Tyranny by Assertion

I understand that Jerry Landay, “a former CBS News correspondent,” is part of the mainstream media club, and I continue to think the Providence Journal’s editorial page admirably broad in what it publishes. Still, I’m a bit surprised that the page would publish this rant from Landay:

Few of the “hath littles” are aware of what’s being done to them. The middle and blue-collar classes are victims of declining wages, ever-higher health-care costs, and other price hikes — led by energy costs, the highest in history, and climbing. Behind the smokescreen of a glorious “patriotic war,” fear of terrorism, and pumped-up religious fervor lies a home-front war against the middle and blue-collar classes: a conservative counter-revolution, which aims at a colossal redistribution of wealth upward, to the New Aristocracy — supported by a self-serving rewriting of the law based not on legal principle but on “free-market” theory.
The intended result is the creation of a “peasant” class, driven to the bottom by the need to compete against cheap labor pools, such as India’s and China’s, working for the bargain-basement wages that are all the big-business scrooges will dole out.

The intended result? And the former news correspondent knows this how? Unless somebody in the administration has said as much, Landay’s assertion reeks of vicious libel. One gets the sense that the Projo allowed Landay to get away with such a thing because his arguments aren’t meant to be taken as such, but rather as a noise pleasant to liberal ears — fare for the sort who would have had to invent Nazi rhetoric (perhaps through reams of phony memos) if it did not already exist.
It may be an amusing twist that Landay retools the “political ferment” in Ukraine and Lebanon (to which “citizens here look enviously”) to support his own anger at the administration that has facilitated the global environment in which it has occurred. But his piece is pretty much boilerplate, right down to its citation of a famous psychological experiment showing that humanity can’t be trusted to stand up to evil authority.
Asks Landay: “Why did 59 million voters, most of them victims of Bush’s economic tyranny, vote for George W. Bush and his party against their own best interests?” Well, for one thing, because Landay’s pined-for rebellion has yet to install the government for which we gullible citizens can’t comprehend our need. Something, it would seem, a bit more for the people (at least in its talking points) than by the people.

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brian
brian
16 years ago

That Landay piece was the quintessential reactionary rant — look who’s the reactionary now!! I can’t blame the Journal in the sense that you let the points of the ideological compass through on a broadly accepting page and let people decide. When you compare this mindless diatribe to the reasoned if challenging outlier philosophies of say the Ayn Rand Institute frequently published on the Journal pages I think the reader — unless already in the bag with Landay anyway — would be favorably impressed by cogent respectful writers on the purportedly reactionary right.
Brian

brian
brian
16 years ago

That Landay piece was the quintessential reactionary rant — look who’s the reactionary now!! I can’t blame the Journal in the sense that you let the points of the ideological compass through on a broadly accepting page and let people decide. When you compare this mindless diatribe to the reasoned if challenging outlier philosophies of say the Ayn Rand Institute frequently published on the Journal pages I think the reader — unless already in the bag with Landay anyway — would be favorably impressed by cogent respectful writers on the purportedly reactionary right.
Brian

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