It is with hesitation that I embark on discussing the behavior of liberals, particularly in reference to recent labor disputes at the Wisconsin State Capitol, which is located 3 miles from my home and 3 blocks from my parish Church. Most often I try to avoid criticizing the behavior of others, keeping in mind the Biblical counsel:
How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove that splinter in your eye,’ when you do not even notice the wooden beam in your own eye? You hypocrite! Remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter in your brother’s eye. – Luke 6:42
But events at the Wisconsin State Capitol in recent weeks have culminated in a situation that commands some discussion. The pursuit and cornering of conservative Senator Grothman by 200 aggressive liberals, ultimately requiring his rescue by firefighters, was broadcast on FOX news, but was glossed over by most liberal media last week:
This shocking event, which included shouting, intimidation, chanting “shame,” bleeped vulgar
expletives, drum beating and blowing of whistles, reflected the general uncivilized aggressive attitudes displayed by demonstrators at the Wisconsin State Capitol during the past 3 weeks. It is a situation that could easily have caused injury and/or heart attack to the elderly Senator, and is at very least shameful in the lack of respect with which an elected representative of the people of the United States was treated by an angry liberal mob.
This shocking treatment of Senator Grotham by liberals illustrates quite a double standard, particularly when compared with the criticism conservatives suffered recently from liberal media regarding the use of crosshair imagery during the last election, particularly after the shooting of Representative Giffords, and at least while liberal media still thought that the shooter could be tied to conservatives.
The ultimate question with which I struggled for 3 weeks before writing this post, and with which all conservatives in America must struggle, is how does a reserved conservative like me, who tries to live by the golden rule (do unto others as you would have them do unto you) and by the rule of forbearance (assume the best imaginable explanation for another’s behavior), how do we deal with vocal and liberal opponents who do not feel constrained by the same behavioral guidelines that we respect and revere?
How do you win a battle against opponents who use aggressive tactics which you consider immoral and which you yourself refuse to use? Should we remain the silent majority?
So far this past month, liberal supporters of Wisconsin unions have broken a number of rules and regulations which are generally essential for the orderly operation of society, and which have never been observed in conservative demonstrations such as those involving the Tea Party or Pro-Life:
- 14 legislators have left the State of Wisconsin so that police could not force them to attend State legislature voting sessions that they are legally obliged to attend. These senators are sabotaging democracy and showing no respect for the people’s choices during the November 2010 election. They are advocating rule not by the majority, but by the loudest and the most aggressive.
- Thousands of Madison teachers have not only gone on strike, depriving children of education, and have lied fraudulently about their motives, claiming to be sick. They are teaching our children to lie.
- UW Madison doctors have appeared downtown handing out sick notes to demonstrators, a clear violation of medical ethics and a willful deception and cheating of the taxpayers by medical doctors. They are also teaching our children to lie.
- Thousands of demonstrators have refused to leave the State Capitol at closing time, sleeping inside the Capitol and making it impossible for maintenance staff to do their work. Maintenance staff have indicated their fear of the crowds, not feeling safe in doing their work.
- Police unions, whose jobs were unaffected by the proposed budget cuts, sympathized with the teachers unions, and stopped ticketing vehicles which were illegally parked downtown, as well as refusing to protect legislators like Senator Grothman from aggressive crowds. Liberal media gleefully claimed “peaceful demonstrators” and “no arrests” each day, when in actual fact Madison’s police appeared to be on strike were not performing all their duties.
- Over the course of the 3 week demonstration, some claim that the demonstrators caused $7.5 million damage to the stately Madison Capitol building
which was constructed of 43 types of stone from six countries and eight states around 1910. The $7.5 million damage is larger than the original cost of the erecting the Capitol in 1910 ($7.25 million).
- The Capitol building, probably for the first time in its 100-year history, began to stink.
- Demonstrators have been imported into Madison by unions all over the U.S., from as far away as California. President Obama has also sent supporters and has voiced support for the unions, despite the fact that the President’s own federal workers do not enjoy the luxurious privileges the Wisconsin unions are trying to maintain for themselves. Wisconsin taxpayers are now the victims of the entire nation’s belligerent union hierarchy.
- Homeless people have abandoned local Church shelters in favor of living in the Capitol building, where free pizza is provided by out-of-state union bosses.
- Union demonstrators have abandoned all rules of professionalism and civility. Posters and
chants reflect violence, hate and vulgarity, totally eclipsing the “crosshairs” controversy following the shooting of Representative Giffords this January. Signs have routinely compared Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker to Hitler, Benito Mussolini and Hosni Mubarak and showed the Wisconsin governor with a cross-hairs rifle sight over his face . Fourteen of the “100 best posters at the Wisconsin Capitol” are too vulgar to show on this website . One sign reads “Hey, Walker, WI Ranger, who’s gonna wipe yer ___ when U have a stroke???”
- Live ammunition was found stashed outside the Wisconsin State Capitol by police.
