- - Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Last week, a national treasure spoke. That would be Charles Krauthammer, syndicated columnist, television commentator and all around public sage. He also is a chess player.

Mr. Krauthammer noted that two months ago a petition bearing the signatures of some 110,000 tyrants was sent to The Washington Post — from where did it come I would like to know — demanding that The Post discontinue publishing articles that deny global warming or — who knows — take even a skeptical view of global warming. Yet Mr. Krauthammer assures us that precisely a day later, his column containing the exact heresy ran in the newspaper. So, apparently The Washington Post, unlike The Los Angeles Times, will remain unintimidated by the global-warmist tyrants, at least for now.

Their attempted act of coercion against a free press, though, did occasion an extended discourse by Mr. Krauthammer on the American left’s many attempts to control and even end debate on various public issues in America. Of course, liberalism has for decades pretty much controlled debate in America.

Ever since Vice President Spiro Agnew spoke out against mainstream media bias 45 years ago, conservatives have made liberal bias a mainstay of their political complaints. The fact that liberals have been so unmoved by these complaints merely adds credibility to the conservatives’ complaint.

Actually, it is not only in media that this left-wing bias reigns. In the universities, the biases of the left reign almost unchallenged, and through the universities vast elements of our culture have a left-wing taint out of all proportion to the left’s political numbers. In the universities, government bureaucracies, the corporate world left-wing bias overwhelms.

As liberalism has been eclipsed in recent years by the more intolerant American left, the left’s control of debate has merely strengthened, to the point where the left now dares to dictate to newspapers what can be written and when a debate is to be concluded.

Yet, all is not lost. In fact, the left’s attempt to stifle debate is very gratifying to me. It indicates how powerful the opposition has become both in numbers and in influence. Conservatism is represented in newspapers — for instance, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Times — on Fox News, in talk radio, and in periodicals both at the national level and state and local levels. Then there is the Internet.

Maybe someday the tyrants will silence The Washington Post, but how will they silence the Internet?

Mr. Krauthammer cites numerous debates in which the left controls the terms of debate. He cites, of course, the environmental debate and global warming, in which the left chooses a term from the Holocaust and applies it to global-warming skeptics. I have in mind “deniers.”

Or in the legitimate debate over public-policy matters, the left drags in the invidious issues of feminism and race. Then the left labels anyone who opposes the left in these matters as “racists” or misogynists engaged in “waging a war on women” — all women. Of course, this use of language and, for that matter, the entire debate is a nonsense.

What political party in its right mind would want to wage war on better than half the electorate? What would it gain a political party to oppose black voters and, by the way, many of the conservatives’ leading lights are black. The left is increasingly out of touch with America.

Thus, its members go to extremes in their attempt to control debate. They send out petitions signed by arrant tyrants to muzzle debate. The very next day, a patriot strikes back. Go get ‘em, Mr. Krauthammer.

R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. is editor in chief of the American Spectator and the author of “The Death of Liberalism” (Thomas Nelson, 2012).

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