It occurred to me this weekend as I watched Sarah Palin speak at the Tea Party rally at the capitol in Madison, that not only is there a philosophical & political disagreement taking place here in the state of Wisconsin, but a fundamental misunderstanding of HOW the debate should take place.
When a group gathers to enjoy the constitutionally protected freedoms of lawful assembly, they should be able to expect a reasonable environment to listen to their featured speakers, exchange ideas and receive the general message of that rally or gathering without fear of verbal or physical assault.
This is why I am left confused by the message of the Wisconsin Wave and their fellow protestors. As the rally kicked off, the Tea Party group was surrounded on the outskirts & infiltrated by screaming, bull horn toting, whistle blowing & drum playing anti rally folks who clearly disagreed with the ideas, thoughts and values of the rally attendees. While hauling the same talking points of “Blame wall St., You hate the middle class, you want to starve & make homeless, the elderly, poor & children.” As well as other hateful language that has no place here. The more prominent the speaker, the louder they became.
Their mission was quite obvious. Drown out the speakers by screaming, whistle blowing, drumming or whatever it takes….Bottom line, they want the Tea Party message silenced, censored or even driven away if they had their druthers. They have no opposing ideas, formulas or solutions to the problems at hand, so they need to make the people who do, the villain in this story.
Be careful what you wish for. The very people and politicians who you may think are on your side, are more than willing to tell you what good health care is, what is “fair” to be on your radio dial and more than willing to take full control of your access to the world wide web (the very outlet you muster you fellow protesters with) and be able to shut it down for “National security reasons”. If you are having trouble grasping what I’m saying here, just switch out the name of the politician you voted for and replace it with George W. Bush, then you may realize how sinister this direction is.
I supported the protesters right to be at the capitol and having their voices heard since Feb and I will continue to do so. I would also ask for the same courtesy. Don’t try to silence or shout down those you disagree with because there might be a terrible societal outcome.
You might succeed.