Editorial | Assassinating the First Amendment

| September 19, 2014

20110911_203_05juliuscaesar1953Gary M. Wisenbaker, Valdosta Today Editorial Director:

Among William Shakespeare’s most memorable works is his historical tragedy “Julius Caesar”, a staple (or at least it was at one time) of most high school English lit curriculums. And one of the most memorable lines is given by Mark Antony when he eulogizes his former friend Caesar as his body, riddled by the assassins’ knives, lies at Antony’s feet.

“I come to bury Caesar, not to praise him,” Antony says. The line is an early example of literary irony.

Antony had joined others to assassinate a man whom they deemed a threat to the Roman republic. The irony is that his entire eulogy is an exercise in praising Caesar while professing to do just the opposite.

One would have thought that Dr. Ben Carson’s recent speech at Valdosta State University was a guise to overthrow our own republic.

His critics view him, or at least his ideas, as an affront to our national conscience (as they see them). He stands accused of being “vitriolic” and an “extremist”. He thinks America is another Nazi Germany, they say, and defends the indefensible actions of Ray Rice, the disgraced Ravens player. Worse, he posts a column on the World Net Daily (WND) website, a “hate group” according to the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).

Bring out the knives.

The fact is that there is little to no evidence to indict let alone convict Dr. Carson of any of these contrived charges.

Dr. Carson is no seasoned politico. He has a habit of characterizing issues within a real world, medical profession paradigm. His message is one of self reliance and a government limited in size, scope, taxing and spending.

The Third Reich comment came in the context of the IRS scandal. He likened the present administration’s use of a governmental agency (the IRS) to silence its opposition to the same tactic used by Adolf and his henchmen. Truth-o-Meter: true.

Rather than defend Rice, he had the temerity to suggest that, in addition to whatever else may happen to Rice, he obviously needed help to address the use of (or acceptance of) violence in his relationships. As to the charge of defending Rice? False.

Then there’s Dr. Carson’s posting a column on a website that the SPLI has characterized as a “hate group’. WND is a hate group along with Focus on the Family, the Family Research Council and Concerned Women for America, according to SPLC.

According to SPLC, a “hate group” can be one that believes children are better off when raised by a mom and dad. A group can also get the designation if they believe that pastors have a right to preach in favor of the traditional man/woman definition of marriage.

Looks like Dr. Carson and World Net Daily are in pretty good company.

Clearly Dr. Carson’s detractors’ attempt to link his message and positions with being vitriolic and extremist is a non-sequitur. It doesn’t hold water.

The issue, however, is bigger than Dr. Carson and his beliefs.

The fact is this: when confronted with the fact that its own policies have brought so much failure, the Left resorts to ad hominem attacks such as inflicted on Dr. Carson. “It’s all they got”, some say.

Take, for example, Maxine Waters’ (D-CA) comment regarding the Tea Party: “And as far as I’m concerned, the Tea Party can go straight to hell.” Or Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) saying that the only reason the GOP opposes Obama’s policies is that the president “is black”. Or Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL): “Scott Walker has given women the back of his hand…What Republican tea party extremists …are doing is grabbing us by the hair and pulling us
back… .”

Vitriolic? Extremist? You bet. And tolerated by the Left, by their own leadership nonetheless.

Like situational ethics, the Left prefers to define opposing viewpoints with their own (situational) definition of “vitriolic” and “extremist”. This undermines a pillar of the First Amendment: honesty in public discourse. And unchecked, such dishonesty might one day result in a eulogy over what’s left of this precious, and uniquely American, right.

Which brings to mind another memorable line from Julius Caesar: “Et tu, Brute?”

GARY WISENBAKERGary Wisenbaker, B.A., J.D. is a native of South Georgia where he practiced law in Valdosta and Savannah for 31 years. He has served as state Chairman of the Georgia Young Republicans and Chairman of the Chatham County (Savannah) Republican Party. Gary is a past GOP nominee for State Senate, past delegate to the Republican National Convention and has chaired or co-chaired numerous Republican campaigns for President, US Senate on the county and district level as well as local campaigns. Gary hosts his own blog at www.garywisenbaker.com

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Filed in: Editorials, Opinion

8 Comments on "Editorial | Assassinating the First Amendment"

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  1. Don Volz says:

    Amen, Mr. Wisenbaker, Amen. The left is known for demonizing those who oppose its ideology.

  2. Janice says:

    Bravo Mr.Wisenbaker!
    Thank you so much for your straight-forward defense of a very extraordinary man, and for your no nonsense assessment of Liberal tactics of character assassination. Your Truth-O-Meter was working well! I’m gonna have to pick up one of those…

    Best regards Sir,
    Jan Thompsen

  3. Andrew Boydston (Boise, ID USA) says:

    His Knife cuts on the American psychic, and causes its patient clientele a squirming, screaming, and stiffening reaction, as a surgeon touches deep into the American wound. A Shouting down the “truth to power movement” emerges as Dr Carson probes deep with his words, and when he touches deep into progressives new formed political nerves. These nerves have never been challenged before, as the good surgeon sends his probe deeper. The Likes of Maxine Waters or Harry Reid try making profound grunts of opposition. Dr. Carson then zings with another laser accurate cut. The gallery applauds as he attempts to remove its benign tumor plaguing this country. One in the gallery comments, “Did you see that, he removing the Obamacare tumor the seize of a basket-ball”. Those in the gallery nod knowingly. Dr. Carson is a Metaphor for what this country is in need of, but the patient is trying to advise the surgeon to stop, it hurts too much. Dr. Carson sends another laser-like zinger on the wound. He then says, “I’m not sure yet that I wan’t to apply for Americas personal care physician.the patient is willing itself to die”

  4. Tim Shoup says:

    Thank you for letting Carson’s critic’s lit fuse burn out with no bang. You placed squarely in context the Hitler and Rice matters, and uncovered the “hate group” credentials. Thank you for taking the time.

  5. Don Volz says:

    Amen, Mr. Wisenbaker, Amen!

  6. Tim brown says:

    i’d expect a lawyer of 31 years to understand that the other editorial wasnt talking about free speech. vsu or any business or any organization can decide who speaks and who doesn’t on THEIR property…its THEIR right. don’t be so over dramatic. if a tv station tells ben carson they don’t want em on the show are they violating his Right to Free Speech?…no…they’re a private company deciding not to let him on. but i think its obvious what your doing. youre trying to spin the crazy things ben carson says and deflect the actual argument of whether we should pay attention to such crazy things. because we all know that ben carson ‘is an honorable man’ to quote shakespeare and so anyone speaking about a bigger sense of responsibility that our political leaders should have is not responsible but infringing on someone elses free speech Rights. Oh and since there are liberals who also say crazy things…carson can keep up his act of firebreathing hate. that makes it ok. come on. well those liberals you mentioned didnt bring their hateful message to valdosta like carson. thats the difference mr lawyer.

  7. shanise says:

    i thought it was the Southern Poverty Law Center “SPLC” not institute….at least take the time to look up the org youre trying to discredit…