Dissent & Patriotism
Dissent is the highest form of patriotism ... as long as you're dissenting with Conservatism. If you happen to dislike Socialism, you'd better buckle down because you're not allowed to argue with the Messiah. Conservatives are expected to accept the premise that they personally destroyed our nation, and "stop talking" so Obama "can clean up the mess."
Back in April when hundreds of Tax Day Tea Parties sprung up in major cities across the United States, our heartfelt protests were dubbed "astroturfing" because they weren't organized by ACORN. Because these protestors were ordinary people without contracts requiring them to attend, it couldn't have been a real grassroots movement. How did we get to the point where those with genuine beliefs are called racists and bigots while those hired to harass and intimidate are given a free pass as they send death threats to CEOs.
Nancy Pelosi, fresh off calling the CIA a torture club that lied to Congress, has recently set her sights on the 60% of the voting population that won't stand for socialized medicine. She co-authored an editorial in USA Today denouncing town hall demonstrators as un-American because they don't accept the notion that "Government knows better" when it comes to their personal health. If HR3200 was truly worth defending, perhaps Pelosi should spend some time addressing the issues instead of accusing every demonstrator of being on the payroll of "Big Insurance."
There are two reasons Democrats and Barack Obama are so quick to challenge the motives of demonstrators rather than the substance of their argument. First, Democrats are unable to accept grassroots movements because they have never actually been part of one. Real grassroots movements don't need community organizers to arrange them; they don't need pre-printed signs or catch phrases. Since everything movement Obama has ever been a part of has been a ruse to advance a hidden agenda, he doesn't know how to respond when he is faced with genuine opposition.
Second, Democrats can't defend the issue, so they are left with no other options. We saw this in a recent Obama town hall meeting when Obama made the mistake of calling on Zach Lahn, a 23-year-old University of Colorado student, to prove he was "happy to get a good debate going." I'm sure Obama didn't expect this student to accept the invitation and challenge him to an "Oxford-style" debate on the Health Care proposal. After issuing this challenge, Lahn asked Obama to explain how a private company would be able to compete against a heavily subsidized "public option," and made it clear that he wanted a specific answer devoid of platitudes or talking points. Obama, "the Great Orator," was incapable of fulfilling this request.
Although Lahn has been making the rounds on the cable news network, I doubt we will hear any more from the President. Though Lahn has repeatedly asserted he is still willing to debate Obama, the President could never accept this challenge unless he could guarantee a victory. Given that he hasn't been able to give a single straight answer throughout this entire process, I doubt that could be arranged even if he was allowed to use a teleprompter.
At a time when our Government is abusing its influence to discourage those who oppose them, we need more people like Zach Lahn who are willing to defend our remaining freedoms. At a time when politicians can call American citizens un-American, perhaps dissent is the highest form of patriotism, and if Democrats intend to force Universal Health Care upon us, let's at least make sure that is their last action before they are replaced in 2010.