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|The Face of Anger||
Profanity, vulgarity, intimidation, arson, vandalism and violence were all on full public display in New York last week. Police offers have been threatened and beaten, news reporters have been cursed and harassed, and innocent bystanders have been harangued and frightened. Such disconcerting actions have been both widespread and coordinated.
Some call it "protesting" or "civil disobedience," but was this a legitimate expression of free speech or an intolerant effort to disrupt the American political process? No sensible person would defend the brutal beating of a police officer by so-called "peaceful protestors," but the spirit of many of these activists reveals a disturbing undercurrent in our culture.
"The expression of their faces bears witness against them," wrote the Old Testament prophet Isaiah. The same holds true today when we watch some of those on parade in the streets of New York City.
The pure hatred conveyed through the words and actions of these people exposes a corruption of the soul that prevents them from having any positive impact upon the political scene. They are more like the followers of Moqtada Sadr in their zeal to cause confusion, disruption and fear. The New York Sun reported that their survey of the protestors showed that 52% said they agreed with the statement that "America is overall a negative force in the world" and 67% said they agreed with the statement that "Iraqi attacks on American troops occupying Iraq are legitimate resistance."
New York Rep. Charlie Rangel encouraged the actions of the protestors, endorsing their message that they were "mad as hell." Certainly, the fuel behind their actions seems to come less from a desire to support another candidate for the office of the president as much as it comes from a loathing of the current occupant. The mood is distinctly anti-Bush, not pro-Kerry.
So how are we to deal with these troublemakers?
First, those who are also against President Bush in this election must distance themselves from this lunatic fringe of the left. Instead of embracing them and feeding off of them, as far too many politicians and reporters are doing, we must come to our senses and denounce their tactics as inappropriate and extreme.
Edmund Burke famously said, "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." If Democrats and the others in opposition to the GOP positions fail to stand up against such activities, then they are complicit in them.
Second, the Republicans must attempt to address legitimate concerns of their opponents, as much as they deserve merit, while realizing that the disruptive element of the political left has no real desire for constructive dialogue. They only seek to tear down. As a response, we must marginalize them and refuse to give in to their threats.
Healthy political debate is good for America. We must protect the right to speak our minds, assemble in public, and promote our constructive ideas. But those who are motivated only by anger, hatred and lawlessness for no positive end must be treated simply as the political terrorists that they have become.