Sarah Palin at the Tea Party Convention on Progressives Telling Us to “Sit Down and Shut Up!”


“Now like a lot of you perhaps I have spent the last year thinking about how to best serve. How can I help our country. How can I make sure that I, that you, that we’re in a position of nobody being able to succeed when they try to tell us to sit down and shut up.”


Andrew Klavan on the Culture of “Shut Up”

[Transcript of Video Essay on Leftwing Politics]

Hi. This is Andrew Klavan[1] on the Culture.

Some conservatives are arguing that the beginning of the Obama era has been a disaster. They argue that the president’s soft approach to tyrants oversees has elicited predictable displays of aggression boding far worse to come. They feel the president’s high blown ethical rhetoric has given way to his appointments of political hacks. And of course there’s the gazillion dollars of spending and taxation that conservatives feel is a radical attempt to destroy our free market system. That’s the conservative argument. But today I’d like to explain the liberal argument. “Shut Up.”

“Shut Up” is the central rationale beyond the leftist program. We’ve heard it expanded  upon recently by democrat bigwigs who want to bring back some version of the misnamed Fairness Doctrine to try to knock guys like Rush Limbaugh and Shaun Hannity off the air.  See, Rush and Shaun argue forcefully against liberal policies and democrats want to explain to them, “Shut Up.”

A book called Manifesto for Media Freedom by my City Journal ( pal Brian C. Anderson and Adam D. Thierer describes how high level Dems also support a plan with another Orwellian name. “Net Neutrality” it’s called that would force conservatives to “Shut Up” online as well.

But even if the left can’t turn “Shut Up” into law they’ve work hard over the years to make it the custom of the country. It’s the essence of Politically Correct phraseology and university speech codes. Say it our way or “Shut Up.” It’s inherent in the media’s demonization of conservative commentators. They way they try to turn names like Limbaugh and Ann Coulter into bywords for intolerance so they’ll just “Shut Up.”

And why were there more than half-a-dozen movies attacking the war on terror and not one in support of it? Oh, wait! I know! “Shut Up.”

The left here has been making the “Shut Up” argument at least since the 70’s when it became clear that all their arguments have failed. Since it was the only argument remaining to them they had to invent ways to say it.

  • If you pointed out that their weakness allowed the murderous tyranny of Communism to expand for instance, well, you were a McCarthyite. “Shut Up.”
  • If you proved that their leniency toward criminals turned our cities into cesspools you were a fascist. “Shut Up.”
  • When you pointed out that their welfare policies destroyed black families and created a social disaster of vast proportions you were a racist, a sexist, uncivil, worse than Hitler. All just different ways of saying, “Shut Up.”

All around the world Leftism has failed everywhere “Shut Uppery” has been called to its defense. The full blown Leftists, the Communists, say “Shut Up” with prisons and guns. But Western Leftists laboring under tradition of freedom are sudtler.

In Europe they’ve had more than 50 years of the sort of soft Socialism the Democrats are now bringing here. There anti-individualist, anti-religious, anti-patriotic policies have so sapped energies of the European nations that the continent’s once great cultures now flaccid and passive. Fit for nothing but to be conquered in slow motion by the violent, intolerant Islamist invader within.

But when people like  Ayaan Hirsi Ali,[2]  Geert Wilders,[3] Oriana Fallaci,[4] have the temerity the Left’s impowerment of Islamist hatefulness they are the ones brought up on charges of being hateful, not because they’re speaking falsely mind you, but because, “Shut Up.”

So now, the Left is in charge of America and “Shut Up” is on the march. Watch for that Fairness Doctrine. Beware of Net Neutrality. Pay attention to the ways the liberal mainstream news media has distort, mock, insult, and exclude the conservative opposition. Listen to the people they don’t want you to listen to.

Whatever you do? Don’t Shut Up.

This is Andrew Klavan on the Culture.


[1] Novelist of crime and suspense. Author of “Empire of Lies.”

[2] Ayaan Hirsi Ali (1969 – ), born in Somalia and raised in Kenya. She became a Dutch citizen through political asylum and was a member of the Dutch parliment from 30 January 2003 until 16 May 2006. She is now a fellow at the conservative thinktank the American Enterprise Institute. She is under threat from Islamists for her public rejection of the Muslim faith and its cultural practices which subjugate women.  In a BBC World Service radio interview [1] the week of June 19, 2005 Ali talks about the steps which led up to her rejection of Islam. “I came to the conclusion [that] I do not believe in the existence of a god or in the hereafter.” Quoting Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Author of her autobiography, Infidel.

For video of Chris Wallace (Fox News Sunday: Player of the Week June 3, 2007) interviewing Ayaan Hirsi Ali see:

For video of Glenn Beck (CNN 2007) interviewing Ayaan Hirsi Ali see:

[3] Geert Wilders was awarded the Oriana Fallaci Free Speech Award during a conference on “Islam & Free Speech,” February 19, 2009, at the Grand Palatino Hotel in Via Cavour 213, Rome, Italy, hosted by the association A Way for Oriana. The Freedom Party leader addressed the invitees and showed his film Fitna.

[4] Oriana Fallaci (29 June 1929 – September 15, 2006) was an Italian journalist, author, and political interviewer. A former partisan during World War II, she had a long and successful journalistic career. She interviewed many internationally known leaders and celebrities such as the Dalai Lama, Henry Kissinger, the Shah of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, Willy Brandt, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Walter Cronkite, Muammar al-Gaddafi, Federico Fellini, Sammy Davis Jr, Nguyen Cao Ky, Yasir Arafat, Indira Gandhi, Alexandros Panagoulis, Archbishop Makarios III, Golda Meir, Nguyễn Văn Thiệu, Haile Selassie, Sean Connery and Lech Walesa. After retirement, she returned to the spotlight after writing a series of articles and books critical of Islam and Arabs that aroused both support as well as controversies and accusations of racism and Islamophobia.

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