Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Politics is Hard

The proof? A group of 30 or so protesters at an anti-war rally in Portland Oregon lit an effigy of an American Soldier on Fire. This is the point of William Rusher's latest article.

First of all some background. A college student (and reporter at her college paper) posted some pictures of an anti rally. According to her, a few protesters (about 30) broke off from the main group and did this soldier effigy burning. She snapped some pictures of it, and put them in her picture book, where they have since burned through the Conservative Blog-O-Sphere.

Let me point out that burning soldiers in effigy is not cool, and those who participated in the act should be ashamed of themselves.

But of course this is the final straw for poor William Rusher.
I have tended to resist the arguments of friends of mine who insist that American politics have recently become uglier than they have ever been before. But an incident in Portland, Ore., on Sunday, March 25, does suggest that we may have passed a fateful turning point in our national dialogue.

On that day, several thousand antiwar protesters marched through Portland, most of them behaving the way protesters do on such occasions. According to the Portland Oregonian, however, "a handful of people set afire a uniformed effigy of a U.S. soldier and an upside-down flag." A Web site provided further details: "Photos taken by Rachel Palinkas, a Linfield College student, showed masked protesters burning an effigy of what appears to be a U.S. soldier. ... The photos showed protesters gathered around a figure wearing U.S. military fatigues and a crude skull for a head as it and an American flag were lit on fire. Other black-clad, masked protesters carried a black banner that read, 'No Gods, no country, no masters,' and a circle 'A' anarchy symbol."

Now, burning an effigy of an American soldier is not, as far as I know, something we have seen before in this country. Together with the slogan on the banner, it seems determined to push defiance of the United States and its values to the furthest imaginable extreme.
Yeah it really is shocking that college anarchists do thinks that are irresponsible, nasty, and rotten. And the fact that such things happen are proof that Liberalism is rotten to the core. And that discourse in our party has gotten too nasty. Because a few garden variety anarchists in Portland are clearly representative of liberalism as a whole.

What's funny about this article is how the dink writing it has to pretend that there is a connection between what these Anarchists did and the mainstream of American political discourse (quick quiz; name one prominent American Anarchist who isn't in a band of one sort or the other).

But he also wants to pretend to be even handed. So he talks about technological innovations that make such protests possible. You see these protesters were masked, so they didn't have to worry about the possibility of being attacked for their inappropriate protests. And the mask having been invented about the same time as the weblog, this sort of protest is a clearly a brand new type of protest that would have been impossible in generations past.

Anyway I do feel sorry for Mr. Rusher having just realized how vicious and polarizing some rhetoric is. On the other hand it is kind of nice that he has been spared having to read Ann Coulter.

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