Monday, January 10, 2011

The Scarecrow of “Violent Language”

On the heels of excising the “hurtful” language from Mark Twain’s novels, come the calls for mellowing the “caustic language” of anyone criticizing big government or its recent depredations against the country and its citizenry. The occasion is the attempted murder (the charge of “attempted assassination” is arguable; the victim was not a head of state) of Gabrielle Giffords, Democratic U.S. representative from Arizona, on January 8th during a political event outside a Safeway store in Tucson.

There is a drive on now to blame the Tea Party, “right-wingers,” and any frank discussion of Obama and/or liberal politics for the shooting. The liberal/left is scrambling to cast a pall of “responsibility” on the authors of any “toxic rhetoric” alleged to have “encouraged” the shooter Jared Loughner to act out his fantasies and to “take action” against a perceived enemy. The abrupt shift of focus from Jared Loughner the mad man to the necessity of “civil” discourse could only be orchestrated by the left.

Philosophy 101: All of the blather has its roots in determinism. If one is constantly exposed to violence (or to “violent” words), one will be somehow programmed to commit violence, if not now, then at some time in the future. This idea views all men as ticking time-bombs who must be disarmed, even if it means removing their tongues. Ideally, they say, society should be an environment of fields of daisies and solar panels and unconditional tolerance for all, even for the insane. If one is constantly exposed to pacific rhetoric, one will always be disposed to peaceful demonstrations of agreement or opposition.

Determinism, of course, denies men their capacity for thought and volition. Whatever his mental state, whatever mental parallel universe his mind lived in, Loughner chose to do what he did. In reality.

It is almost laughable, watching the MSM, E.J. Dionne on the Washington Post, Paul Krugman in The New York Times, and others try to "pin the rap" on the Tea Party, conservatives, and anyone else deemed guilty by them of "hate speech" and "ugly rhetoric." It is so predictable. And, of course, on Sarah Palin (no, I am not a fan of hers). They are all "responsible" for the shooting. Poor Jared Loughner was just an unfortunate, receptive "pawn" of talk radio and indiscriminate "blogging." It is an “evil” environment that Loughner grew up in, so he cannot really be blamed for his actions. Only society. Or, rather, the “right” side of it. Up come the scarecrows of “violent” or “hateful” language.

Of course, The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is shedding crocodile tears over the event, when it has approved of far greater massacres in the name of Allah and has nothing to say about Hamas’s goal of eliminating Israel, which would mean something greater than a shooting outside a grocery store. It is much like Al Capone or his lieutenant Frank Nitti sending flowers to the funeral of a rival gangster he has had rubbed out, complete with a nicely-worded card of consolation for the gangster’s surviving family.
In a statement, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad said: "We offer sincere condolences to the friends, colleagues and family members of all those killed or injured in this brutal and senseless attack. We must come together as a nation to mourn the dead, pray for the speedy recovery of the injured and reject the extreme partisanship and inflammatory political rhetoric that can contribute to such tragedies."

We are not implying here that Giffords was a gangster. But, “inflammatory political rhetoric”? What was Loughner’s “rhetoric,” other than the diffuse, wildly careening statements of a deranged person that had no politically identifiable foundation, other than some inchoate conspiracy theory about government control of grammar and brainwashing, with a bias to the left? Conspiracy theories are a dime a dozen, with equal proportions shared by left and right. One truly could not fix one’s “crosshairs” on what Loughner thought; the “target” keeps jumping around in and out of sight. Literally.

Michigan CAIR booster Dawud Walid wept copiously on his Weblog about the shooting, then played the Muslim victim card almost immediately.
Now imagine if Loughner’s last name was Muhammad, or if Loughner was a convert to Islam. Elected officials such as Rep. Peter King (R-NY) would be using yesterday’s attack as further proof that American Muslims need to be watched closer and that we aren’t doing enough to stop such attacks. And no doubt, media would be discussing now the looming danger of homegrown terrorism.

Just imagine it! Victimhood at last! Well, Mr. Walid, that was not what happened. But if there was ever a candidate for conversion to Islam, Loughner’s application was exemplary and complete. He was growing more and more disconnected from reality and in need of a realm that would save him the effort of rational thought: Islam. Either that, or writing his ticket to a maximum security mental institution.
I’d like for there to be more discussion in the media about the growing intolerance in America and the passive radicalization of America via the Tea Party Movement and their champion Sarah Palin regarding the caustic language environment that we live in which opens up the door to such attacks.

