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Who can sue whom: Liberalism's unequal playing field
By Bruce Walker
The specious reasoning and ethical holes of that most pompous of secular religions -- liberalism -- are so glaring and gaping that even a mild critique seems overkill. Feminism, for example, finds alleged rapists like William Clinton and William Kennedy Smith acceptable and unfaithful men like Gary Condit and Jesse Jackson fine, but the thought crimes of men like Justice Antonin Scalia or President George W. Bush are heinous. Equality before the law in this last and lowest incarnation of the civil rights movement means precisely inequality before the law. And "Ignorance is Strength."
We conservatives have long said that one step towards curing the malaise of liberalism is to stop people fighting each other with lawyers and instead to let the marketplace of economic and social relationships decide what is fair and what is right. But we have taken this position sometimes in a manner akin to unilateral disarmament. Liberals will sue, whether we like it or not. Perhaps our best response is not to limit litigation, but rather to expand litigation to cover those fortresses liberal orthodoxy which have been carefully protected by courts and juries in the past.
Tobacco companies have been can be sued ex post facto for unbounded damages for engaging in commerce which was legal under our system of government. Their "crime"? Tobacco companies are charged with "misleading" statements to the public about the dangers of tobacco, a manifestly idiotic accusation. Why then can we sue those record companies, movie studies, and Hollywood stars who glamorized the use of illegal drugs for many decades? How can honest businessmen, like tobacco executives, be subject to torts when those who have acting much more boldly and recklessly with the lives of children on matters like promiscuity, cop-killing, and suicide are immune from liability?
If tobacco companies are guilty of "misleading the public" when their commercials are patently intended to sell products, why is CNN and its incestuous major media comrades not accountable for consciously spiking stories about the morality of Bill Clinton? What makes these social crimes -- if social crimes may be remedied by litigation -- so much worse is that so many innocents trust bald faced liars in the AARP, Newsweek, Washington Post, and other respectable organs and so the likelihood of real calamity is much greater.
If nefarious organizations like the Boy Scouts and Salvation Army can be sued for discriminating against homosexuals and atheists (although the atheists' lawsuits are presumably waiting in the wings) then why cannot Time/Warner be sued for discriminating against us with bread and butter sexuality and commonplace theology?
If corporate incompetence may have caused harm to women with breast implants or motorists with blowouts, then why cannot the vastly more destructive incompetence of invisible regulators and well camouflaged legislative staffers whose enormous incompetence kept essential and safe drugs from suffering and dying victims?
If Gaea worshiping "deep ecology" and "animal rights" fools can express their unscientific gobbledygook and try to influence other to do likewise with no consequences for kooky pseudo-science, then why do much more honest groups -- like Christian Scientists -- face huge damages for preaching what they make clear are matters of faith? Why can pinheads with diplomas, who promise an honest and open discussion, fill the minds of young adults with thin, unnourishing broth or even with noxious stews -- charging their parents and the taxpayers enormous sums -- without suffering greater legal sanctions than used car salesmen, whose reputation is humble?
Just how many lives has Wellesley ruined, judged by those same harsh standards liberals use towards those who do not conform to the rigors of their druid faith? How many women, men, and children have had lives and dreams savaged by Fascism by feminists who view men as Juden "untermenchen" and do so posing as scholars? At Nurnberg, was there not a special contempt for those who wore the mantle of judges, professors, and doctors in defense of the morally and intellectually indefensible? Perhaps we should let a jury decide how much Wellesley, Harvard, and NOW owe Americans? How much they owe the men who were "special cases" for their Gauleiters and Commissars?
Ah, but there -- as Shakespeare once said of life and death -- is the rub. If we can all sue one another in the most convenient (and sympathetic) forum for damages produced by any notional wrong for any magical number of dollars, then who among us is safe?
Liberals are safe! Because (and I want my conservative brethren to sit down lest they collapse from shock) liberals use a double standard. So, why the run of the mill multi-billion dollar corporation can be sued for public statements that are technically honest, but possibly misleading to the unsophisticated, those vast private engines of propaganda loving called "the media" can lie, mislead, neglect, hide, ignore anything and everything because these particular private corporate mega-billion dollars concerns have anointed themselves our profit-making protectors? Because the Supreme Court has divided free expression into crass "commercial speech" and inherently noble "political speech"- with the caveat that "political speech" actually purchased by political advocacy groups is not protected, only "political speech" provided by huge, profit-making and insulated corporations...but we must pause, because at this point liberal doxology slips out of puerile fibbing and into full-blown Orwellian Newspeak.
Judges -- however outrageous their contortion of the ordinary words of the much wiser and better men who founded our Republic -- can destroy the society and economies with malicious impunity. Colleges charge much for very little delivered -- consumer gouging at least -- but what is worse, the product colleges sell is defectively and even dangerous. Why cannot we sue these nabobs?
Liberals have created a Byzantine system of rules, case law, special rights, etc. which insure that the tidal waves of social and economic destruction cause by their nuclear strikes on our culture are protected from scrutiny and accountability in the legal system.
So, perhaps we should stop fighting them and join them. How about a "Student's Bill of Rights" to protect the next poor guy who rabid feminists denounce as a "potential rapist" or who faces the tight faces of sour feminist faculty bullies? Or perhaps an "Academic Bill of Rights" to protect all variety of thought and belief on campuses, and allow students to sue professors who taught them lies or taught them nothing at all?
How about a "Viewers Bill of Rights" which makes it clear that the vast resources of Hollywood and New York can overwhelm the small time viewer or listener. Force programs and movies which make crude caricatures of different varieties of conservatives to face infinite damages from juries of the good people of Wyoming or Texas: give all of us in "Flyover Country" the right to take the corporate bosses and their snooty anchors to court -- on "a level playing field."
The reform a year or two ago granting the victims of that Grand Office of the IRS Inquisition had broad popular support. Is it not time to expand that to other areas? Why are judges immune from clear wrongdoing? Why can lawyers lie and run away with billions? Why can bureaucrats or secret allies in the Sierra Club tie up electrical power and financial prosperity for the average working stiff? Who died and made them King?
So rather that recoil from expanding litigation, maybe we need to begin our own jihad against the true villains of our age. Who likes bureaucrats? Lawyers? Judges? Reporters? Hollywood executives? Arrogant universities bosses and their tenured professors? What if we began to expose and seek civil remedies, money judgments, and all the other pleasantries that these goons have inflicted on us and our buddies for decades, they would "get" the message.
Let's have depositions that show juries, among other things, just how much money these clowns make, how much of the money comes from the pockets of taxpayers construction workers and software engineers, and how recklessly they use the power of their gilded thrones. There are only two likely results, both of them very good. We could win triumphant after triumphant, until the bullies became what bullies always are: cowards. Or we could persuade them that free market decisions and laws passed with the general consent by public opinion that embraces variety is better than lawyers and judges to solve our private grudges. Either way, we win.
Bruce Walker is a senior writer with Enter Stage Right. He is also a frequent contributor to The Pragmatist and The Common Conservative.
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