Friday, August 14, 2009

Political ironies

Isn't it strange that the very same people who have for years been endlessly whinging about the lack of "engagement" by the average American in the political process are now lamenting the high level of engagement by average Americans when it is going against their preferred policies? I mean seriously, if a fired-up citizenry, passionately committed to seeing a particular political issue (in this case health-care "reform") be decided in a certain way is a good thing, then it is a good thing even when it goes against your particular political principles. Protesting citizens are not by their nature a mob (Yes, I'm talking to you, Sen. Boxer!) nor are nicely dressed people necessarily fronts for some evil corporation (You too, Speaker Pelosi!). What they are is my fellow Americans, with just as much right to express themselves and peaceably assemble to protest as left-wingers from Berkeley or Madison. Or is it possible that some believe only left-wing protest is truly "authentic"? If so, that is intellectual base-stealing on a high level.

American citizens deserve to have their voices heard and to neither be lectured to by their political leaders about the supposed "ignorance" of their opinions nor pejoratively referred to in a way that makes them seem like goose-stepping fascists (Yes, I'm talking to you again, Speaker Pelosi!). Moreover, we deserve to have major political issues robustly, openly, and vigorously debated, not to have one side's policy preferences railroaded through without even a perusal of the massive bill which will reorder 1/6 of the economy and significantly alter the relationship between citizen and state. This is what living in a representative republic is all about.

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