A Tale of Two Temperaments

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare

Note:
FreeEmigration.com changed servers last weekend, which disabled
our e-mail capability. I apologize to readers unable to contact
me and will be happy to address any questions or comments regarding
last week's article.

Monday's
episode of The Edge with Paula Zahn examined Disney World's
sponsorship of a Gay Day on its facilities. Director of the Culture
and Family Institute Robert Knight appeared on the program.

u201CThe
federal government should crack down on Disney's abominable endorsement
of the sodomites. Our government must affirm America's Judeo-Christian
heritage and set an example for our youth.u201D This is precisely what
Knight did not say. A truly tolerant man, he recognized
Disney's right to hold such an event while criticizing the exercise
of that right with temperance.

Golfer
Casey Martin recently triumphed in the Supreme Court: Thanks
to its construction
of the Americans with Disabilities Act,
the PGA must exempt him from walking on a golf course. The athletic
circumstance of this decision should not obscure its fundamental
entailment that private organizations are not really private – so
much for James Madison's claim that u201CGovernment is instituted no
less for protection of the property than of the persons of individuals.u201D

The
respective methodologies of these individuals exemplify the essential
polarity between genuine liberalism and contemporary u201Cliberalismu201D:
advocacy versus force. An old-fashioned liberal, to use Vladimir
Nabokov's fine phrase, pursues his passions through persuasion,
whereas contemporary u201Cliberalsu201D pursue theirs through proscription.

Robert
Knight has not enlisted the State to mandate Judeo-Christian morality
against Disney, but Casey Martin has enlisted the most elitist branch
of federal power to coerce the PGA. The former seeks public consideration
of his values, the latter governmental imposition of his values.

Knight
could advocate an ADA for traditional values (the Americans for
Decency Act?) that would forbid u201Cpublic accommodationsu201D from promoting
homosexuality; he could ask the Florida legislature to pass a D.I.S.N.E.E.
(Demanding Iniquitous Sodomites Not Enjoy Endorsement) law. That
is, he could coercively implement his conviction that homosexuality
should not be celebrated.

The
supposedly intolerant Bible-thumper's failure to do this contrasts
sharply with the supposedly innocent Martin's deliberate use of
force to realize his desire. To describe the disparity in economic
phraseology, Knight's efficacy is predicated upon a marketplace
of ideas (u201CThis is what I believe and you should, toou201D) and Martin's
upon a command ideology (u201CThis is what I believe and you will, toou201D).

As
a non-golfer and non-golf enthusiast, I have no vested interest
in the PGA's deformity by the Supreme Court. (I prefer racquetball.)
As citizens, though, we all have a vested interest in the private
sphere's subversion.

The
obliteration of private immunity from political authority is a hallmark
of an omnipotent regime. Benito u201CEverything within the state, nothing
outside the stateu201D Mussolini adored this kind of system, but fascism
is not an American value.

Coercive
and corrosive rhyme in substance as well as sound; the deployment
of force corresponds to the diminishment of freedom. Conventional
wisdom holds that America's Robert Knights are the threat to our
liberties, but a closer evaluation indicates otherwise.

Give
me tolerant traditionalists over aggressive do-gooders any day.

June
7, 2001

Myles
Kantor [send him mail]
edits FreeEmigration.com
and lives in Boynton Beach, Florida

Myles
Kantor Archives

Email Print
FacebookTwitterShare
  • LRC Blog

  • LRC Podcasts