The Competitive Enterprise Institute's Iain Murray has a great talent for analyzing the arguments bandied about in the press as various blowhards attempt to bludgeon their opponents into submission through the use of laughably poor so-called arguments based almost entirely on abuse of the opposition's motives. In today's edition of the American Spectator online, Murray superbly rebuts the latest attempt by the Left to quash arguments it cannot answer with facts and reason:
FOR MANY YEARS NOW, opinion pieces have been the main vehicle by which conservatives have taken their philosophy to the American people. It was the Austrian economist and enemy of socialism F. A. Hayek who first spelled out to conservatives that they were engaged in a war of ideas. Since the rise of Reaganism, conservatives have been winning this war and the opinion pages of newspapers are one of the chief battlegrounds.
It is therefore in the Left's interest to deny this ground to their enemy. A campaign waged against private financial ties serves not only this purpose but has proved beneficial in other ways. The acquiescence of editors and news services has enabled a sustained witch hunt. The war of ideas, unwinnable for the Left, has been replaced by a war on writers based on prejudice.
Murray understands precisely what is at stake in the attacks on Doug Bandow, Mike Fumento, and other writers who support market freedom:
The self-important witch finders blazing with moral righteousness have only one goal in mind: to deny the public access to the ideas advanced by the writers they target. This is not about trust, or ethics, or any other moral consideration. It is about suppression of free speech and public debate.
Murray, however, is not engaging in any ad hominem assault himself: he goes on to point out the precise fallacies on which these arguments are based, and his own argument is superb. Read it here.