By Selwyn Duke
Again proving why George Orwell's dystopian story 1984 was set in Britain, the English are contemplating even more efforts at thought control. They are proposing legislation that could make it illegal to tell jokes about homosexuals and want to make offenses against the elderly "hate crimes."
I've written much about hate crime/hate speech laws and don't feel inclined to restate my arguments against them here. If interested, you can read one of my many pieces on the subjects.
What I will say is that applying hate crime penalties to those who target the elderly makes a mockery of even the alleged purpose of this category of law. We know that criminals will train their sights on older people, as the latter are particularly easy prey. And predators should be punished harshly. But to imply that these criminals are motivated by some special animosity for senior citizens is stupid even by statist standards. Of course, the proponents of hate crime laws aren't really driven by logic or reason but, rather, by social engineering imperatives and what feels right at the moment.
In a way, though, it may actually be a good thing if the list of victim groups expands inexorably. Once most everyone is included, we'll have moved closer to the solution I've proposed. To wit: If we want a greater degree of punishment for hate crimes because it will more effectively deter the behavior, why not just apply those consequences across the board? After all, if they're not effective, why waste time applying them to hate crimes? But if they are effective, shouldn't we want to fight all violent crime effectively?
There are only two reasons why this eminently logical solution is rejected by those on the left. First, on an emotional level they truly despise certain ideas and want to be able to make statements -- in the media, in schools and through the criminal justice system -- reflecting their godly determinations. Second, they want latitude to be able to punish what they view as "victimizer groups" harshly while giving what they see as "victim groups" a slap on the wrist. This cannot be done as easily if you only judge the acts committed. But if you allow yourself the luxury of divining what a perpetrator's motivations might have been, if you set yourself up as a clairvoyant who can sense "hate," this becomes very easy. Why, we know those infernal ice people are irredeemably hateful. Don't you know that? Doesn't everybody?
And you can't achieve true justice without astuteness like that.