The Slow Erosion of Bedrock

A University of Florida student attended a speech given by John Kerry yesterday.  He was the last one to ask a question.  He started with a bit of a ramble about how John Kerry won Ohio in 2004, and should be president now.  The question was why didn’t John Kerry dispute the election results in Ohio when there was some evidence of tampering?  John Kerry has been asked this before.  he’s dodged the question several times on TV and radio.  This time, the police dragged the kid up the aisle and TAZERED him in front of 4 or 5 cameras.

He was arrested for inciting a riot.  It was a riot of laughter as his classmates cheered on the police while he was yelling for help.  It’s only after he was left twitching on the ground that anyone questioned what had just happened.  How do we react when a small piece of our liberties is stripped away?  Watch the two officers standing behind him as his comment and question wander into the “Impeach Bush” area.  It’s not very hard to imagine them arriving at the decision to arrest him.  The threshold of freedom is determined by the mood in the country.  During World War II, Japanese Americans were rounded up because we feared the Japanese.  In the Cold War, liberties were infringed upon because we feared the Communists.  What do we fear now that this kid got electrocuted?  I think we fear the questioning nature of dissent.  Our first reaction should not be to jeer at the lone loon, laugh when they drag him off, and cry when they come for us.

I’m not watching out my window for the police, but the intimidation value of this event will silence some dissent in our country.  We’ve silenced far too much dissent in the past few years, a little bit at a time.

2 Responses to “The Slow Erosion of Bedrock”

  1. jackalope Says:

    Tonight on the Steven Colbert show they had an author named Naomi Wolf. She wrote a book about how democracies erode into dictatorships. She mentions a ten step checklist of events that occur just before a democracy falls. According to her we have completed all ten steps (which include erosion of civil liberties, secret prisons where torture occurs, and spying on citizens) and she feels we have less than a year before some form of dictatorship is enacted. I don’t think it matters who becomes our next president, the power-hungry come in all colors, sexes, and philosophies, so the changing of the guard may not halt the demise of our democratic system.

  2. Manuel Says:

    I agree they didn’t have to arrest him. It just got carried away. I do feel that he bares some blame for what happened to him though. Sure, he had every right to say what he did. But, once police start to take him away, you just have to go with it. You can’t resist, as little as it may be, and even if you are in the right. Just my opinion.

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