Threats of violence

Posted by Marc Hodak on March 25, 2010 under Collectivist instinct | Be the First to Comment

Congressmen are reacting to vandalism and threats following passage of the landmark health care bill:

“I don’t want this to be a distraction” to the work of Congress, Ms. Pelosi said. But she also asserted that such violence and threats of reprisal have “no place in a civil debate in our country” and must be rejected.

She is certainly correct that civil debate cannot co-exist with threats of violence.  But one can’t help but see the irony of Ms. Pelosi and many other Democrats (and a few Republicans, I might add) not equating the imposition of laws as a threat of violence.  Harry Reid, for instance, is totally clueless on that distinction.

From now on, if I wish to simply live my life without buying government-approved, high-priced health insurance, the government will fine me.  Behind that policy is the government’s implicit threat to send people with guns to my home to force me to pay or, if I refuse to pay, to imprison me.  These threats stand behind every single law.

Progressives think that anyone who believes such a thing must be some sort of anarchist.  Or, if they acknowledge that laws imply state power, they excuse it on the grounds that as long as the laws are democratically approved, their enforcement doesn’t really count as violence.  They falsely interpret anyone labeling state power as violence as being “anti-government,” as if we can’t distinguish laws needed to maintain social order versus laws designed to impose social engineering.

None of this excuses threats against congressmen.  But the reaction of Ms. Pelosi and company does reflect a certain blindness to the possibility that they started it.

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