Allen West defends Donald Sterling; sadly, he doesn’t even understand his own conservative ideology
FOX News contributor and former GOP Congressman rides to racist Clipper’s owner’s defense, ignorance in hand.
If you’ve been paying attention for the past few years, the idea that Allen West is wrong about something is hardly news. His latest public opinion, though, is more than a little baffling because in this case he seems not to understand how conservativism works.
Here’s his take on the whole Donald Sterling trainwreck. Now, I’m not going to argue the idea that we ought to have some privacy, and while you’d never hear the kind of corrosive bile coming out of my mouth that you heard from Sterling if you taped my every word for a million years, it’s certainly true that I’d be annoyed if someone secretly recorded a private conversation and then released it into the wild.
But West carries on like Sterling is the victim – as though somehow his civil rights have been violated and … heck, I’m not going to try and paraphrase, just click the link and read the man in his own words.
I’m sorry, but Mr. West simply seems not to fully grasp how freedoms work. I’m not going to feign surprise, of course – we’ve tried to educate conservatives on the Constitution here before, and the truth is that way too many Americans are walking around with more passion than understanding when it comes to our system of government and the principles that underpin it.
For starters, let’s be clear – these “privacy rights” we’re talking about, such as they are, don’t protect you against the actions of other citizens. Sterling is more than free to pursue a civil claim against Ms. Stiviano for, I don’t know, defamation of character. Good luck with that, but he can try. And if she violated California law (or if it was a third party), then by all means the authorities should act on it.
But nothing about the Sterling case suggests that the republic is in trouble. On the contrary – the fallout from Sterling’s remarks has been precisely what the men who framed our system intended.
West seems to want us to accept that there’s some sort of privacy-violating horde wandering loose and endangering our rights. Well, let’s see. Who published the story? Ah, TMZ. Should this duly incorporated business not be allowed to publish things that the public is interested in?
But have we come to a point in America where being a jerk is grounds for confiscation of a private property?
Ummm. That isn’t what’s happening, at least not in the way he wants you to believe.
Sterling’s tormentors are comprised of three elements.
- Independent citizens exercising free speech in accordance with how our system was designed by the framers. They don’t like something, they express their opinion and perhaps vote with their feet. That’s free speech, period.
- Sponsors, who have every right to safeguard their legitimate business operations and brands however they see fit. Period.
- Sterling’s business partners – that is, the other owners – who are more than entitled to act in the best interests of their valuable business investments.
There’s no coercion here. There’s no government action. All you have is the free market behaving in textbook fashion.
Also, re: “deprived of property,” I wish to hell somebody would hand me the billion dollars he’s going to be receiving when he’s finally deprived of ownership.
It’s predictable, of course, that before West’s article is through he has somehow tied our oppression of Sterling to Obama’s “apartheid” remark, his failures in Ukraine, Benghazi and the worst assault on freedom in modern history, Obamacare. That he stopped short of working 9/11 in there somehow is remarkable.
In the end, I’m a little confused that anyone on the right would be troubled by this case. What is happening to Mr. Sterling is open and shut conservative business practice. It’s Libertarian 101. It wouldn’t necessarily be that way if his ownership were the target of, say, a Justice Department action – we could argue the heck out of that one, I suppose. This, though, ain’t nothing but independent free individuals and lawfully established corporations doing what’s best for business, and doing so well within the bounds of the law.
I don’t want people secretly taping me, either, but if they do and Allen West comes rushing to my defense I hope he’ll take a moment to actually read the Constitution and maybe even some of the writings by the people responsible for it.
Everybody may have an opinion, but not everybody has an informed opinion. Is it asking too much for our elected leaders (former, in this case), at least, to know the fundamentals of their own ideology?
I’m an insurance adjuster in CA.
Ms. Stiviano (if she actually did the recording and released it) has violated his rights as CA requires consent from both parties before a recording may be done.
As to defamation of character. No, he has simply defamed himself.
You are right as to the rest, as I blogged the other day. Once known, other people are free to react to Mr. Sterling’s actions. That bell cannot be unrung. So he may have some economic damages or other tort against who ever released that recording.
It’s gonna be a mess. Especially as Donald’s wife has sued Ms. Stiviano for having an affair with her husband. And of course it takes two to tango.
I’m pretty sure Donald has made his own bed, now finds it uncomfortable to lie in. He has “deprived” himself by being depraved.
I heard some people defending Sterling at a gas station the other day. Their basic argument seemed to be:
1. It’s only racism, not a real offense.
2. It’s wrong to punish someone for what they say.
3. It’s the government’s fault for failing to protect his free speech rights.
4. It’s wrong for a high priced mistress to betray her boyfriend. (The Trump Argument)
Obviously, this is nonsense from start to finish, as you well point out. It’s contorted Constitutionalism, at best, and circular foolishness at worst. (Does the Constitution protect foolish old white men from the actions of their impetuous young mistresses?) While I think the NBA’s response is heavy-handed (and pretty damn late,) only an overt or un-selfaware racist could side with Mr. Sterling. Or a paid shill, like Mr. West.
Sterling is a franchisee who has done things to damage the other franchisees in the system, and they have taken action to force him out. If a McDonald’s franchisee made similar statements and alienated their workforce and customer base to the extent that national sales dropped and there was a threatened work stoppage, he or she’d be out before you could say “uniform commercial code.”
However, as Krugman pointed out, everything in America boils down to race sooner or later. In this case, speaking up for Sterling is just another way to speak racist in code. Or in the case of Mr. West, get paid to make racists feel better about their racism because it’s sanctioned by an Official Negro.
I’m amazed that West included this apt description of Fox News in his piece: “The difference is that the media lead us along like sheep to the slaughter, turning us into reactionary, shallow thinking, low information voters along the way.” I’m sure he meant it as criticism of “lamestream media,” but the use of the word “reactionary” is pretty telling (a word that cannot, except through extreme ignorance, be misconstrued as any degree of “liberal”).
Boy, if only WE had our own Fox News. This quote screams to be taken out of context and used against Fox News.
“Leading Conservative Says Fox News, Conservative Media Have Cost Them Elections, Turned Voters into Sheep”.