, a citizen’s “identity” comes from the choices they make and, the only role of government is to provide a framework, free of obstacles, to allow them to make those choices. Civil liberties (the pursuit of happiness) mandates an ever-changing interpretation of our constitution. Versus, the other, rigid, communist, leftist ideology that identity comes from the community and, therefore, the village dictates the rules.
As an American, your “right” to be a racist ideologue (although stupid and irrational) is constitutionally protected as long as you don’t act against those you ignorantly despise. Your rights end when they affect my rights. In return, I am free to despise you for these views, again, with the same caveat.
So, Charlottesville’s neo-Nazi ideology, white supremacist, misogyny is being decried as being worse than the communist left-wing “opposition’s” “hate speech” because the former are not morally equivalent to the latter. Therefore, it’s OK for the left to physically attack the right under the claim that the latter are “hate speakers” and forfeit their right to free speech. Unfortunately, that “beauty” is in the eye of the beholder when one considers the millions killed in the name of communism and socialism too.
So…logically…applying the moral equivalency label, shouldn’t both the alt-left AND right both be despised and punished the same? Or, am I just missing something here?