And if the “discussion” leads to the subject of Islamic violence around the globe, a violence sanctioned by vitriolic rhetoric by Islam’s spokesmen, what will he have to say? No rebuttal is possible. If the “dialogue,” “discourse,” or “debate” does not go his way, and he loses the engagement, then what?

His wishes are being fulfilled. Islamists focus on “caustic language,” namely any language that exposes Islam as a political/theocratic ideology bent on conquest and the establishment of universal Sharia law. The MSM and the liberal establishment are focusing on such language, as well.

The Washington Post published a rather insipid analysis of Loughner’s “ deteriorating mental state,” and several readers took the bait to basically blame the First Amendment and Sarah Palin for Loughner’s action. More interesting were those reader comments, which fell in line with the charge. Here, without correction of grammar or syntax, are some reader comments on The Washington Post article:
“The nutcase was an avid Sara Palin fan. I hold Sara Palin and her rhetoric responsible for this mess.”

“People get killed and the gun nuts seem to rejoice in their peculiar interpretation of the 2nd amendment (which always seems to omit that "well-regulated militia" part). Very sad, predictable and unfortunately all too common in US culture.”

“The Palinisation of America is a sad thing to watch.”

“Yesterday, this forum was filled with the very hatred that Congressman are saying caused the problem... as my congressman said it was rhetoric from the right that spurs such violence. The sheriff did his part by blaming political rhetoric as the cause. So all the name calling by people who are, I guess, still upset over the outcome of the elections. This was a crazed lunatic and the system let him go. A result of p. c. . Innocent until he does something. Now we know more, and the sheriff should look at his comments and learn.”

“Am I to believe that a mentally unstable young man watching newscasts of Tea Party attendees carrying guns to public meetings was not influenced by theses images? Isn't that what he did? Listen to the anger of Tea Party defenders. Have these folks learned anything from this violent event?”

These comments echo Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik’s out-of-turn political remark about everyone being culpable for Loughner’s mental state and the shooting, a remark which set the tone for what was to follow, a kneejerk smearing of anyone speaking his mind about the political state and direction of the country. Dupnik excoriated “the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business,” and claimed that Arizona was becoming a “mecca for prejudice and bigotry.” (That will not sit well with CAIR or any other Islamic spokesman; it is tantamount to associating the Lourdes shrine with orgies, drug-dealing, and witchcraft.)

Dupnik later explained his remarks, saying they were made in “anger.” So, who is guilty of making “vitriolic” statements? His explanation comes too late. His words framed the “debate,” and words have consequences.

E.J. Dionne, Jr., the Post’s pundit-in-chief, in a column, “Gabby Giffords, a tragic prophet,” also did his part to paint the Loughner shooting in the darkest conservative and Tea Party colors. After extensively quoting Gifford on the political “language” that has characterized positions over the last two years, he goes on to point out:
… It is not partisan to observe that there are cycles to violent rhetoric in our politics. In the late 1960s, violent talk (and sometimes violence itself) was more common on the far left. But since President Obama's election, it is incontestable that significant parts of the American far right have adopted a language of revolutionary violence in the name of overthrowing "tyranny."

It is Obama's opponents who carried guns to his speeches and cited Jefferson's line that the tree of liberty "must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." It was Sharron Angle, the Republican candidate against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Nevada, who spoke of “Second Amendment Remedies” And, yes, it was Palin who put those gun sights over the districts of the Democrats she was trying to defeat, including Giffords.

One imagines that Dionne’s notion of perfect political discourse is for a president to endorse and sign socialist legislation and for citizens to just calmly say, “Gee, that’s all wrong, it’s violating my rights and this will bankrupt me, but we’ll just go quietly and not make a fuss about it. Pardon us for interrupting.” When a country is being “transformed” into a penal colony of servitude, are not its citizens permitted to express outrage and angry “rhetoric”? If they did not, they would deserve the incarceration.

Dionne concludes:
Liberals were rightly pressed in the 1960s to condemn violence on the left. Now, conservative leaders must take on their fringe when it uses language that intimates threats of bloodshed. That means more than just highly general statements praising civility.

