As I listen to the screams of sirens and shouts that are the soundtrack to our local antiwar protests, I can't help but be struck by the irony of the chaos and anarchy that surrounds the activity that is a demonstration for peace.
I'm all for the Constitutional right to freedom of speech, but I'm a bigger proponent of the efficacy of speech. In this, a republic with delusions of true democracy, we've spent the last couple hundred years developing a system of protocols and channels by which things get done. People wearing giant heads and gorilla suits aren't mentioned once.
While the dissemination of ideas is crucial to debate, one must consider the method. In rhetoric, four of the five components of persuasion are wretchedly and fundamentally absent from the typical modern social protest. I fail to see how a large group assembling with the intent to cause gridlock, disrupt peace, target entrances to buildings, and endanger public safety in a futile attempt for attention is advantageous to the message. It is irresponsibility on an incomprehensible level.
Worked up? Me too. Please,
Here's a tip: rebuttal works best if the person you oppose can hear you. There is one man who ultimately makes the decisions for our country regarding war and peace. And he is not lying down in the street with you. Furthermore, while you exercise your right to bongo drum and lock arms and sit in traffic, there are still men and women risking their lives. While I'm sure they would appreciate your support, perhaps that support could be framed in a way not reminiscent of a child who's not gotten his way.
I understand that given that reality people feel helpless. I do. But there are ways to spread your message without inciting violence. Your misguided pleas for attention are causing more harm than good. No one wants to see soldiers killed. No one wants to see anyone killed. Your message doesn't even have a clear opposition and certainly won't come up on the floor of Congress, no matter how many times you paint your face blue. I guarantee it.
The extent our participation in the dialogue effectively diffuses at the ballot box. If you have something to say, therein lies your pulpit. Grow up and run for office if you're that worked up about something. But for the peace and safety of us all, put down the poster paint, hitch up your pants, and do something.
Am I wrong? Have you taken part in a modern protest that you felt inspired change?
Have a different opinion? Check out Liberty's response.