Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Book Burner May Have Been a Plant, but Your Movement Has Bigger Problems

Yesterday, I got into a back an forth* in the Digg comments section with an individual that goes by the handle Glynth. 

Glynth** (I’m sorry, I’m not sure of Glynth’s gender and I do not want to offend) was upset at my analysis of the 912 party from the other day.  Specifically, Glynth wanted to point out that the woman who said “burn the books” was a plant and offered two links (link one and link two) for proof.  Please note that Glynth was not the first person to inform me of the possibility that the pro-book burner was a plant.  However, Glynth was the first person to offer proof. 

Per the suggestion, I checked the links and was not convinced.  I saw what appeared to be a 10 second clip of a turkey, which, when clicked, was unavailable, as well as a clip of a some girl eating a salad and a clip of what appears to be the same girl fake humping an inflatable rhinoceros.  Please let me know if you see something incriminating.  Yes, the link shows the profile of the individual who posted the clip, but there was nothing there that immediately suggests a history of “gotcha” journalism and political sabotage.  I will offer that it is possible that the profile was scrubbed of any damaging evidence. 

With regards to the clip, we hear a woman say “burn the books.”  We hear a voice but do not see who actually said it and therefore cannot say with certainty who said what.  Also, and this is what is alarming, there are individuals in the room who applaud this sentiment.  Glynth argues that they could be applauding something else as there are a lot of people talking in the room.  This is quite possible, but the timing of the applause is such that I would disagree.

Then, Glynth said this and it struck a chord:

…even if one or two people there really are a bit loony, one or two loons getting into what is essentially a public meeting does not reflect the wider movement of many thousands of people.

I don’t agree with Glynth’s movement, but I do understand it.  These are conservatives who don’t like being taxed and want government to be fiscally responsible.  I get it.  Frankly, I agree with the base points, lower taxes and fiscal responsibility.  That said, I know that I just got a tax cut and I believe that the new budget, while expensive, is responsible spending.  Regardless of how I feel about it, the unfortunate aspect for them is that their point is being drowned out by all the crazy that has infected their ranks.

This brings me back to the original point of the video.  Regardless of who shot the clip, there is footage of a man who is yelling about communist conspiracies that started in the 50s, home brainwashing machines thanks to the digital television transition, and arguing to keep your children out of college because they’re being brainwashed.  There in lies the problem for the conservatives.  Here is a civil gathering of like minded individuals and this guy is making the rest of them look bad.  Don’t believe me?  Check out the lady to the left of the frame trying not to laugh. 

I promise whoever filmed this footage had nothing to do with this guy spouting off.  Any half reasonable person, liberal or conservative, knows that these are the insane ravings of a lunatic.  It’s quite possible that somebody in the room had a good idea but that idea is not getting through because everybody is pointing and laughing at the straight jacket champion yelling in the corner.

Like I said, I don’t agree with the tea party movement.  However I can understand Glynth’s frustration.  There were many times during the W. years where I felt like I was alone on an island and the rest of the world was completely off their rocker.  I do not assume that I can speak for Glynth and it’s quite possible that is not the case.  But I do sense a certain level of disgust in Glynth’s statements that seem very familiar to me.

I am looking forward to the day when we stop with the hysteria and can debate opposing viewpoints respectfully without getting all bent out of shape by taking things personally.  I think that we could ultimately learn a lot from each other.  Or, at the very least, compromise.

*You can read the full exchange here.  As of today (1/14) it was the very last series of comments.

**Glynth, if you happen to stumble upon this, I hope you do not take offense.  I enjoyed our exchange as you made me think about things a bit more than I had previously.  Thanks.

1 comment:

  1. There was a time I could have a civil conversation with a conservative, that time was 5-6 years ago while this country slid further and further into a pointless war, government spying, unlimited interment of innocent people and TORTURE - and they - almost to the last man and woman - EXCUSED IT!

    Doing so they engaged in fearmongering, delusions and projection so desperate it was literally impossible to have a coherent rational conversation.

    We should be able to talk to each other, but we first have to speaking withing the same dimension of reality.