By Douglas V. Gibbs
Last Thursday a gunman opened fire at an entrance to the Pentagon, injuring two police officers. As the investigation proceeds, it has come out that the shooter harbored deep-seated anger toward federal authorities, and was one of those folks that believes September 11 was an inside job staged by minions of the federal government. Therefore, as was done with the Austin, Texas nutcase that flew his airplane into an IRS building, that means as far as the media is concerned the Pentagon shooter is anti-government, and therefore linked to anyone who has ever spoke out against the actions of the federal government.
Followers of the hard-left, liberal Democrats then reason that since conservatives call for a limited federal government, and all those Tea Party folks, and citizens that angrily shouted at Town Hall meetings last year, are angered by the workings of the government under the tutelage of the Democrat Party, they are anti-government as well.
Therefore, since the domestic terrorists flying planes into IRS buildings in Texas, and shooting up the Pentagon in Washington DC are anti-government (in the eyes of the Left), and the right-wingers are anti-government (also according to the Left), they must be one and the same.
Oh, and it gets better!
The leftists are also telling me that if wing-nuts like myself did not write all of this anti-government propaganda on my website, or voice my anti-government propaganda on my radio show, things like this would not have happened. These people, according to the liberal left, did not act out because of their own, independent idiocy, but acted out in a violent manner because they heard "anti-government" propaganda by conservatives like myself that somehow encouraged them to act out in such a violent manner. So, using that liberal line of thinking, the deaths of anybody that resulted from these insane acts of stupidity by these individuals are the fault of Conservative writers and talkers.
Their blood, according to the liberal left, is on our hands.
There has always been a number of camps when it comes to the political debate over the role of the American federal government. Anti-Federalists believed that the federal government should have virtually no power over the individual states of the union, and the federalists believed the government should have some power. Persons like Alexander Hamilton went beyond the basic thinking of the federalists, seeking a federal government that was more powerful, consolidated, and monopolistic. Democratic-Republicans, usually referred to as "Republicans" by the Federalists, held more tightly to the Jeffersonian point of view of limited government whose authorities are enumerated by the U.S. Constitution, and the allowances of the federal government are no more than what is given by the Constitution.
It was the Jeffersonians that were behind the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. These folks believed the government needed to be "bound by the chains of the Constitution," and that the states were sovereign entities that must remain free to govern locally without federal interference.
Hamilton and his co-patriots disagreed, believing the Constitution to be an instrument that could legitimize virtually every act of government through tactics of interpretation by clever lawyers like him, and his fellow Federalists.
After Jefferson's election as president, Hamilton denounced the Constitution as "a frail and worthless fabric."
New Englanders, and some New Yorkers like Alexander Hamilton, assumed they were the elite, and that they should rule America. While they were demanding subsidies for their fishing fleets, the southern states were giving up lands for future new states. Then, under the presidency of John Adams, the New England Federalists (Yankees) passed the Sedition Law to punish anti-government words in clear violation of the Constitution.
When George W. Bush was president the anti-war protesters were hailed by leftists, and the extreme media, as being patriotic. Though conservatives disagreed with the anti-war movement, the folks on the Right considered the protests as something that those folks should be able to freely participate in, as long as they didn't turn over cars, or desecrate monuments, or do other idiotic things that were nothing less than violent acts of destruction against property.
The Tea Party rallies are held in a much more civil manner, and the Left labels the events as anti-government vitriol, rather than the use of one's Constitutionally supported freedoms as per the First Amendment, which allow "freedom of speech, or the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." The Tea Party folks are instead accused of being racist, Nazi, anti-government ideologues - when all they are doing is the same thing the anti-war protesters were attempting to do. . . bring attention to the activities of Congress and the President that the group believes to be against what they believe to be right.
Clyde Wilson, a noted historian, provides an important distinction between patriotism, and nationalism. "Patriotism is the wholesome, constructive love of one's land and people. Nationalism is the unhealthy love of one's government, accompanied by the aggressive desire to put down others - which becomes in deracinated modern men a substitute for religious faith. Patriotism is an appropriate, indeed necessary, sentiment for people who wish to preserve their freedom; nationalism is not."
Using Wilson's definitions, it is plain to see that Tea Party participants are Patriots, who have a wholesome, constructive love of America, and a belief that the federal government should adhere to the limiting principles of the U.S. Constitution.
The Austin IRS Kamikaze hated the IRS, and supported Marxism (as noted by the final lines of his suicide note), and the Pentagon Shooter was a "truther" who believed in the conspiracy theory that Bush, Cheney, and all of their supporters were somehow involved in planning, plotting, and carrying out the greatest terrorist attack against the United States in history. These men were hardly patriots, nor nationalists, in the current scheme of things. There actions can best be described as crazy, and un-called for.
The leftists who are quick to label anybody that speaks out against Obama, the Democrat Party led Congress, or any proposal the Left is offering to become law as anti-government are clearly "Nationalists." These people place the government over any concern for liberty, and reject the idea of constitutional constraints on the federal government.
Liberals believe the government should have more power to rule over the people, because the people are not intellectual enough, or educated enough, or wise enough to know what is best for their own good. The Constitution's limited-government philosophy is but a road block to these folks, and anyone standing in the way of the federal government gaining more power through bail-outs, health care or cap and trade legislation, or even folks who are willing to protest against the current administration, are nothing more than crazy, anti-government, wing-nuts to the Left.
The Liberal Left practices an unhealthy love of their federal government, and are therefore Nationalists.
Oh, by the way, Hitler's Nazi Party used nationalism to push the teachings of their "Nationalist" Socialist Party. The hardliners of the Soviet Union used nationalism too, as did China's Mao Tse Tung, and Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge. They themselves may not have been nationalists, but nationalism was the tool they used to silence all opposition, labeling their opponents as anti-government as well, as if that made their opponents unpatriotic.
The previous paragraph is not a baseless attack, it is simply historical fact.
-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary
Anti-Bush Truther shoots up Pentagon; Should we play the political blame game? - Pajamas Media
Gunman at Pentagon Linked to Anger Against U.S. - New York Times
Hamilton's Curse by Thomas J. DiLorenzo, pages 12-16
Anti-Government Tea Party Movment? - Political Pistachio
The American Form of Government, The Role of Government, and the Threat of Statism - Political Pistachio