Translation: Anyone who cites the Constitution, quotes any one of the Founders about the proper role of government, or speaks passionately about the growing loss of freedom – even the freedom to speak one’s mind – must be told to hush, or say it nicely, so as not to frighten anyone.

In short, this is an endorsement of censorship. No, wait. That is too violent an accusation. It might get freedom-of-speechers and First Amendment cultists “fired up” and we cannot predict what they will do, especially if they are also Second Amendment pistol-packers. Let us settle for the softer, more civil appellation of public speech management.

The New York Times dwelt on Loughner’s “disjointed” statements (but, what is so enjoined about politicians when they profess a knowledge of economics and then saddle a country with trillion dollar debts?)
He had posted on his MySpace page at some point a photograph of a United States history textbook, on top of which he had placed a handgun. He prepared a series of Internet videos filled with rambling statements on topics including the gold standard, mind control and SWAT teams. And he had started to act oddly during his classes at Pima Community College, causing unease among other students.

The evidence and reports about Mr. Loughner’s unusual conduct suggest an increasing alienation from society, confusion, anger as well as foreboding that his life could soon come to an end.

Alienation? That one-size-fits-all excuse for becoming a homicidal maniac? Did the shooter alienate himself, or did “society” alienate him? One supposes that if Loughner were raised in an idyllic hugs-all-around-for-everyone society, he would have matured to discover the secret of gravity and patented the formula for a new kind of ambrosia.

Beating the Times is the paper’s own prize ignoramus and alleged economist (caustic language intended), Paul Krugman. In his opinion piece, “Climate of Hate,” he acts as a bellows to raise the heat against freedom of speech. Not satisfied with “caustic language” or “hate speech,” he invents his own term: “eliminationist rhetoric.”
The point is that there’s room in a democracy for people who ridicule and denounce those who disagree with them; there isn’t any place for eliminationist rhetoric, for suggestions that those on the other side of a debate must be removed from that debate by whatever means necessary.

And it’s the saturation of our political discourse — and especially our airwaves — with eliminationist rhetoric that lies behind the rising tide of violence.

Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right. It’s hard to imagine a Democratic member of Congress urging constituents to be “armed and dangerous” without being ostracized; but Representative Michele Bachmann, who did just that, is a rising star in the G.O.P.

Since long before Barack Obama was elected president, no Republican, no member of the Tea Party, no conservative, no libertarian, no Objectivist, no prominent “anti-government” activist has ever advocated assassination or even an armed rebellion against the federal government. The best of these individuals has simply reminded the administration and Congress of the proper role of government in as forceful language as possible – note that the term is forceful language, not forceful action. The focus has been on eliminating statist laws, not their authors. The day may come when action is justified, but that can happen only if the government moves to fit Americans with a velvet gag. When one is denied by force the power of words, the only alternative left to men to regain their freedom will be the power of force.

Krugman has already reached a conclusion about what ought to be done.
So will the Arizona massacre make our discourse less toxic? It’s really up to G.O.P. leaders. Will they accept the reality of what’s happening to America, and take a stand against eliminationist rhetoric? Or will they try to dismiss the massacre as the mere act of a deranged individual, and go on as before?

Yes, the massacre was the “mere act of a deranged individual” – the facts of reality are on the side of objective observers – and there is no reason to not “go on as before,” possibly with the repeal of ObamaCare and other legislation favored by Krugman and his statist ilk across the country. While Krugman and his cohorts do not deny that Loughner was “deranged,” they not so subtly imply that anyone who values his freedom and speaks without fear about his value of it is also “deranged” and a menace to society.

The government, the liberal/left in politics, and the intellectual establishment, are collectively guilty of their own “toxic rhetoric” – with the approving rhetoric of censorship.

23 comments:

Michael said...

here is the response of one liberal to the claim that the left also participated in the climate of hate:

These are one-shot statements from individuals, most of whom no one has ever heard of. How many people do you think heard those statements? Contrast that with Right Wing Hate Radio, with an audience in the tens of millions. There simply is no analog on the Left. You're acting like there is some kind of "they all do it" symmetry between the Left and the Right, and it just doesn't exist. You can always find something intemperate that one person says one time. What you can't find from the left is the demonization of half the country like we hear EVERY F'ING DAY from the Right. Just today I heard Limbaugh calling Democrats "conspirators" who were wrecking the future of his listeners children and grandchildren. His whole act is about demonization of Democrats. Not Left Wing Extremists, just plain old average Democrats. That's the problem.

trencherbone said...

