NOTE: While looking through my old essays, I found another 15 that struck me as particularly interesting. Some may seem a bit dated, as they discuss current events during the period 2008 to 2010, but the principles they discuss are still relevant.
I was recently reminded of one of the strangest events in the history of liberalism, and I thought I would share it with those who missed it. It was a big story in Maryland, but I don't know if the rest of the nation ever heard about it. But as it shows the hypocrisy of the left's arguments, I think it would be helpful to bring it to wider attention.
John Thanos was a thoroughly reprehensible individual who killed three teenage boys. During the trial he taunted family members, said he wanted to dig up and defile the bodies and generally let everyone know that he was not repentant, or innocent. He refused to let his lawyers raise any defense based on childhood abuse, and he refused to appeal his conviction. In short, he wanted to die.
So, of course, the left filed appeals on his behalf. A man who clearly is ready to die, who is clearly guilty, became the poster child of those opposed to the death penalty. As appeals on his behalf proceeded, much against his will, Thanos attempted suicide several times. This only fueled those who were fighting against the death penalty, as they argued he had been incompetent to stand trial, or that he was now incompetent and thus ineligible for execution.
Fortunately they eventually lost, and Thanos was executed.
So, why do I say the Thanos case shows the hypocrisy of the liberals? From what I said above, I know it is not obvious, as the liberals pretty consistently fought against the death penalty.
And my complaint with the liberals is not that they were inconsistent in their opposition to the death penalty, it is that their opposition to the death penalty seems inconsistent with other beliefs, most specifically their stance on the right to die.
Just look at the case, Thanos wanted to die. Had he been a free man they would have been fighting for his right to get a lethal injection rather than trying to deny him the death he sought. Whenever an opponent of assisted suicide brings up the topic of incompetence, they treat it as a non-issue, but in this case they argued that wanting to die SHOWED he was incompetent. In short, when fighting the death penalty they adopted every position they deny when arguing for the right to die.
Of course, the truth is that when arguing to end the death penalty, the left does not believe any of their arguments. They don't care whether it is painful, whether the individual wants to die, nothing. Their desire to end the death penalty matters more than anything else. They will even make arguments with which they do not agree.
It is interesting to see how little their arguments matter to the left. They are so enamored of their causes that they would say anything just to win, even if the arguments contradict everything else they claim to believe.
Originally posted in Random Notes on 2008/05/02.