There was a lot of flapping of the gums in the media in the days immediately following the week the health care bill was signed into law, mostly about the perceived threat of violence from the right.
It should be understood that violence, even the most mild, such as the throwing of rocks, or even the threats of violence in phone calls and email, is abhorrent to those who seek real change in government. The actions of violence do nothing to further the course of change, and in fact, do more harm than good to any cause they support or say they support.
Most reasonable adults believe that as well.
During the American Revolution, John Adams, himself an eventual revolutionary, spoke against the acts of tarring and feathering Tories, and other heinous acts. However, he spoke eloquently and loudly about the acts of an unjust king, and denounced it. Yet, it wasn’t until the king acted illegally, and then with the support of the newborn US Congress did he support armed action — and then, it was the act of a uniformed army, not domestic terrorism. If you read some of his early works, before the Revolution, his words were far harsher, and angrier, than any media host or politician from the right today.
Nevertheless, there are those on the left that are attempting to cast the acts of a few extremists as the acts of the whole. They also are trying to paint those who speak in defiance of the government as criminals and the words they say as seditious.
This is not the act of those that seek peaceful discourse, it is the attempt of the left to silence its detractors, and quiet down the legitimate argument of the right to stop the enactment of the new health care law.
They have that right, but let’s call it what it is. This is not about stopping violence. It’s an attempt to keep the debate to a minimum and drive their detractors away. The White House saw what happened the first time around when the American people got angry and confronted those in Congress at their town hall meetings. It nearly derailed the entire process, and forced Congress to make changes to the original bill that they never wanted.
They want to make sure that doesn’t happen now that it has become law, to prevent its repeal or change, to ensure that they keep enough seats in Congress in the November elections to prevent a congressional shift from unfolding and repealing the new mandate.
The freedom of speech is one of the most basic, and most powerful, protections that an American citizen has. The act of “rowdy discourse” is central to both the American way of life, and fundamental to the school of political thought that is uniquely American.
I, for one, am glad that people are yelling. That people are angry. That people will be motivated to get to the ballot box and vote. That people who never have been political a day in their lives before, are going out and attending rallies, writing letters to their representatives and asking for repeal. All of these things are core to the beliefs of Americans. More of us need to express ourselves in this manner.
Are people angry? You bet they are. The majority of Americans wanted health care changes and reform, but this bill put government in the wallets of every American and in the cash register of every business on Main Street. It is a government takeover of our very lives, our very person. The fact that people are angry and vocal about it should not be a surprise to anyone up on the Hill.
The left under Obama has continually tried to paint the people that speak loudly against them as crackpots and violent. They have tried to convince people that speaking out and attending rallies is an act of sedition. Such an argument should be hateful to anyone who thinks freely. To discourage discourse, to try and tell people how and in what manner they should speak out, is a low moment in U.S. politics.
It’s not like the left is innocent, either. During Bush’s presidency, how many people carried signs that said “Kill Bush,” how many people called and threatened the White House then? Many did. Yet we heard nothing but small print stories then about the issue. Now suddenly, the reasonable act of angry words at rallies is anathema. Some have even called Sarah Palin’s Searchlight speech seditious.
The only act of sedition and lawlessness that is being fomented is that of the left, trying to squelch the right to freedom of speech in this country. Those that break the law will be dealt with, as they should be, and no legitimate authority of the conservative movement, or radio host, or media outlet has ever suggested acting violently against others, either in the name, or by de facto support.
To say otherwise is disingenuous, and is the act of political posturing.
To those who seek to silence the legitimate anger and speech of Americans, I simply say this. November is coming, and then the change that everyone thought they were voting for, is certainly going to come this time to the Hill.