Islam CAN be destroyed!

theainet1@optonline.net said...

When people at Tea Party rallies held signs that read "Kill the Bill," Frank Rich, the New York Times columnists, wrote that his constituted "homocidal rhetoric." Talk about "inflamatory" speech. It's a sign of the intellectual bankruptcy and desperation on the Left.

Anonymous said...

You write, “The day may come when action is justified, but that can happen only if the government moves to fit Americans with a velvet gag. When one is denied by force the power of words, the only alternative left to men to regain their freedom will be the power of force.”

I’ve heard this assertion before: viz., that physical rebellion against an oppressive government only becomes justifiable when free speech is denied. But I think the principle makes no sense. It amounts to saying that physical resistance to oppression can’t be justified so long as you’re free to write letters to the editor: so when the jackboots show up at your door to escort you away because you’ve not complied with their new health insurance laws (by refusing to pay the requisite fine for not insuring yourself), so long as the government allows you to protest their policies in speech or writing, why, you’re plumb out of luck, have no moral right to resist, and must peacefully submit. Really? I can’t see the sense of it. And I don’t, therefore, see that “action is justified … ONLY if the government moves to fit Americans with a velvet gag.” Perhaps I’m missing some crucial point, here….? Isn’t “action” instead justified when the government resorts to the initiation of physical force against its own citizenry—regardless of whether those on the receiving end are left free to protest, and to read or write whatever they wish? I would say that it is. (But I hasten to add that this comment should not be construed as a defense of the Arizona crackpot.)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: Don't be angry with me. I don't write letters to the editor, but columns the government would take exception to. It's more likely I would be smothered to death in a culture I could no longer live in anyway, because too many Americans don't know about or don't care about the incremental statist regime that has crept up around us for the last half century or more. I can only do what I can do until I'm stopped. How I'm stopped could take any number of forms, not necessarily uniformed thugs crashing through my door or zapping my computer or smashing my hands so I could no longer write.

Anonymous said...

Who’s angry with you? I’m not angry; I’m baffled. Baffled at the notion that “action [by which we mean, I trust, the use of retaliatory physical force] is justified … ONLY if the government moves to fit Americans with a velvet gag” (my caps, of course). Plumb baffled, is all.

Slade Calhoun said...

Anonymous I, above: You can take any action you like whenever you like. But there are consequences. You could be put in a bad place where little action of any kind is allowed. You may get your chance soon enough. The "debate" is becoming ludicrous. Try to keep your head by visiting the little islands of sanity such as this blog. That's what I do, and I have yet to burn anything down or kill anyone.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: The American colonials had to define and recognize their own moment to "take action" against the Crown. We will have our own, sooner or later, if trends are not arrested or reversed. I do not pretend to know yet what that moment will be.

Ed

Anonymous said...

Slade: For what I intend as my final comment in this “debate” (and I wasn’t aware that it had become one!), I will merely re-state my original point: The principle that the use of physical force against an oppressive government is morally justifiable ONLY when censorship is imposed, seems to be indefensible. I’m not advocating the use of force in all circumstances: I’m arguing only that one is morally entitled to employ it, if and when one is on the receiving end of its initiation--including when the initiator proves to be one’s own government. The point seems to be unarguable (which is why I’m not arguing—or “debating”--it!). I am utterly baffled, though, that any intelligent person could subscribe to the principle of “force-only-in-the-face-of-censorship”; perhaps it’s the timidity inherent in this position that has helped to empower our own government to become the statist enterprise it has…. Now THERE’s a debatable point!

Slade Calhoun said...

I used "debate" in the national sense. Gotta go...

Teresa said...

Another superb post, Ed, but "public speech management"? Have you inadvertently given the left another euphemism?

Teresa

Anonymous said...

Teresa: It will be either "public speech management" or some other euphemism, probably one less exact and more vague. The left is free to use it, if they dare.

Ed

Joe Wright said...

Not mentioned in Cline's article was that AZ Democratic candidate Harry Mitchel ran a campaign ad featuring his opponent JD Hayworth in the crosshairs of a rifle.

