Protests: A Study in Contrasts

I’ve been watching some of the videos from the NATO protests in Chicago. Protesters throw bottles and other missiles at police. Some have called for the deaths of police and NATO personnel. Many are dressed in outfits that make them look like no more than ordinary street thugs. As some commentators have noted, this is all very organized; radical unions like the SEIU are behind the coordinated mayhem. Keep in mind these are protests against violence. Supposedly.

Police and demonstrators have clashed on various occasions. What’s interesting is that some national news reports are portraying the police in an unfavorable light, while reports from local news outlets are praising their restraint and appear grateful for their protection. Any agenda here from the national level?

When President Obama was asked about these protests, and their blatant incivility, he responded that this is what America is all about—allowing people to protest. Mr. President, there is such a thing as genuine protest, and there is also anarchy. I’m not surprised by his response, though. After all, he was a community organizer.

What a contrast with Tea Party rallies. While the national media ignore the radical dimension associated with the current protests, they pounced on any display of dignified protest against the socialist drift in our nation. They sought to explain the Tea Party as a group of angry white people. They talked of the potential for violence in the movement. They didn’t seem to recognize the many faces of the Tea Party, which included minorities fed up with the trashing of our Constitution and the massive debt being accumulated. They searched for violence in the movement but couldn’t find any. Yet the theme remains: these are dangerous people.

I’ve been to a Tea Party event. It was calm and purposeful. The speakers were coherent and principled. They didn’t resort to mindless slogans and chants. I’ve also spoken to a couple of 9/12 Project groups, which are in sync with the Tea Party. The goal of these groups is not to agitate on the streets, call for the killing of government officials with which they disagree, and promote violence. Rather, they seek to educate the public on constitutional thinking. They are performing a public service.

We need to keep in mind the worldview of the majority of our national media. They are in lockstep with the policies of the current administration and are actively working for Obama’s reelection.

The old saying remains true: freedom does require eternal vigilance on our part. I applaud the efforts of Americans who work to reestablish our foundations.