- Residents and groups surrounding the Madison Capitol building have suffered poor treatment from demonstrators. Our Holy Redeemer Catholic Church, part of Madison’s downtown Catholic Cathedral Parish, has struggled to keep parking open for Church members. When approached by Church staff with requests not to use our parking lot, demonstrators use vulgarity and tell Church staff to “get a life.” Police do not help either, they have stopped ticketing downtown.
- Demonstrators have not been acting like teachers, but more like angry mobsters.
- Demonstrators, as well as the liberal media, have misrepresented the issues, exaggerating and misquoting the Governor’s terms and failing to explain the rationale behind both points of view—pro-union and pro-balanced budget. Truth seems to have no role in this debate, and liberal media does not seem interested in discussion. Some representative photos from Vicki McKenna.
- While 60,000 liberals skipped work, demonstrated and trashed the Wisconsin Capitol, 126,000 conservatives signed an online “Stand with Walker” petition, went to work, took care of their children who were abandoned by teachers, and prepared to pay for the damage the demonstrating minority was causing. Incidentally, there are only about 100,000 union members in Wisconsin, in contrast to the 5,000,000 taxpayers who do not have union benefits and are paying their bills.
It is an established fact that some demographic differences exist between liberals and conservatives. The differences are primarily philosophical, NOT racial or ethnic, as liberal media would imply:
|Do not attend Church often||43%||25%|
|White, born in U.S.||80%||80%|
The increased Church attendance and respect for marriage indicated above in conservatives reflects their willingness to conform to the Judeo-Christian values
encompassed by the Ten Commandments, on which our systems of law have historically been based. It is easy to see the projection of this voluntary self-restraint onto acceptable codes of public behavior, which translate into the peaceful and dignified political gatherings and respect for public property characteristic of Tea Party and Pro-Life gatherings nationwide – particularly in the January 2011 March for Life in Washington DC (just 2 weeks prior to the union demonstrations at the Wisconsin State Capitol), where 400,000 people gathered peacefully to show their support for Life, but which Madison’s liberal media did not mention at all.
This past month, the converse, a distinct LACK of voluntary self-restraint, lack of peaceful and dignified protests and lack of respect for public property, has been observed in downtown Madison during the union protests.
These recent events in Madison are by no means unique. In my 20+ years living as a conservative in liberal Madison, I have personally witnessed numerous times a dramatic difference in the demeanor of liberals and of conservatives in the public square.
One year ago at a Pro-Life rally in February of 2010, I observed over 1,000 reserved, well-dressed and well-behaved pro-lifers at Madison’s Library Mall standing in the winter cold, listening quietly to pro-life speakers (which included Senator Grotham), while 20 -30 liberal student radicals, rallying to the campus-wide spam invitation issued by student socialists, yelled, chanted, attempted to disrupt speeches, performed lascivious strip-tease in a nearby raised platform in front of children, and were finally restrained and led off by police. Madison’s liberal media did an abysmal job of reporting this event, failing to report the difference in numbers at this event (1,000 versus 25), and failing to report the difference in demeanor of the two groups. To read the brief Madison newspaper report, it would seem that opposing groups of similar size confronted each other briefly downtown.
This 40:1 ratio of civilized well-behaved citizens to loud disruptors at the Pro-Life rally above is similar to the 50:1 ratio of Wisconsin citizens who work and pay the bills to protesting union workers at the Wisconsin State Capitol last month (5 million to 100,000). Yet again, the minority is attempting to control the majority by intimidation.
Another recent contrast in the demeanor of liberals and conservatives is illustrated by my blog post on the Madison pro-marriage rally of Aug 1, 2010 . During the pro-marriage rally, Catholic Bishop of Madison led conservative attendees in praying the “Our Father,” while hundreds of liberals surrounded them yelling and chanting, disrupting the prayer and attempting to approach the podium where the Bishop was standing, again restrained by police.
I refrain from using the political labels Democrat or Republican intentionally. I include myself among numerous conservative independents who have never belonged to one political party, and whose beliefs are not in line with one party platform. However, I must say that in recent years I am finding myself (steered by my Pro-Life views) most often in sympathy with the Republican Party.
In addition, the uncivilized and inconsiderate behavior of liberal Democrats in recent years, observed in numerous situations similar to those described here, has struck me as threatening democracy and attempting to replace democracy with mob rule. No society can function like this. Any rational person must ask—why did the Republicans NOT walk out of Congress and the Senate when ObamaCare was on the table, but the Democrats DID walk out when they did not like the legislation being discussed in Wisconsin? How can democracy function when minority legislators hijack the democratic process by refusing to follow the rules?
The seeming readiness of liberals to break ALL rules – State Capitol visiting hour rules, legislative rules, teachers sick leave rules, medical ethics rules, rules of cleanliness, rules of polite and respectful discourse, rules of civilized language and behavior in front of children, rules regarding use of live ammunition, and common sense rules about public behavior – the breaking of all these rules makes discussion impossible. The demonstrators do not appear at all interested in discussion of the common good. They only seem interested in keeping their comfortable privileges by any means necessary, be that bullying, trashing Wisconsin’s State Capitol, or mob rule.
This is not the America we love and that our military risks their lives to protect.
It is time for the silent majority to become even MORE active than they were in November 2010.