I just finished Tammy Bruce’s The New Thought Police: Inside the Left’s Assault on Free Speech and Free Minds. Ms Bruce has an interesting collection of positions and beliefs that sounds completely contradictory. She opens her book with
I am an openly gay, pro-choice, gun-owning, pro-death penalty, liberal, voted-for-Reagan feminist.
She is also a past president of the Los Angeles chapter of NOW (National Organization for Women).
Is she an inconsistent schizophrenic … or is society? The common theme in her positions is individual freedom coupled with individual responsibility. There is more internal consistency within Ms Bruce’s positions than there is in either the Democratic [sic] or Republican parties.
The Democrats want you to be able to smoke drugs but not tobacco; oppose censorship in schools, but ban books; support freedom of speech in flag burning and obscene art but oppose freedom of speech at colleges with speech codes. They claim your body is your own when it comes to abortion, but claim your body is the state’s when it comes to eating fast food. They oppose going to war when women are abused, treated like chattel and there’s a national interest, but advocate war when women are abused, treated like chattel, and there’s no national interest.
The Republicans on the other hand, do the exact opposite. It is almost as if both parties look to the other and choose a position that is the exact opposite. On the plus side, such a method saves one from having to think, but it does lead to ridiculous inconsistencies.
Throughout her book, Tammy Bruce exhibits a consistent philosophy, a consistent mind-set, a consistent belief in individual freedom coupled with individual responsibility. It is perhaps most unfortunate that we are so used to the contradictory schizophrenia of what passes for modern thought that we perceive a consistency of thought as a set of contradictory positions.
The New Thought Police is an easy read and an excellent exposé on how our freedom of speech – and ultimately our freedom to think for ourselves – are under active assault and have been for some time. The book also highlights how one can take action, and how to exercise one’s own freedom of speech without deliberately trampling on another’s.