Monday, March 22, 2010

Who is the aggressor?

This weekend, while following the developments of the health care vote on FDL, I learned about some unacceptable behavior by some Tea Party protesters on the Washington Mall.[See UPDATE below]

Sen. Barney Frank was call a faggot.
Rep. John Lewis was called a nigger.
Others were reportedly spit upon.
A brick was thrown through the office window of Rep. Louise Slaughter.

Racism and ad hominim attacks such as described above are always inappropriate and worthy of condemnation. Tim Ryan made a statement to the House requesting Republicans condemn the entire Tea Party movement (after referring to them as tea baggers!) The acts above were performed by a few discrete individuals and are not indicative or representative of the movement, which has been been remarkably peaceful and well-behaved, even if angry.

The acts of violence are more disturbing, and have no place in a country which respects individual rights.

But let us be clear about the nature of the struggle in which are are currently engaged. The problem we face is that the instrument of government, whose sole legitimate purpose is the protection of individual rights, is being used to initiate force against innocent, peaceful private citizens. Multiple provisions within the health care bills (individual mandates, state interference in private contracts, price controls, confiscatory taxes, laws which turns some citizens involuntarily into the indentured servants of others) are acts of aggression on the rights of each individual to his own life, liberty and labor and ONLY TO HIS OWN.

Government is coercion: force backed by the threat of violence. The process of voting does not change the moral character of an act which violates an individual's rights. Those of us who protest against the implementation of ObamaCare can see that it is an act of aggression, backed by the threat of violence, against our inalienable rights. Our ability and our right to live free and independent lives is under attack by the very government created for our protection. It is a frightening place to stand.

This country is facing many significant challenges, but the solutions we implement must be consistent with a respect for the life, liberty and property of others—equally before the law. No special interests. No special treatment of one group as opposed to another. All other solutions involve the initiation of force and are neither moral nor practical—and must be actively condemned and resisted.

I am not sure how egregious violations of individual rights by the government must be before responding with physical force is justified. Although this is a question which must eventually be answered, we are not there yet.

That is what the original Tea Party was all about.

3-37-2010 UPDATE: The charges of racial slurs and spitting are most likely inaccurate if not out right fabrications. The spitting incident was caused by the unintentional spittle of a yelling protester. No hard evidence for use of the n-word exists---where as the accusers have a past history of false accusations of racism. HT TIA Daily.


Tom said...

It's time for the states to put some teeth behind all of those tenth amendment resolutions: secede now!

Doug Reich said...

"Our ability and our right to live free and independent lives is under attack by the very government created for our protection. It is a frightening place to stand."

Succinct and brilliant. Thanks for your tireless efforts on this page and elsewhere.

Although we have lost a battle, I think most important, we are beginning to take the moral high ground from the left. This is a switch from the past, where the Congress would defeat a wholesale takeover, but the feeling was that the left was morally right. Now, we have lost the political battle, but are winning the minds and hearts of the average American who see this as an abrogration of their rights.

Thanks again for making the case so clearly and forcefully!

Beth said...

Thanks Doug---I can use all the encouragement I can get.

Tom--I'm not there yet, but my eyes, ears and mind are alert.