Few if any commentators on TV have mentioned this, notably not sportscaster Keith Olbermann in any of his Left Lurching tirades.

Anonymous said...

Ed: You referred to the American colonists (in a reply above), which got me to wondering: did the British Crown impose some form of censorship on the colonies? I know that they, the colonists, had a vigorous group of pamphleteers and of course a sizeable number of more “formal” essayists and theorists: but how much persecution were they all subject to, and were they running afoul of official law (or “decree”), in their writing and publishing? Thanks for a response, if you choose….

Randy said...

Seems to me, that there is a system of checks and balances in place in which one may air one's grievances against the government and see a peaceful resolution to their grievance. When one is prevented from airing their grievances via censorship, force is likely necessary. When the system of checks and balances fails to resolve the grievances peacefully, force is also likely necessary. Currently we are on the verge (arguably over it) of the latter and fast approaching the former.

revereridesagain said...

Joe, I wonder how many examples we could find of the Left using "inflammatory rhetoric", "vitriolic speech", hate, anger and the like. Pam over at AtlasShrugs has a great photomontage up of all the foaming-at-the-mouth "BushHitler" rally posters, just for starters.

Keep working to separate these statists from their sources of power. There is still hope that we can do that peacefully. As Ed put it, the colonials had their own moment when they had to commit to taking action. It came on April 19, 1775. Follow the progress of that day and see that moment come on North Bridge in Concord (not in Lexington, we lost that skirmish) as two colonials are killed by British fire -- then an officer shouts, "Fire, fellow soliders!", the regrouping colonials turn and let loose a volley at the British. The whole world pivots in that instant, and from that point the rout of British rule begins and the colonists never look back.

There may come a moment like that one, or we may turn things around before it gets to that. Concede nothing to them, don't give an inch, don't let up, just keep pushing.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: As Revereridesagain relates after you, the "defining" moment for the American colonials was on Lexington Green and Concord, when the British were marching to seize arms and powder, and not any kind of censorship imposed by the Crown. But if the Crown had succeeded in cowing the Americans and imposed their controls, it was a sure bet that anyone writing "seditious" or "treasonous" material would have been hauled in and prosecuted. "Gun control" by the Crown would have certainly been followed by "public speech management" and the noose for anyone who did not “manage” his speech.

Coincidently, I devote several chapters in Sparrowhawk, Book Two, to the trial of freethinkers in London for “blasphemous” libel against the King and Parliament. They formed a private discussion club that Is betrayed by one of their members (they mocked his anonymously-written, but badly written book of verse), they are arrested on a “general warrant” (which did not specify the charges against them), their private club minutes are seized by Attorney General, and they are tried at the King’s Bench (a kind of supreme court), and their statements in the minutes are treated as self-incriminating and linked to posters and broadsides concocted by one of the nobility. The “Pippins” (the name of the club) had nothing to do with the posters and broadsides, yet they were charged with inciting violence against the Crown and the King himself.

The trial is more or less rigged; a petit grand jury finds the Pippins guilty, per the instructions of a judge who had been promised elevation to the House of Lords if he handled the matter to the satisfaction of the Crown.

Ed

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: As Revereridesagain relates after you, the "defining" moment for the American colonials was on Lexington Green and Concord, when the British were marching to seize arms and powder, and not any kind of censorship imposed by the Crown. But if the Crown had succeeded in cowing the Americans and imposed their controls, it was a sure bet that anyone writing "seditious" or "treasonous" material would have been hauled in and prosecuted. "Gun control" by the Crown would have certainly been followed by "public speech management" and the noose for anyone who did not “manage” his speech.

Coincidently, I devote several chapters in Sparrowhawk, Book Two, to the trial of freethinkers in London for “blasphemous” libel against the King and Parliament. They formed a private discussion club that Is betrayed by one of their members (they mocked his anonymously-written, but badly written book of verse), they are arrested on a “general warrant” (which did not specify the charges against them), their private club minutes are seized by the Attorney General, and they are tried at the King’s Bench (a kind of supreme court), and their statements in the minutes are treated as self-incriminating and linked to posters and broadsides concocted by one of the nobility. The “Pippins” (the name of the club) had nothing to do with the posters and broadsides, yet they were charged with inciting violence against the Crown and the King himself.

