Saturday, February 25, 2006

Democracy in Action

Saw James Wigderson's (of the famous Wigderson Library & Pub blog) first column in the Waukesha Freeman, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2006. I responded the same day and sent it to the Freeman. It's now Sunday and I have not received a response. I won't speculate why...probably because it was over 300 words. I'm sure everyone has a different opinion on that...who cares.

Anyway, saw Xoff made a point of mentioning it and since everyone at James' site is congratulating him on his picture, I'll just go ahead and post my response here. Happy day.

In a column in the Waukesha Freeman, James Wigderson would have
you believe that the holding of referendums in 23 cities and villages across
Wisconsin is a waste of time, just an opportunity for a few busybodies to sing
"Give Peace a Chance," and a way to make them feel good. But the real reason
that James doesn't like this exercise in free speech is because the message is
one he opposes. If the referendum were about supporting the President in his
time of drooping poll numbers, James would be all for it.

I've never understood why conservatives are so adamantly against democracy in action. So what if the end result of this referendum will amount to next to nothing. So what if the voices won't be heard in Washington. Someone might hear them. And just possibly those voices will have made a difference to another fellow citizen.

Fear. That's what conservatives are good at. For example, James tosses out this
over used talking point -- "never mind the negative impact upon the morale of
the armed forces" -- in an attempt to shame people into staying quiet. This is
just so much crap. The armed forces understand what they're fighting for, and it
is certainly not to stifle dissent. And you know what, the armed forces are not
some monolithic group of conservatives who can't wait to get back and vote
Republican. Over thirty that have returned from this conflict are running for
Congress under the Democrat banner, and most are favored to win. For James and
the conservatives, that is truly something to fear.

Oh, and if this referendum makes some people feel good about themselves, well great. They have as much right to feel self important as do those who go to Planned Parenthood to harangue and harass woman as they walk through the doors. And they have as much right to hold this referendum as did the protestors at John Kerry's speeches here in Milwaukee, who did their best to drown him out using bullhorns and vulgarities. Wouldn't it be grand if someone had the chance to protest at a Bush speech, to which admittance is by invitation only.

Truth be told, these people are Americans who have every right to lecture their government, just as much as James has a right to lecture them and to denigrate the residents of 27th Street and Locust Avenue. Perhaps someone could convince the Milwaukee Transit System to bus them to James' home where they can visit with him and his family and discuss the role he imagines for the United Nations. I bet there would be an exchange of free speech then. Hooray for democracy in action.

3 Swings of the bat:

James Wigderson said...

I'd be willing to bet that I've had more conversations with residents of the supposed "denigrated" area than you will in your lifetime.

And it still doesn't answer my point, what business does Watertown (or any other community) have in holding a referendum on foreign policy?

Oh, and I fear nobody.

Other Side said...

I'd take you up on that bet.

As far as what business does Watertown or any other community have in holding a referendum on foreign policy...the answer is just as much as anyone else.

And in America, you should not have to fear anyone. Unfortunately, the fear game is what conservatives play best.

James Wigderson said...

I'm afraid the Waukesha Freeman has printed your letter. Ahhhhh!