A Voice From the Grave

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Gosh.
So ol’
Billy Bennett is a gamblin’ man
.

I
have to confess that just for a moment, I was tempted to dismiss
the news with a yawn.

It’s
not necessarily hypocritical to espouse a standard to which one
fails to live up in practice. Remember when the world learned that
a famed conservative historian had a mistress and liked to get spanked?
At the time he remarked, “I still believe in family values.” Well,
some people thought that remark was hypocritical. I didn’t, and
I defended it. He really did believe in “family values,”
I said, and he wasn’t willing to renounce those values just because
he himself didn’t embody them in every respect.

I
was briefly tempted to take the same tack with Bennett. “So he gambles,”
I was tempted to argue. “That doesn’t make him a hypocrite; he genuinely
believes the bland, boring tripe he spouts in those bland, boring
kiddie books of his, even if he doesn’t live up to it himself.”

But
then I remembered his victims.

In
particular, I remembered the late Peter McWilliams, who, like many others,
paid with his life for Bennett’s allegedly high allegedly moral
alleged standards.

McWilliams
was the author of, among other books, Ain’t
Nobody’s Business If You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes
in Our Free Country
. McWilliams gave a speech to the Libertarian
Party on the Fourth of July, 1998; you can read it here
if you want to know what McWilliams said about Bennett and his moronically
deadly policies.

It’s
not up to me to “forgive” Bennett. It’s up to his victims. And many
of his victims, including McWilliams, are dead.

I
have no doubt that McWilliams would forgive Bennett; in fact,
he may already have done so.

But
that’s because McWilliams was a vastly better human being than the
self-righteous power-seeking “drug czar” whose idiotic policies
resulted in his tragic death.

And
it’s sure as hell no credit to Bennett, who has been far, far from
harmless and far, far beyond hypocritical.

May
9, 2003

Scott
Ryan [send him mail] is the
author of Objectivism
and the Corruption of Rationality: A Critique of the Epistemology
of Ayn Rand
, also available through Amazon.com.
For more information you can visit his home
page
or go directly to his book
promotion page
.


     

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