Some offensive ideas should be censored

“Liberalism is not a political philosophy. Instead, it is a state of arrested emotional development. It is a way of thinking, which leads to no place in the real world. It is a place existing only in the imagination.”
—Mike S. Adams, conservative author and UNC-Wilmington professor

That epigram leads me to this week’s example of the liberal way of thinking, which I can only imagine comes straight from their playbook, to-wit: “It’s not fair.”

Witness one Lorrie Heasley, who hails from the town of Woodland in the People’s Republic of Washington.

Seems Ms. Heasley got herself bounced off a Southwest Airlines flight while on a return trip from Los Angeles. The reason for the aforementioned bouncing? Seems her T-shirt annoyed and otherwise offended some of her fellow passengers as they boarded the flight here in Reno. (Who were obviously stodgy, uptight Republicans with too much time on their hands, right?)

For the uninitiated, the offending article of clothing apparently was emblazoned with pictures of the president, vice president and secretary of state along with the phrase “Meet the Fuckers” (a parody of the film, Meet the Fockers). After complaints from the other passengers, Southwest officials gave her the choice of wearing the shirt inside out or leaving the plane—she righteously chose the latter.

(We all know that if the same shirt contained pictures of Bill Clinton, Howard Dean and Nancy Pelosi and was worn by a Republican, it would have been labeled mean-spirited hate speech, right?)

So OK, when she later appeared on conservative talk show host Shawn Hannity’s “newsmaker line,” Heasley claimed she wore the T-shirt as a gag, wanting her Democrat parents to see it when they picked her up at the airport upon her arrival. She proudly claimed to be politically “independent” but when pressed couldn’t name any Republicans she’d ever supported. (See? Liberals just hate being honest about who they are and what they stand for.)

In truth, we all know that anyone wearing this shirt in public is also more likely to be wearing Birkenstocks than wingtips, which begs the question: Why not just be honest about it?

“I have cousins in Iraq and other relatives going to war,” she said. “Here we are trying to free another country, and I have to get off an airplane over a T-shirt. That’s not freedom.”

And yet here’s the problem with these clueless, self-absorbed types. Free speech, as protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, applies only to government actions. Said another way, the government can’t prohibit you from wearing tacky, tasteless clothing (or for that matter, expensive, fashionable clothing).

Southwest Airlines is a private business. Private businesses—even publicly traded ones—can.

Call it the “no shirt, no shoes, no service” rule. If a private business doesn’t like your attire (or behavior), they have every right to bounce your sorry ass out the door. You, as a consumer, then have every right to find another, perhaps more tolerant establishment at which to spend your money. That would include travel accommodations and airlines.

Heasley seems at least to get that point.

“I will never fly with them again,” Heasley said in reference to the airline. “They can disrespect somebody else.”

So as I understand this, it’s apparently only OK when people like Heasley are doing the disrespecting. That doesn’t seem terribly fair to me.

(My thanks to reader Matt Bailey for forwarding the opening morsel of an epigram to add to my collection of conservative quotes.)