April 28, 2009

Is Dissension Still Patriotic in the Age of Obama?


When I posted my "Burning Questions for Liberals", I should have included a follow up question to "Where are all the war protesters?". Recent events have me considering a related question: Whatever happened to 'dissension is patriotic'?
Liberals defended their anti-war and anti-administration protests as being 'patriotic'. For their part, the media defended their one-sided criticisms and character assassinations also as 'patriotic'. As if they were fulfilling their duty as good citizens, we watched 8 years of endless rallies, 'news' reports, and documentaries.
Most of us, however, were not so naive to think that the majority of the Bush-era "dissenters" were true patriots with the best interests of the United States at heart. And certainly we were not going to buy the notion that folks like Michael Moore were patriotic in the way say, most of America, or the dictionary defines patriotism.

clearly 'patriotic' kids at a Bush-era protest:

But assuming there was an element of the Left which honestly believed that dissension is patriotic, why does that no longer hold true now that Obama is in power?

Recently, we have seen several organized protests called "Tea Parties", which, in the tradition of the Boston Tea Party, are folks exercising their right as American citizens to speak out against increasingly excessive taxation. Is it peaceful dissension? Absolutely. Yet suddenly, dissension is no longer considered patriotic by the Mainstream Media, who covered the events with contempt and ridicule.
The little coverage that NPR gave the April 15th rallies, for instance, characterized them as rained-out failures. (Had it been an anti-war or pro-abortion protest, they would have spoke of "the brave souls who withstood treacherous weather conditions").

The entertainment segment of the media either ignored the grass-roots movement or made jokes of a high school locker-room nature...Somehow, the humor in oppressive taxation and a historically unprecedented deficit escapes me, and I don't remember similar jokes about the liberal protest circus.

Obama himself, could hardly disguise his contempt for these peaceful protests. When he spoke about the Tea Parties recently, his tone was paternalistic condescension and he blabbered something irrelevant about Healthcare. My, my how power changes those who condemned it.

When prepping for this blog piece, I reviewed dozens and dozens of Bush administration protests images. I was struck by the signs and costuming that was simply disrespectful to anyone who held the office of President, Vice President, or Secretary of State. They burned in effigy, they mocked with foul language, all the while treated seriously by the media. Yet, I had a difficult time finding anything similar in the Tea Party events. There was no hatred, just serious concern about where we are headed and our children's future... evidently that kind of thing is not patriotic according to the Left.

another 'unsuccessful' Tea Party protest:

The Tea Parties are very inclusive, but generally speaking it is a middle class phenomena. They are made up of working people and small business owners, who unlike the typical Liberal activist, are usually too busy working and taking care of their families to protest at the drop of a hat or text message. Cutting class is much easier than skipping a day of work.
There was even a predictable attempt by the left to tarnish the tax protesters as a racist group, to which one angry black man and Tea Party organizer said on a talk radio show, if they wanted to know where the black people are "...Here I am! Right Here!"

The best I can figure is that to the Liberals, and in the best tradition of Stalinist "double-speak", dissension is patriotic when it is convenient to say so. According to them, their dissension is patriotic and the opposition's dissension is merely obstructive. At the very least protest is not "cool" anymore.
The left demands that we protect their right to assemble and protect their freedom of speech, even though we disagree, but we cannot expect the same from them. (Since the Left controls congress and the White House, they can even take measures Bush would never have dared to attempt to silence criticism). The Liberal activists have always cloaked themselves with 'patriotism' and the protection of our Constitution, yet they work tirelessly to undermine our nation. Yet, when we march to protect our liberty, we are the fly in the ointment of their vision...Well I will accept that, and I hope it continues. Perhaps it is time that us conservatives got radical...

(don't) save the whales:



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