It is equally easy to write off the tattooed protesters on Wall Street. These folks are definitely in the streets without a permit, doing silly things like disrupting traffic and chanting stupid things and generally making a spectacle of themselves. Not only do I find such behavior useless and unsavory, I think their shenanigans undercut my liberal credibility with the independents and the good middle class folks out there in Real America. I mean, everybody knows that the only protesters who are getting on the news these days are the corporately sponsored Tea Party, so these folks are basically bringing this on themselves. So what if the police are getting a little rough when they came for those women? Those women aren't like me. And the police have a thankless job to do, so I'm going to cut them some slack like always.
So I'm not going to say anything. And by "say something" I mean get involved. Get on the record. Write some letters to locally elected officials. Start getting out and raising hell about the criminal justice system run by the locals who live where I live. Not over people like this.
No. I'm not going to say anything like that. I'm going to let it slide, and tune into Maddow or Olbermann or the Daily Show and fuss to my like-minded friends about how Obama is really a Republican and how awful it would be if someone like Rick Perry became President and how it sucks that all the politicians in Washington are owned by lobbyists and stuff. Maybe I'll post about some hypocritical Tea Partier who desperately desires government funding for pork projects in their district far away from where I live. Maybe I'll talk about Guantanamo Bay because torture sucks. Maybe I'll write a post on my blog about how somebody somewhere should do something to keep this stuff in check, and bemoan the fact that no one seems to be stepping up to do it. Where the hell are they, anyway? Monday Night Football is on, and I shouldn't have to be thinking about complicated stuff like this.
No. I'm not going to say anything. I'll not take a position, and wait for the next outrageous national issue over which I have no control to show up in the news, so I can say something about that. It will probably be something snarky and irreverent. But it won't matter, it won't take a lot of thought, and maybe some friends will like it on Facebook. It won't be a difficult thing to do like say something about the way my local police treat revelers in the streets, how my local judges need to be more professional, and how, if we can't control our own local systems, why do we think anyone can control them on a national level?
And one when day they come for me, or find me in the streets, or catch me up in the system from which I can't get out, there will be no one left to speak for me. I won't be like them. The police have a thankless job to do, so they'll be cut some slack as always. And no one will say anything. Not for someone like me.
It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt
- John Philpot Curran