One of my Ten Commandments of Political Warfare is “never accept the premise of your opponent’s argument.” For whichever side’s premise ends up being argued will eventually win the argument.
For two weeks now, the premise of the Bundy Ranch debate has been private property rights. That debate isn’t going well for the Left. Just ask MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. I believe he’s still picking the splinters out of his backside from the boot-stomping he received on his own show over the issue.
Since we clearly can’t have a citizenry empowered by the notion the federal government isn’t the all-powerful force in the universe, the notoriously liberal New York Times has a profile of Cliven Bundy that is making waves.
Just so you know where the story is coming from, it blames the dreaded Fox News for turning the Bundy Ranch showdown into a cause célèbre by giving Mr. Bundy his 15 minutes of fame. The paper the American Left depends on also wants you to know Mr. Bundy has 14 kids, so clearly he’s a weirdo. Worse yet, it says he’s a registered Republican.
Now that The New York Times has primed the pump, it then wants you to know that Mr. Bundy might be a racist. It reports the following:
Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do. And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children; they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”
In a development I’m sure shocks exactly no one that still believes in American exceptionalism, it turns out this might not be the full context of Mr. Bundy’s remarks.
Really? Next thing you know we are going to see emails showing CNN may have coordinated with Rahm Emanuel to improve his image, but perhaps I’m just too darned cynical. But for the sake of argument, let’s take The New York Times at its word here. Even if everything they wrote about Mr. Bundy is true, it doesn’t change a thing.
Apparently because Mr. Bundy might not be the most racially enlightened fellow, that means there’s no such thing as private property rights … or something.
This is the game the liberal media plays, and too often the guys on our side fall for it. The story also includes attempts to follow up with Sens. Rand Paul and Dean Heller, who publicly supported Mr. Bundy, to see if they still believe in private property rights now that Mr. Bundy might as well be Archie Bunker.
I’m not even going to address what Mr. Bundy allegedly said here, because that’s irrelevant. This is a clear attempt by the Left to change the subject. Instead of taking the bait, Texas Gov. Rick Perry got it right when he said Mr. Bundy’s comments are a sideshow. Mr. Perry said the real issue here is private property rights, and he’s right. Kudos to Mr. Perry for not accepting the premise of the Left’s (phony) argument.
The Left loves debates about personalities, because their arguments are emotion-based. So when debates are about personalities, they win. On the other hand, when debates are about issues, we win, because our arguments are based in logic.
If this debate is about what you think about Cliven Bundy, the Left will win the argument. Even if it hadn’t been these statements, chances are we’d find out somewhere else that Bundy isn’t a perfect saint because nobody is. That’s why we all need a Savior.
And you’ll forgive me if I’m hesitant to take morality lessons from the same liberal media that at this time last year was ignoring Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the baby butcher from Philadelphia who was convicted of murder.
Now that the liberal media has a New York Times profile to feed its herd mentality, they will attempt to change the story from the real issue here: private property rights and just how much power the federal government is permitted to have by the Constitution. They will only get away with it if the guys representing our side fuel their zeitgeist by responding to it. Suppose it turns out Mr. Bundy belonged to the KKK. Would that change one single word of the U.S. Constitution?
Besides, why should an American Left that for decades supported a former leader in the KKK named Robert Byrd care whether or not Mr. Bundy failed his sensitivity training? Never mind the fact birth control activist Margaret Sanger, the fairy godmother of the Left’s most sanctified civil sacrament, abortion, once described black people as “human weeds.” I mean, what’s a little racism among friends, right?
Besides, haven’t Leftists taught us we are not supposed to impose our definitions of morality on others?
Yes, liberal media are propagandist cheerleaders for statism. But they only get away with it when we let them, or have weak-kneed proxies speaking for us that bow the knee at their contrived altar of sanctimony.
Truth: Nobody that believes in private property rights cares what The New York Times or any of its wannabe media shills thinks. The only people still influenced by that “media” are its adherents. Oh, and unfortunately, Republicans in Washington, D.C.
Don’t fall for this. Keep the focus on private property rights and the Constitution. Never, ever, accept the premise of your opponent’s argument.
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.