Sunday, August 09, 2009

Hope and Change: America talks back

Life is full of irony.

I now have hope there will be positive change in this country.

Not brought about by the Obama administration, but by regular American's who are already fed up and have the audacity to go to town hall meetings across the country to talk about it -- yes, even shout about it.

The "audacity of hope" -- indeed!

In an oped, "Remember when protest was patriotic?", Glenn Reynolds writes:
"Protest is patriotic!" "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism!" These battle-cries were heard often, in a simpler America of long ago -- that is, before last November.
What's all the shouting about?
People have been turning out, in the tens of thousands at times, because they feel that Obama pulled a bait-and-switch and is moving the country much farther to the left than he promised during the campaign.
Ah, the campaign. That was just a means to an end.

"They" won, so "we" should shut up.

Instead, we have what "they" are now fond of calling a "mob" uprising.
Now that we're seeing genuine expressions of populist discontent, not put together by establishment packagers on behalf of an Officially Sanctioned Aggrieved Group, we're suddenly hearing complaints of "mob rule" and demands for civility.

Civility is fine, but those who demand it should show it. The Obama administration -- and its corps of willing supporters in the press and the punditry -- has set the tone, and they are now in a poor position to complain.

Whether they like it or not -- and the evidence increasingly tends toward "not" -- President Obama and his handlers need to accept that this is a free country, one where expressions of popular discontent take place outside the electoral process, and always have. (Remember Martin Luther King?)

What historians like Gordon Wood and Pauline Maier call "out-of-doors political activity" is an old American tradition, and in the past things have been far more "boisterous" than they are today.
Reynolds precisely nails it:
Rather than demonizing today's protesters, perhaps they might want to reflect on how flimflams and thuggishness have managed to squander Obama's political capital in a few short months, and ponder what they might do to regain the trust of the millions of Americans who are no longer inclined to give the Obama administration the benefit of the doubt.
Indeed. Count me as one of those. And if this sounds "fishy," the White House would like an email about it. Send to flag@whitehouse.gov.

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