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Completing the Circle

Jump to 15:00 into this video to see what Dorothy Rabinowitz has to say about airport security.  This makes my flesh crawl.  The first sign that somebody either hasn’t thought out or doesn’t even believe their own argument is that they never finish making a point.

This is not a question I can answer, I can only say they always have come up with the notion;  hey, it doesn’t work anyway.  What we’re really dealing with is a kind of psychological outrage and that’s the thing we’ve been accustomed to, it’s an indulgence, and the fact that one can say “this is a violation of my rights,” what has this to do with the general danger that people face?  We are not a garrison state the way the Israelis are [we look worse than them now…] the way everyone puts up with, you know that sort of thing, and it is an extreme example of the kind of entitlement that American citizens have to say “hey don’t touch my–” what is that loathsome phrase “don’t touch my junk” that has now been elevated to a heroic moment? 

What is she talking about?  The reason people drone on like this without making a coherent statement is that they know on some level that their argument makes no sense and they don’t want to give you something solid to think about.  They just want to create a general impression in your mind by using words like “indulgence,” “entitlement,” “loathsome.”  But since she doesn’t really want to tell you what she thinks, I will tell you for her.  She thinks we are spoiled in our liberties.  The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures is an indulgence. 

She’s right about one thing.  We are spoiled.  But the way in which we are spoiled is in our expectation of absolute safety and security at all times.  We have lived in a world where we have been able to take both safety and liberty for granted.  We now believe that we will always have our liberty and we don’t need to worry about it so when something shakes our confidence in our safety, we are willing to do whatever it takes to feel safe again.  But life is dangerous.  There is nothing the government can do to keep you completely safe at all times.  And more importantly, liberty is an anomaly on the Earth.  There are all kinds of things the government can do to destroy your liberty and those who have it have the responsibility to defend it against the government at all times if they want to keep it. 

The worst part of this though, is that they are making another leap in their rhetoric here that I have not seen until now.  Progressives have been referring to entitlements as “rights” for decades.  Now they have completed the circle.  They are referring to actual rights as entitlements.  Obviously this is a necessary step if you are going to masquerade as a champion of people’s rights at the same time that you are stripping them away.  Pleas don’t fall for it.

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  1. morgan
    November 22, 2010 at 12:37 am

    “Progressives have been referring to entitlements as “rights” for decades. Now they have completed the circle. They are referring to actual rights as entitlements.”

    Yes – that is what they are doing. Thank you for this post.

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