posted Aug 27, 2004

Reading this article somewhat indirectly prompts me to wonder how far the protesters are going to go in New York.

It makes me think some of the "radical" protesting ideas, like splitting everybody into groups of ten and taking as many street corners as possible may be the only sane thing for the protesters to do, because I think "mob mentality" is going to be the greatest danger to the protesters there is.

Protesting a convention already makes me nervous; you may think you are protesting policy but it looks an awful lot like you are protesting the democratic process, which I would consider an act of war. You do not have the right to "correct" the choices of the rest of us through the use of violence. If violence occurs, that I will be forced to conclude that the violence is against the democratic process and we will be fully justified in calling it what it is: Terrorism. Violence applied because you did not get your way in the legitimate democratic process. Not a stretch of the word at all.

To the protesters I would say: You walk a thin line. Be sure that nothing you do can be construed as an attack on the democratic process itself, a danger you already face by having these ill-advised protests anyhow. I know for a fact many of you already are enemies of democracy anyhow. Do not fall for the temptation of turning that animosity into action. I strongly recommend that you re-study your own history of non-violent protests. Ghandi and King both knew that only non-violence would work for them, not just for ethical reasons but also because an attempt at violence would only beget even more violence in return. Peaceful sit-ins need to be your model.

Update: This post was hard to write but I felt I needed to get it out. I'm not sure I got the tone right. For the record, this is intended to convey worriedness and nervousness, not a threat. Violence will hurt the leftists most of all, but taking down the civility level of the public discourse hurts us all.


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