Tuesday, May 12, 2009

1st Amendment Is Under Siege

So it's contrivance wrapped in a good deal of artifice. It's entire premise is a matter of concealing unattractive attributes while emphasizing the positives.
There are judges but it's an unlikely arena to expect a fight over first amendment rights. But then again, it is called the "Miss USA Pageant"

Fact: Perez iz a gay, opinionated weasel who has made a career of ridiculing celebrities.
Fact: The question by this particular judge was loaded and agenda laden
Fact that matters: on the day of the Miss USA pageant the U.S. Constitution is still the foundation of our great and good country where this contest was held and that document holds far greater legal authority then any pageant or judge.

Fact: Carrie Prejean, while wearing very little clothing, posed for a photographer
Fact: Carrie Prejean has breast implants
Fact: Carrie is Miss California and as such a pageant participant in the national contest
Fact that matters: Carrie Prejean is an American citizen who has certain inalienable rights under our great and good country's Constitution, no less so because she's a pageant contestant with breast implants and a modeling career and no less so on that day when she said, ""I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman ... that's how I was raised."

Gay Perez is a professional blogger (don't get me started on how that vocation is about seven steps below the basement where the professional video gamer lives). Blogger Perez's fame is purely based on belittling celebrities. He decided to use his largely insignificant, temporary and arbitrary authority as a pageant judge to bully a contestant and grind his axe against society at large. He knew his question was provocative only because his position is widely unpopular. If not then why ask it? Why not try to stump the beauty with something along the lines of a geography question or perhaps by asking "what's the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?" But this proto-celeb was right in the sites of this big bad celebrity slayer. There was no way he wasn't going to take his shot at such an easy target, particularly when it could also serve the purpose of advancing his career and his homosexual agenda.

And like most bullies he had every expectation that he'd make his victim squirm and possibly eat a mouthful of dirt before saying, "Uncle," as in, "My uncle Larry married my other uncle Fred."

Instead his question was met with surprising and unexpected courage.

It would have been in the spirit and history of such a competition and in keeping with the expectations created by so many trite and forgettable responses along with so many bumbling and only slightly more memorable gaffs for Carrie to either fumble through or gloss over her own reply. Instead, with only slight hesitation, making the moment that much more dramatic and true, she faced the cameras and said what she believed. And after all, why not? She is an American. She has a right to free speech without persecution. Or does she?

In essence, in his own vernacular, Perez got bzitch slapped. Of course he was going to let out a high pitched yelp and then slap back.

So what followed was not surprising at all but what also had the effect of making this a more significant story about one group of Americans defending the all important right to free speech against the attacks by a vocal minority, a number of vocal minorities who want to subvert our system of laws that allows them to be vocal in the first place. The bully got propped up and dusted off by the bully's pack of toady thugs, a.k.a. the media. The little gal who delivered the stunning blow was attacked by the mob of cowards, a.k.a. the media.

I heard some amateur variety talk show types claiming there was no violation of free speech. I guess unless a hand is clapped over someone's mouth or they are thrown in some frigid prison completely cut off from society then it couldn't possibly be an infringement on this American right of personal freedom. And that's precisely how political correctness is allowed to operate and ultimately become so effective. It's not overt, at least not until it's too late. Certain types of speech are shamed publicly and frequently until it enters the collective subconscious. Then people would not dare speak in a certain way about this protected group or that sacred cow. Then because no one is saying the words, the words and eventually even the thoughts go away and free speech has a little corner cut away and therefore dies a little. So even though the idea of gay marriage is widely unpopular, speaking out openly about it means you will have to defend your position, or in Carrie's case, defend your character and all of your past actions and words. As the PC Nazi's would have it, better to avoid the insidious attacks by remaining mute or just going along rather than speaking your mind.

This is what Jonah Goldberg calls "Liberal Fascism" in his book of the same name. This is the PC nonsense that undermines our 1st Amendment. This is precisely what is wrong with "political correctness." There is nothing correct about it because if you give credence to it then you give those with an agenda and a public platform authority over our use of language. You cede control of your free speech to someone with a much less honorable and much narrower vision than our founding fathers possessed when they framed our Constitution with this all important cornerstone.

But in the end, there was a winner - Donald Trump's ego.
Oh, and Americans who can look to Carrie as an example of staying true to yourself even when it's unpopular and may otherwise hurt you in some way.

But perhaps there is an epilogue that will be written too, one where Carrie ends up the real winner. Obviously I already think she is for having the courage of her convictions, for not making a compromise, for acting in a fashion that won't require her to make a rationalization or feel a regret over this episode later on in her life. But I also have to say as an openly straight guy there is currently only one other pageant contestant that I can name. She was scandalized too but is now the most well known of all such contestants, with a continuing career in acting and music. Well, maybe Carrie isn't the next Vanessa Williams but neither has to end up beholden to a group of opinionated pageant judges for their greater successes in our free country.

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