The trial is more or less rigged; a petit grand jury finds the Pippins guilty, per the instructions of a judge who had been promised elevation to the House of Lords if he handled the matter to the satisfaction of the Crown.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: As Revereridesagain relates after you, the "defining" moment for the American colonials was on Lexington Green and Concord, when the British were marching to seize arms and powder, and not any kind of censorship imposed by the Crown. But if the Crown had succeeded in cowing the Americans and imposed their controls, it was a sure bet that anyone writing "seditious" or "treasonous" material would have been hauled in and prosecuted. "Gun control" by the Crown would have certainly been followed by "public speech management" and the noose for anyone who did not “manage” his speech. Of course, at the time, it was dangerous to distribute "anti-Crown" pamphlets and the like.

Coincidently, I devote several chapters in Sparrowhawk, Book Two, to the trial of freethinkers in London for “blasphemous” libel against the King and Parliament. They formed a private discussion club that Is betrayed by one of their members (they mocked his anonymously-written, but badly written book of verse), they are arrested on a “general warrant” (which did not specify the charges against them), their private club minutes are seized by the Attorney General, and they are tried at the King’s Bench (a kind of supreme court), and their statements in the minutes are treated as self-incriminating and linked to posters and broadsides concocted by one of the nobility. The “Pippins” (the name of the club) had nothing to do with the posters and broadsides, yet they were charged with inciting violence against the Crown and the King himself.

The trial is more or less rigged; a petit grand jury finds the Pippins guilty, per the instructions of a judge who had been promised elevation to the House of Lords if he handled the matter to the satisfaction of the Crown.

revereridesagain said...

OK, I contend it was North Bridge, not Lexington Green (though the difference may have hinged on Captain Jon Parker, his voice hampered by tuberculosis, not being able to make his calls to return fire heard over the melee), but actually it was the whole morning once the colonials understood that the British were out to a) arrest Adams and Hancock, and b) commit "gun control" by seizing and destroying the munitions hidden in Concord. Unfortuately for them, the minutemen were more than sufficiently armed for the job.

Btw, anybody who has never been able to get up here to Massachusetts for the April 18-19 re-enactments, do try to make the trip at some point. It's a thrilling experience. (Ed, did you know there is a "Romney Marsh" here on the North Shore of Massachusetts?)

The Demolibs are already running the censorship flag up the pole in increasingly less veiled terms. Reps Slaughter (NY) and Sherman (California) are calling for "a change in the nation's political dialogue - by will or by law." Sherman is demonizing Palin and Angle, claiming that remarks such as theirs WILL lead to violence. Brady (PA) wants to "ban certain imagery". Some fulminating moron named Schrader (OR) is trying to hold Palin and Angle "personally responsible" for the shooting.

The only speech the law has the right to limit is direct exhortation to violence. Neither Palin nor Angle has done any such thing. This may be a cat and mouse game, with the libtards threatening censorship in the hopes of getting a "violent" response. The question is how much chance to have have of actually advancing censorship between now and when we throw them out on their butts in 2012?

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Ed & revereridesagain. You know your history much better than I know mine; it's a deficit I've always wanted to redress, but still haven't found time (and ambition) for.... So I gather that there was no formal censorship in place preceding the Revolution, but it was certainly on the near-term agenda. Interesting. I'm suprised the Brits didn't impose it early-on; by failing to, they surely hastened their defeat. But the main point I take from this is that the colonists didn't "wait for" censorship: they took action against their oppressors before that weight came to bear. I find that interesting.

Anyway, thanks for your enlightening comments. (And incidentally, your clause, revereridesagain--"The whole world pivots in that instant"--is ... --chilling.)

Anonymous said...

Anonymous: Ironically, many of the anti-Crown pamphlets and books were actually printed in Britain and imported to the colonies. And many of the dozens of British newspapers were divided on the "colonial question," some arguing for more strenuous controls on the colonies, others demanding that the Crown respect the "rights of Englishmen" under the Constitution, even if it meant loss of the colonies.

Anonymous said...

"Ironically, many of the anti-Crown pamphlets and books were actually printed in Britain and imported to the colonies." Wow, THAT's interesting. But then, it might be supposed that the printers, being local subjects, were hep to the manifold reasons for holding the Crown in contempt; so perhaps the origin of the materials was not quite so ironic as all that....