Reason, Not Violence
August 9, 1998
On an island in the western sea, between Aegea and the rocks of Scylla, dwelt the Sirens, whose seductive songs so enchanted passing sailors that all perceptions but the desire to embrace the beautiful melodies was extinguished. Blinded by the music, the sailors perished, dashed upon the jagged rocks guarding the island of the Sirens.
In a early case of having one's own cake and eating it too, Odysseus thwarted fate by having himself bound to the mast while his crew, their ears stuffed with rags, sailed past the rocks, oblivious to the call of the Sirens.
Today the Sirens' Song, as sung by the anti-smokers, is raucous, hateful and discordant and its lure to self-destruction is not a melodious promise of beauty but the righteous urge to silence the hate and lies, by any means, if necessary. Instead of death on jagged rocks, those who succumb risk destruction by embracing violence and the futile rhetoric of hate. Unlike Odysseus' crew, we cannot, however, afford to stop up our ears.
Any intelligent person, who thoroughly examines the anti-smoker message, will be filled with anger at society's acceptance of its illogical foolishness. That anger becomes rage when the media promotes the foolishness and politicians embrace the lies as a justification to grab power and money. Our moral high ground is lost when that rage spawns talk of violence and retribution.
How, then, can decent people maintain their values in the face of government anti-smoking hysteria and hate campaigns?
How can we stand it when a minor cog in the anti-smoking cartel, promotes a scheme to poison smokers and is rewarded by an invitation to the White House?
How can we keep our cool when the Senate of the United States proposes the nationalization of an American industry to be financed by picking the pockets of a quarter of the country's population?
How can we not be consumed with rage when thugs and gangsters corrupt science in order to grow rich by fanning the flames of ignorant intolerance?
How can we resist the Siren Song of violence when truth, logic and morality seem to have failed us?
We must strongly reject calls to violence in order to ensure that, ultimately, we will win this struggle. Although we have no money, little media support and precious little access to the politicians, we do have the tools to beat the anti-smokers and obliterate their poisonous agenda.
With the truth on our side, we do not have to lie. We do not have to distort reality as the anti-smokers have done with their lies about secondhand smoke, their lies about health costs due to smoking and their lies about addiction. We do not have to corrupt science, economic reality and morality, as do the anti-smokers. All of our positions have strong foundations while the anti-smoking edifice is so flimsy that its collapse is assured.
Their agenda is driven by greed, lust for power and, above all else, pure hatred for their fellow human beings. These components may prevail for the short term but in the long term they will fail.
We must never resort to the violence and hatred that the anti-smokers and their allies espouse because we are right and we are better than they are. With that realization, we know we will prevail.
Enoch A. Ludlow