I know it's terribly unfair. Last year the media was terribly troubled about the lack of "civility" in the Tea Party protests, and Democratic activists giggled over their "teabagger" pejorative. This year we have labor unions occupying state houses and assaulting women journalists and the story is all about fighting back against the Man.
But let us not be discouraged. The last time Democrats took to the streets was in the 1960s. Then as now, the media fawned over the rioters and the protesters. Remember what happened next?
The American people voted for a Republican president four out of the next five times. Until Bill Clinton came along the only time that the American people elected a Democratic president was in 1976 after the Democrats had successfully driven a president from office for doing things that your FDRs and your LBJs did as a matter of course. Yes, in case you have forgotten, starting in 1968 Americans elected Nixon, Nixon, (Carter), Reagan, Reagan, and Bush. Ordinary middle-class Americans hated the Sixties, and they hated it mainly because they knew that it was all a double standard. It was OK for liberal darlings to take to the streets and hurl epithets and tear the place up, but don't you try that, because we know where you live.
The mistake that Democrats make when they get all excited about their street action is that they only talk to each other. They live in a liberal world so they just don't have a clue about what other people think.
Now as then, liberals are thrilling to the symbolic violence of boycott and protest. Aren't we all having a jolly time!
But for millions of Americans, it is time to think about what would happen in they dared to pour into the streets, how the rules would be very different for them.
The left makes a big deal about dignity, how the workers organize and demonstrate for the right to be treated with dignity--as full human beings with full civil rights. But imagine this for a moment. The demand for dignity beats in every human breast, liberal or conservative. And one of the consequences of the "punitive liberalism" of the past generation is that liberals have been dishing out indignity to non-liberal Americans by the bucket load. Here's how James Piereson describes the sentiment driving "punitive liberalism:"
The idea developed in [liberal] minds that instead of self-congratulation the nation deserved punishment and chastisement for its manifold failures to live up to its ideals. In this way reform liberalism gave way to "punitive liberalism" and in turn to various policies that sought to punish the middle class for winning success at the expense of higher ideals.
Kinda hits the spot, doesn't it?
Sooner or later, the worm turns, on dignity for non-liberals as on so many things. And the worm could be turning right now.