Whew, we’ve had a busy couple weeks here at the Crowd. Lots of good posts and some even better comments. Thank you one and all for making the SRC worth visiting – as it turns out Voltaire didn’t say, “Some of you are whacked but I’m totally behind your right to say any crazy thing which pops into your head.”
Of course, some of the things you might say will lead to eating alone in the lunchroom. As free a society as we are in terms of expression, there are some places you just don’t go in American politics. There are no laws per se about most of them – some “hate crimes” laws cover speech and there are public safety type laws about shouting “Fire!” in the theater and such things (“Bomb” in the airport security line is also ill-advised) – but there are certain unspoken but pretty rigidly enforced social conventions that most of us – politicians and the like – avoid like the crazy guy on the corner walking in circles muttering to himself (“That’s a mirror, Jon.”) Step on them and you’re zapped with 50,000 volts (or amps or watts, I forget which one is the killer) of political excommunication. Even stepping too close to one of these “third rails” can be a fatal or near-fatal political experience.
Sometimes it’s hard to detect the absence of something, but – like stuff that’s not porn – you know it when you don’t see it. Here’s a few of the America’s no-fly zones that our politicians avoid:
- Not supporting Israel.
- Criticism of”soldiers on the ground.”
- Criticism of “working men and women.”
- Race- or gender-based differences.
What are some others? What won’t be popping out of the word processors of campaign policy advisors and speechwriters – on either side of the aisle – this fall? Should any of them be dragged out and debated?
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