OK, so if this is true, it clearly puts Lanzo on the far side of a clearly defined line between any sort of mere "political incorrectness" and outright hatemongering.
Paleo Pat's research is appreciated; however, I disagree with his characterization that my own previous discussion of Lanzo's restaurant as "spinning" for Lanzo. As I clearly said, "To explain is not to defend." Obviously, I erred in failing to research Lanzo before endeavoring to explain him, which makes me guilty of carelessness, and I appreciate Paleo Pat clarifying the nature of Lanzo's operation.
What J.B. Stoner promoted ought to be called by its right name: Evil. Did Lanzo know what he was getting himself into when he hosted Stoner's events? I don't know. But he either needs to reconsider his actions or else admit that he's on the other side of that line.
A Weekend in Pittsburgh
It was probably unwise for me to rush to prepare that post about Lanzo's place Friday morning before I left for the Brindle wedding, knowing that I would be offline for most of the next two days. As I told Smitty when he called to tell me about Paleo Pat's post, it was not my intent to defend any of Lanzo's actions, but rather:
- To clarify that Lanzo is not representative of Paulding County or Georgia;
- To attempt to explain the cultural signficance of Lanzo's actions; and
- To repudiate the idea (promoted by CBS News) that what Lanzo has done has some meaningful relevance to political opposition to ObamaCare in general.
The result of liberalism's "rhetorical terrorism" -- what else shall we call it? -- is that only liberals are permitted to discuss these issues. Those who protest against these limitations on free speech are subjected to a particularly vicious sort of attack from liberals, because where free discussion is allowed, liberalism loses.
Go read what terrible things were said about Michelle Malkin when she published In Defense of Internment. Malkin took on a very difficult topic, exploring the reality of the U.S. security situation circa 1941-42, explaining circumstances so as to cast a new light on that troubling episode in American history. For her skill in performing a difficult task -- a task she surely knew out that the outset would expose her to angry attacks -- Malkin was denounced as if she were actually endorsing the internship of Japanese during WWII, or advocating some similar policy today.
Liberalism and Half-Truths
Malkin didn't wilt under the heat of that particular furnace and having been tried by fire, as it were, is stronger for the experience. Yet most school textbooks continue to teach a dumbed-down PC-inflected version of that historical epoch, as if Malkin had never written her book. And this is yet another baleful consequence of liberalism: To suppress facts so as to facilitate the propogation of half-truths and prevent clear thought about difficult problems.
"Don't read Malkin!" is the effect of the smears against her, which is exactly what Charles Johnson was trying to do when he smeared Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, etc.
Some people might tell you, "Don't read Paleo Pat!" or "Don't read Stacy McCain!" for very similar reasons. It's like that idiotic notation at the margins of medieval maps: Here be dragons!
It is not a convenient thing, career-wise, for a journalist to push back against liberalism's continual efforts to set limits on permissible discourse. And, I suppose, there might be some who would say that I am engaged in a similar practice by drawing a clear line and declaring the late J.B. Stoner to be on the opposite side of that line. Yet I think that anyone who will research the biography of Stoner would see why such a line must be drawn.
Furthermore, I'm only one person, and do not say that law or policy ought to be changed to punish people merely for disagreeing with me. Rather, I agree with Thomas Jefferson:
[T]ruth is great and will prevail if left to herself . . . she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons, free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them.It is modern liberalism's hostility to "free argument and debate" that is the proper target of those forms of protest we call political incorrectness. To employ hateful epithets or associate with J.B. Stoner are certainly not helpful to this project and, I would argue, amount to lending aid and comfort to liberalism.
Finally, I do not consider it impossible to redeem someone who, for whatever reasons, has gotten themselves on the wrong side of a line. If Patrick Lanzo reads this and has cause to reconsider and reform, going forward to avoid repetition of past errors, this would be a great good. And he might, by his good example, persuade others to take similar steps in the same direction.
After all, I used to be a Democrat, so who am I to judge people for their unfortunate past associations?