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Posted by on Mar 30, 2010 in Politics | 11 comments

Those Awful, Violent Activists

They’re rude. They’re crude. They show up precisely where they’re not wanted and shout inappropriate, vulgar things. They not only make threats of violence, but engage in it as their preferred method of exercising their free speech rights. You know the type, right? What have they been up to lately?

When a political author hosts a book signing and speech, they shout him down, hound him from the stage and attempt to physically assault him.

Crowds of them gather, hurl eggs and shout obscenities at supporters of the other party’s candidates.

They deliver death threats to members of Congress and their families so serious that they are arrested by the FBI.

We all know who is being discussed here. The Democrats and the progressive liberal movement. From these and other examples we should readily be able to draw the general conclusion that liberal Democrats are violent people who wish to suppress the free speech of others and will stop at nothing to make sure they shut down their opponents, right?

If that sounds like an absurd leap off of the data wagon to you, you’re right. Taking tens of millions of engaged voters with a common set of goals and painting them with one brush based on the idiotic actions of a few bad actors is rather pathetic. And yet I’m hard pressed to click on the pages of any political blogs or news sites and not see the exact same type of generalizations being made about tea party activists and conservatives who gather to oppose Obamacare and support conservative candidates for office. (You know who you are.) Doesn’t this blind, one-sided distortion of reality give you a crick in your neck?

When 25,000 people gather together on the National Mall, you’re going to attract a couple of nuts. But when bloggers and cable news media types ignore 24,995 of them and focus exclusively on the handful who showed up holding a sign with a picture of a gun on it – as if that was the homogeneous tone of the entire event – you identify yourself as having the exact same level of credibility as the silly example I cited above.

When millions marched in protest of the Iraq war some years ago, did these same sources focus only on the handful of people who got arrested for throwing bricks or spilling symbolic blood in a military recruiting station? No. They did not. Large crowds attract elements of the fringe. It’s a rule of life.

Get a grip. There are a lot of people who are once again generally upset with the direction and actions of the government. They’re taking to the streets and making themselves heard. Stop with the generalizations. The only people being made to look foolish are the authors.

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