- "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." ~Benjamin Franklin
On Facebook, My Liberal Democrat Doctor nephew posted a photo of a seemingly offensive sign, with accompanying text, taken at the most recent tea party demonstration in Washington DC:
The sign he was referring to is the "If Brown can't stop it a Browning can" sign shown above.
The first comment made to his post was a sympathetic,
"these people are crazy. Truly, in the most literal sense of the word."Whereupon I responded(without thinking it out),
"And I suppose that threatening the citizenry with Prison time if they refuse to accept the Government Health care is sane?"My nephew then proceeded to deconstruct my argument with,
"A protestor threatening to shoot someone if that's what it takes to stop the healthcare bill is more insane than threatening prison for those who fail to pay the tax penalty assessed for refusal to buy health insurance, yes.In essence, he is correct.
I say that, even though i(sic) don't love the idea of the government requiring people to purchase anything"
Now, I love my nephew and indeed, my whole family, so the exchange left a bitter taste in my mouth. That is why, at 3:30 in the morning, I lay awake in bed with the disturbing feeling that I should have responded more appropriately. So, here, on my blog, I now present my rather lengthy rejoinder to my nephew's comment and subsequent argument:
Kevin (that's his name), I apologize for my somewhat knee-jerk reaction to your post earlier. Certainly offering a justification for what some over-rambunctious tea party attendees do doesn't, as my parents often reminded me, make their actions proper.
Two wrongs really don't make a right.
That said, I really don't have to point out the difference between one or two solitary citizens expressing their frustrations with the Government, and the President, along with some highly influential Democrat leaders wielding their immense powers to intimidate the very people they are supposed to be defending, do I?
I will submit, however, that you may be mis-interpreting the point the attendees are attempting to make.
Mere slogans on a sign don't begin to describe the extent of the frustration felt by the majority of Americans over these intrusive health care reform proposals.
Although I understand I can't speak to what the author of the slogan may have had in mind when he penned it, I would interpret it differently than how it has obviously been perceived by you and others.
I believe the tea party attendee who held the offending sign aloft may be expressing a willingness to defend his liberty by the use of a gun if necessary.
I am referring to the same spirit that created this country in her infancy. Remember, the American revolution didn't start with violence. It began even before those 56 brave men affixed their signatures to the Declaration of Independence.
Were the words on that solitary sheet of parchment all that was needed to secure liberty and freedom for the thousands of oppressed colonists?
Ultimately, the words on that document had to be enforced with the use of guns before King George finally released his oppressive hold over our forefathers.
The tea party attendees in question are probably just attempting to send the message that Americans will not stand idly by while our freedoms and liberty are being methodically stripped away.
This, I submit, may be the clumsy motivation behind the offensive signs.
Right or wrong, we cannot simply dismiss this as merely some right wing gun nut with murder in mind.
Many Americans, (Democrats included) feel this health care reform agenda is just the beginning of an unprecedented grab for power.
Kevin, you accidentally touched upon the crux of my personal objection to the health care legislation in your response to my comment:
"[I] don't love the idea of the government requiring people to purchase anything"Personally, I don't have as much a problem with the possible increase of taxes to pay for this reform as I do with the sheer impertinence of the Government telling me they have a right to decide for me what health care I should have, whether I want it or not.
Let me decide that for myself, thank you.
*I'm not calling my Nephew stupid. He definitely is not. It's just a catchy title for the post.