There’s a curious debate going on within the circular world of the Missoulian’s opinion pages lately. It revolves (literally) around the intergalactic tenet that Hate Speech as practiced by such Confederate-General-wanna-be’s as Limbaugh and Beck over our public airwaves constitutes “freedom of speech”. One writer, a Mr. C. Ted Nyquest of Piltzville, went the extra mile in defense of Unbridled Capitalism, known to our forebearers as Slavery, and known to us today—thanks in large part to those very same millionaire Clear Channel shock jocks—as Tea Party Raving Nonsense (TVRN).
“In the capitalist free market,” Mr. Nyquest wrote, “…a product or service or the money therefrom is brought to the market and exchanged to mutual benefit. Both buyer and seller agree and benefit or the transaction doesn’t take place.”
My Response, published in small part by the Missoulian on Ma 22nd, follows:
Your attempt at old-fashioned phrasing in order to sound like an “expert” works to a point: you’ve channeled Jeff Davis in support of slavery. If you were aiming for sounding like a “Republican”, then Abe Lincoln you're not. Abe is probably flipping in his grave as internet-educated malcontents corrode the English language he so loved in defense of Limbaugh and Beck.
Defending shock jocks who use our public airwaves to shout “free market” and “state’s rights” with Constitutions in their pockets and flags in both hands is not a credible defense of capitalism. Rather it’s an admission that you don’t understand American history. The Constitution, after all, was created after the Articles of Confederation (state’s rights on steroids) didn’t work, and a need for a stronger federal presence (and by definition recognized public commons such as our public airwaves) was determined necessary for the nation’s survival.
Abe almost single-handedly invented the meaning of "republicanism" over 160 years ago. It was a new political force meant to appeal to immigrants and people who didn’t believe that just because a "product or service" is "brought to the market" and "exchanged for mutual benefit" that makes it somehow sanctified as "capitalism" and therefore should be considered sacred. They fought a war over it, and your side lost.
Willful misrepresentation of facts for the sake of the rich has a long pedigree in America for millionaires like Limbaugh and Beck. For the rest of us—including immigrants, women and everyone in danger of being enslaved by our modern corporate monarchies—we’d do better following a different American path. In response to Jeff Davis’ constitutional misrepresentations, the real Lincoln, using good-old-fashioned English, replied, “Let us be diverted by none of those sophisticated contrivances wherewith we are so industriously plied and belabored.”
Bill LaCroix Victor, MT