[Just Added: OK, Kids: Protests = Good; Disrupting Meetings, Punching People, Hurling Racial Slurs, Etc. = Bad]
Yesterday, an angry mob in Tampa, Florida forcefully condemned "tyranny." According to some (early) reports, a scuffle ensued as protestors were turned away from a filled-to-capacity public meeting.
Based on the zeal of the crowd, it appeared as if the group came to protest the wasteful expenditure of trillions of dollars ("financed" with a tax cut for the wealthiest households), the senseless killing of thousands of individuals, including many young Americans, and the violent and expensive effort to uncover nonexistent weapons of mass destruction. But no! Instead, the group assembled to condemn the "tyrannical" provision of health care to Americans. This was another great day for family values in the Bible belt.
I do not agree with all aspects of the proposals for healthcare reform. I also believe that the government should engage in lengthy debate and not rush through the important project. And I absolutely and strongly believe in the right to assemble and to engage in peaceful protest. I support this right consistently -- unlike many people on the left and right.
Nevertheless, I find it exceedingly bizarre and shameful that the prospect of healthcare reform has unhinged these individuals, while many of them (undoubtedly) support or supported senseless wars, government regulation of uteruses, police intrusion into the bedrooms of consenting same-sex adults, and the maddening state and federal governmental effort to make sure that Terry Schiavo remained in a persistent vegetative state. The nation could have benefited from these anti-tyrannical voices a long time ago.
Questions: How many of the protestors attended or have children in public schools? Do they know that public education is a "tyrannical" governmental benefit that increases the taxes of people who do not have children in public schools?
The Buzz -- a blog sponsored by writers of the St. Petersburg Times -- has some video footage (which seemingly was filmed on a cell phone), which I have embedded.