There's a telling moment in this Piers Morgan interview with Alex Jones, wherein Jones challenges Morgan to a boxing match. Jones is one of the authors of a petition to deport Piers Morgan. He also commands a fairly large talk radio audiences, and began the interview by angrily warning Morgan that any move toward gun control would open the doors to "1776."
Nevertheless, I think the fact that Jones responds to a disagreement over government policy by telling his interlocutor "well how 'bout we take this outside" is illustrative. Jones spends much of the interview ranting about the evils of government use of force, without much attention to the kind of individual violence with which he threatened Morgan. More accurately, Jones believes that the only answer to such violence is more -- presumably defensive -- violence, though his pose makes him a poor advocate for such a position.
One argument, and perhaps the greatest argument, for civil society is that we do not settle actual policy questions by asking, in Chris Rock mode, "Yes, but can you kick my ass?" That way lies the path to government by ogres, or chaos, or all against all, or all against them, or all against me. There must be a better way.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.
is a national correspondent for The Atlantic
, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of The Beautiful Struggle
, Between the World and Me,
and We Were Eight Years in Power