Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Conservative Viewpoint
- Respect No One Way Street

Article by Bob Steinburg
- Edenton, North Carolina: Cradle of the Colony

In 1967 rhythm and blues singer Aretha Franklin recorded the song “Respect” singing all she wants “is a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T.” Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-CA., may well be singing this tune as she and others on the left continue to chide conservative activists as disrespectful for fervently opposing the Democrats liberal and fiscally reckless agenda. Pelosi even went as far as to refer to the town hall protesters as “un-American.”

Pelosi says she fears the anti-health care rhetoric could lead to violence, citing the wave of bloodshed that hit San Francisco in 1978 following the assassinations of gay rights activist Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone.

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas said, “Speaker Pelosi is right that the American people are upset, but it is her words that continue to fuel voter frustration in America.” Sessions continued, “The Speaker is now likening genuine opposition to assassination. Such insulting rhetoric not only undermines the credibility of her office, but it underscores the desperate attempt by her party to divert attention away from a failing agenda.”

To suggest that all conservative protesters adhere to Miss Manners Rules of Etiquette would be a stretch. Certainly there were a number of signs and banners at recent events that were inappropriate and tasteless. Attendees, while angry, haven’t allowed that anger and frustration to turn violent.

Until this year, it is hard to recall any organized conservative protests of significance. Perhaps that’s why the recent wave of demonstrations at tea parties and town hall meetings has caught the left by surprise. They can’t quite figure out how to deal with these folks, other than to level criticism and disparaging comments toward them and their views. All that has managed to do is to ratchet up the anger, disgust and disappointment with Washington.

Conservatives historically prefer to wage dissent through their elected representatives, political action and/or advocacy groups or the media. Until recently, they haven’t had a penchant for taking to the streets.

Perhaps conservatives have learned a thing or two about protests over the years. They surely recognize other groups have used them effectively. The civil-rights protests from 1955-1968 helped blacks to achieve racial equality. The Viet Nam War protests ultimately helped bring that conflict to an end.

But protests aren’t without risks. In 1968 at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago, confrontations between anti-war protestors and local police turned violent, generating negative notoriety for then Mayor Richard Daley.

Last year at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis-St. Paul, 250 protesters railing against President George W. Bush and the war in Iraq were arrested for embarking on a violent rampage that included the smashing of windows, slashing tires, throwing bottles and even attacking Republican delegates attending the convention. It seems reasonable to conclude that none of those arrested were conservatives.

When it comes to comprehending the real meaning of the word respect the left apparently has a short memory. Following the election of Bush in 2000, the left embarked on a non-stop deluge of vitriol against the president that continues to this day. In 2005 Sen. Harry Reid, D-NV., told a group of high school students that Bush was a “loser.” In July of `08, Pelosi referred to him by saying: “Bush is a total failure.” Reid chimed in: “Who would be afraid of him?” Speak of a lack of dignity and respect.

Even Obama, the president who was going to usher in a “new era of responsibility” that would rise above partisan politics can’t stop taking shots at Bush at home and abroad. In a recent press conference he referred to the Bush era 10 times, emphasizing the $1.3 trillion debt he inherited and how it is hurting his efforts to fix the economy.

While Obama’s apology tour to Europe and the Middle East might have made the 20 percent of liberals, many members of the blame America first crowd happy, he at the same time, unwittingly perhaps, sullied the reputation of a nation that has unselfishly shed its blood and treasure for freedom seeking people throughout the world.

I saw a bumper sticker last week that read: Respect is earned not demanded. It seems more and more everyone on the left wants respect but few seem willing to give it unless, of course, you are willing to go along to get along.

The left isn’t beyond eating its own either. Max Moulitsas, founder of the left wing web site Daily Kos called Sen. Max Baucus, D-MT., “the biggest idiot in the entire Senate,” for making huge concessions on the Senate version of the health care bill “to get nothing.”

America is perhaps facing her greatest challenges. Our economy is in the tank, spending is out of control, health care needs reform and we’re engaged in two wars. Add to that the need to keep Iran from developing nuclear weapons they say they will unleash on Israel and we have more than a plate full.

One of my frustrations is when I’m involved in a discussion with someone and the other individual is unwilling to even listen to my point of view. I expect there are others who feel the same on the left and the right. While I know everyone won’t always agree with me, I would like them to at least listen and consider my perspective. One way to do that is to extend the same courtesy to them. Respect of one’s opinion should never be a one way street. Not even in Washington.

As criticism of hypocrisy on the left, demanding respect while never giving it, Bob’s article can seem to be a reasonable position. However this is one where I think Bob has blown it. He seems to be expecting both sides to be more respectful. That is a delusion.

It is the left, using tactics ranging from; the verbal intimidation of ‘political correctness’, riots in the streets, voter corruption as exemplified by ACORN, subversion of our children by teaching socialism-tolerance-diversity, to the corruption of democracy advocated by Obama, the Alinsky disciple... who sees this struggle for political power as war. They pull no punches. It is an all out effort to defeat us.

"In war the end justifies almost any means." - Saul Alinsky

It has taken years, but finally those on the right have accepted this is a war which must be fought with the tactics of our enemies unless we assure our own defeat. Those enemies have declared 'lack of respect' a key component of their efforts. We cannot fail to do the same. Respect is not a one way street, which is why the left cannot be allowed to hold us to a standard that they never practice. Nor should we hold ourselves to that standard. As we have learned, that simply guarantees we lose our freedoms.

I am delighted that many on the right now see this as war and are willing to fight. For a long time I was afraid we didn't have the will any more. Sorry Bob. I have long since abandoned any hope that the left will show respect. Therefore, neither should we.


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