Repeated and sustained acts of civil disobedience are the only weapons that remain to us… We must be willing to accept personal discomfort, to put our bodies in the way of the machine –Chris Hedges
Shortly after Congresswoman Giffords’ shooting; the Left joined together to demand civility in politics. The Leftists at truthdig.com, (the domain of editor-and-chief Robert Scheer) hurled accusations at right-wing political commentators. It was decided, without need for evidence, that shooter Jared Loughner had been driven to murder by violent words from the right. Even Obama chimed in, requesting a “more civil and honest public discourse”.
But now, the tune is changing. Faced with a situation in Wisconsin which they do not like, and a governor doing the job he was hired to do, commentators from the Left have decided it is time to turn the tables. They have declared war on democracy. They are taking aim at a political climate they suddenly see as unsympathetic, and apparently have decided that their only recourse is violence. Suddenly, calls for violence are acceptable, even reasonable. They’ve even found a perfect role model in the Arab states now revolting against years of oppression.
Unless we are willing to rise up as have state workers in Wisconsin and citizens on the streets of Arab capitals. –Chris Hedges
With no hint of irony, the writer compares a budget crisis in a state that is out of money with years of oppression from violent dictatorships. He genuinely sees Wisconsin’s problems as a cause big enough to throw out the whole democratic process, and break a few laws and perhaps a few limbs in the process. Gone are the pleas for honest and open discourse, for polite conversation — now it’s personal.
What these types of comments neglect to consider is that unlike our Arab friends, we have avenues for peaceful protest. We not only have the First Amendment, which gives us a voice that these countries do not have, but we also have the chance to elect to office those who will best represent our interests. (A few democratic senators in Wisconsin might have misunderstood this concept.)
Calling civil disobedience in response to a policy that is supported by the majority of elected officials is a misuse of those First Amendment rights. Inciting people to violence rather than using the peaceful avenues available, is the beginning of the end for democracy in America.
To first decry the violence they blame on conservatives, and then to condone its use for their own causes exposes a dangerous flaw in the Left’s psyche: The ends justify the means. They believe that as long as it is in the country’s best interest, it’s ok to throw out the whole system provided conservatives don’t try to do the same, of course.