The Left’s Police State Hysteria:

The Left’s Police State Hysteria: This article from the Independent is typical of the left’s paranoia and extreme sensitivity to criticism…

“Nine months after the attacks of 11 September, leading American political cartoonists say they are under intense pressure to conform to a patriotic stereotype and not criticize the actions of Mr Bush and his “war on terror”.

They’re also probably under intense pressure not to come out in favor of cocaine use, pedophilia, and incest. What about it?

“There is immense pressure [from] readers and advertisers to toe the patriotic line as they define it,” said Steve Benson, widely considered one of America’s leading political cartoonists..”

Again, so what? Why should readers support a newspaper that they believe insults their country?

But it soon became apparent that the emerging patriotism was developing a political agenda, with anyone who merely questioned the government or its agenda being deemed unpatriotic…

I’d have to say that’s a surprise to me. I’ve been ripping Bush’s foreign policy, especially as it pertains to Israel, for more than a month now. My editorial that’s going up tomorrow is a savage, no-holds-barred slamfest that rips on Congress for not being serious enough about invading Iraq. Some people have agreed with my criticism and some people haven’t, but I’ve yet to hear anyone question my patriotism for it.

“Clay Bennett, a Pulitzer winner, said cartoonists had a duty of responsibility. He felt extremely strongly about the way the government’s terror crackdown had reduced people’s civil liberties. “A police state is just around the corner,” he said. “If it’s freedom the terrorists hate, than why are we doing away with freedom?”

There’s always some sort of allusion to a “police state” and how much of our liberty we’ve lost but no one ever seems to say what freedoms we’ve lost do they? We almost never hear anything from the left on this issue that goes much beyond panic induced hysteria along the lines of, “OMG, The FBI is allowed to surf the internet now! It’s worse than George Orwell’s 1984!” You may agree or disagree with certain changes in the law but every little thing isn’t the prelude to a “police state.”

And the conclusion of the article…

“Mr Fleischer also publicly criticized Mike Marland, who had drawn a cartoon for the Concord Patriot newspaper illustrating what he considered Mr Bush’s attack on the social security system by showing the president flying a plane marked “Bush budget” into the twin towers marked “Social” and “Security”.

“Mr Marland, who initially apologized and even destroyed the original, said: “…I also experienced a lot of anger over the reaction to it, mostly along the lines of ‘Who the hell are you to tell me what I can and can’t draw?’.”

Actually, nobody told Marland what he could or couldn’t draw. What they did was criticize him. For those on the left who get confused by this concept, criticism does not equal censorship. Neither does readers canceling their subscriptions or advertisers pulling their ads. Furthermore, editors deciding not run a cartoon because their audience might find it offensive, is not censorship either, nor does it mean that we’re about to turn into a “police state.” It’s called capitalism and freedom of speech and if you can’t take the heat for something you write or draw, then you’re probably in the wrong business anyway.

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