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.
- Town hall attendees are mocked as the “Brooks Brothers” brigade, too well dressed to be sincere, not only by media outlets, but also by Barbara “Call Me Senator” Boxer.
- Democrat strategist Lanny Davis has called for an “outing” of these citizens to “prove” they are on the take, using photographs and other methods of investigation. Yet in 2008, Obama told supporters how his campaign would repel Republican attacks: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” And earlier this year, he told his health care supporters to “get in their [the opposition’s] faces.”
- An anonymously created poster of Obama in Heath Ledger’s Joker makeup with the word “socialism” underneath is denounced as “mean-spirited and dangerous,” not to mention “racist.” Apparently those who worry about racism didn’t worry about Joe Lieberman being depicted in blackface by a liberal blogger.
I suppose I should be surprised by this stunning display of hypocrisy by the left and its servile media, but sadly I’m not.
Perhaps the most egregious example of the new order is this, from the White House website:
There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to email@example.com.
During the days of the Nazi regime, German citizens could never be sure who informants for the Gestapo were:
It could be anyone, your milkman, the old lady across the street, a quiet co-worker, even a schoolboy. As a result, fear ruled the day. Most people realized the necessity of self-censorship and generally kept their mouths shut politically, unless they had something positive to say.
And paranoia in the Soviet Union under Stalin was so bad that in the communal apartments in the cities, “each occupant was a potential informer who might denounce the neighbors in order to take over their coveted space.”
Where are the liberals who protested about the “civil rights violations” of the Patriot Act when it comes to the White House encouraging American citizens to “inform” them of “fishy” information? And aren’t libs at all worried about the provisions in the health care bill that would give government direct, real-time access to personal bank accounts and medical records?
Is this the Hopenchange we were promised? If so, I want a refund.