WSJ: “‘Shut Up’ Is No Argument. It reveals a lack of confidence in global-warmist dogma”
‘Shut Up’ Is No Argument
The illiberal left lacks confidence in its ideas.By JAMES TARANTO April 7,2014 THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
…So Democrats are stuck with ObamaCare. But as long as we have a two-party system, the debate will go on. What’s striking is that the quality of the pro-ObamaCare arguments is so abysmally poor. “Blah, blah, blah.” “Feel free to ridicule right-wingers.” “This thing is going to work.”
Does he have confidence in his views? Getty Images
Most of all: “The debate . . . is over.” A demand for silence is not a sign of intellectual self-confidence. And this is not the only subject on which the left is demanding that its opponents just shut up. For years we’ve been hearing that the debate about global warming–or “climate change” or whatever they’re calling it this week–is settled. Early in the 2000s some news organizations declared they would banish dissenting points of view from their pages. The debate goes on.
Last month Adam Weinstein wrote a piece for Gawker.com called “Arrest the Climate-Change Deniers.” “Man-made climate change kills a lot of people,” he claimed, offering no evidence. “It’s going to kill a lot more. We have laws on the books to punish anyone whose lies contribute to people’s deaths. It’s time to punish the climate-change liars.”
He stipulates that “I’m not talking about the man on the street,” who is a mere “idiot . . . too stupid to do anything other than choke the earth’s atmosphere a little more with his Mr. Pibb burps and his F-150’s gassy exhaust”:
I’m talking about Rush [Limbaugh] and his multi-million-dollar ilk in the disinformation business. I’m talking about Americans for Prosperity and the businesses and billionaires who back its obfuscatory propaganda. I’m talking about public persons and organizations and corporations for whom denying a fundamental scientific fact is profitable, who encourage the acceleration of an anti-environment course of unregulated consumption and production that, frankly, will screw my son and your children and whatever progeny they manage to have.
Those malcontents must be punished and stopped.
Deniers will, of course, fuss and stomp and beat their breasts and claim this is persecution, this is a violation of free speech.
In reality, it is none of those things, because it is not going to happen–at least not in America, with our vigorous First Amendment tradition. It’s a fantasy–but a revealing one. What it reveals is a lack of confidence in global-warmist dogma.
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