"Effective Liberty"

Two of the most chilling words you'll ever hear. Crooked Timber wants the government policing speech to protect minorities. At last they're honest about the true agenda of the left. Notice this isn't about "hate-crimes". It's about "hate-speech." But the motivation behind hate-crime laws - a loathing of liberty and group-think victimology - is still out there. To make my own position clear: The elimination of bigotry is not a legitimate role of government. In fact, bigotry is a right, a basic freedom, as intrinsic to freedom as freedom of religion and speech. Once you start deciding what speech is or is not acceptable, we no longer live in a free society. We live in a tyranny - where Crooked Timber and the benign left will call the shots and enforce their orthodoxy.

If you're interested in my 1999 New York Times Magazine essay, "What's So Bad About Hate," it's available in full here. Those newish readers who now think I'm some sort of lefty because of my opposition to Bush's incompetence, fiscal recklessness, and authoritarianism might realize upon reading it that I'm still a proud conservative, fighting a for a tradition today's Republicans, more than anyone else, have attacked and defiled.