Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Memo to Karl: More Thinking, Less Speaking


From:  Lovers of Liberty
To:      Karl Rove
Date:   Monday, June 22, 2015
Subj:   Performance Evaluation and Reprimand


When the need arises to provide this kind of performance evaluation, it really causes us some pain. The pain is particularly acute here, as we have had the impression that you intend to be about the business of preserving and extending liberty. Unfortunately, your performance on the “friendly” set of Fox News Sunday yesterday requires that we put you on notice and on probation.

Even left wing rags, such as Salon, recognize that you did not actually call for repeal of the Second Amendment. Nonetheless, along with many friendly outlets, Salon’s observations demonstrate why you clearly need a refresher course on the principles of the Founding of our Nation, and why you are on probation until further notice.

Here’s the relevant transcript portion from the show. If there is any particular in which the transcript is wrong, please provide a correction:
Now, maybe there’s some magic law that will keep us from having more of these. I mean, basically, the only way to guarantee that we would dramatically reduce acts of violence involving guns is to basically remove guns from society, and until somebody gets enough oomph to repeal the Second Amendment, that’s not going to happen. I don’t think it’s an answer.
Now, here’s Salon's take on what you said:

Notice the disconcerting couching of their admission. True enough, you didn’t “exactly call for the repeal of the Second Amendment . . . .” How fortunate that you "didn't exactly call" for repeal! But how did you find yourself so ineptly unprepared when the obvious topic of the program would be the Charleston tragedy?

Your mistake is plain. You allowed the particularly painful incident of the shooting to distract you from an important reality:  The right to keep and bear arms is completely unrelated to mindless and hate-inspired violence. Unfortunately, your statement speaks for itself. When you explain, as your subsequent tweet did, that you did not mean to imply that the Second Amendment should be repealed, it simply proves the point that you misspoke on a topic and at a time when liberty suffers the risk of great harm through such carelessness.

If you do not grasp the philosophic concepts embodied in our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution, then you simply must refrain from speaking in venues where you may be called upon to address these crucial and central topics. This Sunday was, not to put too fine a point on it, a fiasco.

Now we have to suffer through the inevitable inside battle among those who read what you said and find it disturbing, and those who mince your words to "prove" that you did no such thing as call for repeal of the Second Amendment. Those conflicting interpretations of your remarks induce an unhealthy dispute internally ... among those who agree that the Second Amendment is not the problem and who should be working together to defend and extend liberty.

What is it that we expect from you, Karl?

We do not really expect a lot from you, Karl, except, of course, what we really want for folks everywhere: a liberty-oriented understanding of these disputes.

What does that liberty-oriented understanding look like, Karl?

Like this:
The Declaration of Independence teaches us that we are possessed of a natural right to life. A coordinate to that right is the right to protect that right to life through the use of force.
We are, likewise, possessed of a natural right to liberty. A coordinate to that right is the ability to protect that right to liberty through the use of force.
The Second Amendment doesn't grant us these rights. Rather, the Second Amendment takes from the hands of government the power to strip us of the means to exercise those coordinate rights of self-defense and defense of another.
An appropriate answer -- and, after all, isn't this what we should expect from a talking head that purports to speak for us -- would have sounded something like this:
Chris, there is no doubt that we have a problem with the wrongful resort to violence. Roof is just one example of it. The Second Amendment, however, has nothing to do with that problem. It is fish to bicycles. 
What we are facing, in incidents like Charleston, is a a problem of hearts and minds. We are not in the business of repealing hearts and minds. Consequently, we had better address these heart and mind issues, and we had better get better at the business of converting hearts and minds.
Please sign and return one copy of this memo to acknowledge your receipt of it.