It astounds me, how often people discard their values in order to toe the political line. There are folks on both sides of the political spectrum who are guilty. This sort of hypocrisy makes me lose faith in the future of honest, objective debate in our country, in a time when we need it the most. Has our two party system so permeated the culture, that we form our opinions based on partisanship, instead of principles and personal experience? If this is indeed the case, we only pay lip service to freedom and equality; when in reality, we've become robots and slaves.
Once, while I was serving overseas in the Army, I watched a group of desperate people fist fighting over humanitarian supplies. I have always kept that image fresh in my mind, because for me, it provided some perspective. I thought of my home in Michigan, and how fortunate I was to live in a nation, and a state, where people didn't need to behave like animals. Fear and anger can cause people to do shameful things to each other, but that sort of stuff only happens in third world countries.....right?As it turns out, people were behaving like animals on the lawn of my state capitol last Tuesday.
I am not going to talk about the merits of "Right To Work" legislation, I'm a conservative, so you probably know where I stand. I will, however, say a few words about certain union thugs, their antics; and certain liberals who are bending over backwards to either defend their actions, or downplay the severity of what took place in Lansing. I will refer to certain people as "union thugs," because that's exactly what they are. I know that most union workers are good people, and that most of my liberal friends are intelligent and principled. I am directing these observations at those who chose to use violence and intimidation against Americans they disagreed with. I know the history of organized labor, Woody Guthrie told me about it. After six years in the infantry, and six years as a heavy equipment operator, I don't need to be lectured on the plight of the working man.....I've lived it.
Last Tuesday on the front lawn of my state capitol, people were assaulted, and their Constitutional rights were violated by union thugs. You may find that statement a bit abrasive, but it is true nonetheless. I would expect those liberals who constantly preach tolerance and nonviolence, to be the first to denounce such actions; but instead, it's toes to the political line. You may remember the liberals I'm talking about, they're the ones who called the TEA Party an "angry mob." They're the ones who kept their cameras trained on grassroots conservatives, hoping desperately for one video clip to validate their accusations. Perhaps they believe journalist Steve Crowder deserved to be punched repeatedly by a union thug; so much so in fact, that they'll look the other direction while folks get verbally abused and physically assaulted........so much for civil rights.
Let's be honest. If TEA Party folks in masks had cut down Occupy Detroit tents with box cutters, then thrown punches at a reporter, it would have been front page news. The mainstream media would have loved to report on conservatives destroying the property of an African American, while hurling racial slurs and insults. It was union thugs, however, that were cutting down tents with people inside; then handing out pieces of the tent as souvenirs, as though they were proud of their ability to violate the rights of others. It was union thugs that ransacked Clint's hot dog stand, while calling him an "Uncle Tom," and other racial slurs I won't put into print. None of this fits the liberal narrative, so it must be ignored, and swept under the rug as quickly as possible.
Coincidentally, not only did I have friends in Lansing supporting RTW; but I also had a friend there cutting down tents, and behaving like a thug. Under just about any other circumstance, we'd probably all be getting along as friends; but such is the state of civil discourse currently, that it's becoming less civil every day. Politics start to take precedence in our personal relationships, until we divide ourselves down ideological lines, and friends become enemies; this is something we should endeavor to avoid. The founders risked everything, to create for us an environment of free thought and open debate. Self government comes with a solemn responsibility; to work within the parameters of our republic, and to express our views while respecting the rights of those who disagree. I am proud of my TEA Party friends here in Michigan, who have maintained the sort of discipline that should be the standard. You may disagree with their positions on the issues, but violence and thug tactics have never been tools in their repertoire, much to the chagrin of the left. I would also point out my liberal friends, with whom I regularly Pow Wow to discuss the issues. They are good people, however misguided. They know that this piece is not about them, I don't paint with a brush so broad. I do, however, point out hypocrisy and thuggery, because of the danger they pose to our civil discourse.
All of this brings me back those people fist fighting over humanitarian supplies. They had a reason to be desperate. I wonder how many of those protesters were actually in danger of starving. What would finally push you to the point of violence? When grassroots conservatives took to the streets here in Michigan, we were angry and frustrated; but we believed we still lived in the greatest nation on earth. We loved our country, and respected our Constitution, enough to play by the rules. That is what set us apart from the masked rioters of the Occupy movement, and the violence of union thugs; we believed in our republic enough to work within its parameters, and affect change from the inside.
When the rule of law breaks down, and mob mentality takes over, people often victimize each other. The question is, when do we as a society reach our breaking point? I saw a little bit of Greece in the events of last Tuesday, and I am afraid that our grip on civility is becoming tenuous. If we have reached the point of even sporadic violence on the lawn of our capitol, how can we come together to address the future challenges we face in our cities, states, and our nation?