Thursday, September 02, 2004

Norms of Behavior

Professor Bainbridge says:

At least two protestors were hauled out of MSG during Bush's speech. There have been reports all week about demonstrators harrassing delegates. In contrast, no Republicans tried to disrupt Kerry's speech in Boston and I don't remember stories about Democrat delegates being spit on. I find the difference in norms of behavior between the right and left quite puzzling.

Me too, Professor.

Of course, I would point out the critical difference between the "left" and the Democratic party. Opposition to Bush does not equal support for Kerry, despite the electoral realities. And there is a more telling comparison between norms of behavior of the right and the left:

Barack Obama's keynote at DNC:

This year, in this election, we are called to reaffirm our values and commitments, to hold them against a hard reality and see how we are measuring up, to the legacy of our forbearers, and the promise of future generations. And fellow Americans—Democrats, Republicans, Independents—I say to you tonight: we have more work to do. More to do for the workers I met in Galesburg, Illinois, who are losing their union jobs at the Maytag plant that’s moving to Mexico, and now are having to compete with their own children for jobs that pay seven bucks an hour. More to do for the father I met who was losing his job and choking back tears, wondering how he would pay $4,500 a month for the drugs his son needs without the health benefits he counted on. More to do for the young woman in East St. Louis, and thousands more like her, who has the grades, has the drive, has the will, but doesn’t have the money to go to college.

Don’t get me wrong. The people I meet in small towns and big cities, in diners and office parks, they don’t expect government to solve all their problems. They know they have to work hard to get ahead and they want to.

Zell Miller keynote at RNC:

Now, while young Americans are dying in the sands of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan, our nation is being torn apart and made weaker because of the Democrat's manic obsession to bring down our Commander in Chief.

What has happened to the party I've spent my life working in?

I can remember when Democrats believed that it was the duty of America to fight for freedom over tyranny.
Time after time in our history, in the face of great danger, Democrats and Republicans worked together to ensure that freedom would not falter. But not today.

Motivated more by partisan politics than by national security, today's Democratic leaders see America as an occupier, not a liberator.
For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest.

I ask, rhetorically: what says more about the respective behaviors of the left and the right, the actions of unaffiliated activists, or the words of the keynote standard bearers?

Why on Earth did the Republicans put Miller up as a keynote speaker? Did they honestly not know that he would suggest that opposition to the president's agenda was unpatriotic and borderline treasonous? Miller can certainly call it that if he wants. I prefer to call it Democracy. Does Miller really believe that Democrats are willing to allow "freedom to falter?" Or that Democrats value tyranny over freedom?


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