Complaining about the government these days? Take a number — and give them your driver’s license and Social Security number while you’re at it. And don’t forget to smile pretty for the camera.
During the Bush years, the left assured us it was a citizen’s duty to take to the streets to protest American militarism, imperialism, jingoism, and intrusion into one’s private life via the Patriot Act. Left-wing activists attended war protests — many taking buses chartered by far left-wing groups — and others impressed us with their unique fashion sense. They even shut down cargo operations on the West coast.
Don’t forget progressive art — for years, George W. Bush was depicted as the Joker, a vampire sucking the life out of Lady Liberty, and with a gun to his head — to name just a few tasteful items. Yes, indeed, one’s First Amendment rights are precious.
Flash forward to 2009. Many Americans, dismayed by the unprecedented growth of government, rising taxes and the wasteful spending that accompanies it, and last but not least a health care plan that is a one-way ticket to socialism, begin to voice their concerns by attending grassroots tea parties and town hall meetings held by elected representatives. A number of these Americans, concerned about the direction in which their nation is headed, are attending such gatherings for the first time.
The following are just a few examples illustrating how this time, the protests aren’t welcome:
- A CNN reporter was openly contemptuous of the tea parties; she was more interested in arguing with attendees and criticizing her cable competition than simply reporting the facts. (Later, her contract was not renewed, but it is not clear if this kind of “reporting” had anything to do with it.)
- CNN and MSNBC hosts and guests used vulgar terminology on the air to describe tea party attendees.