A price for protesting? No.
Trump has taken some heat for words he’s said directed at what are (kindly) being called protesters. On the radio this morning the closest thing to a local political talk show was taking some old man to task for attacking someone that disrupted an event. Using sense and logic I’m going to show how these people are on the verge of becoming the modern day Aunt Pittypat because this is getting out of hand now.
How many of you, dear readers, have ever been at an event of some personal importance to you? Maybe something as simple as a movie you paid to get in to (and maybe have looked forward to fondly), maybe a kid’s recital or play, or a concert (be it classical or rock, whatever music moves you). You go to this event which may not cost you money but definitely cost someone money to put on. Now imagine you’re at your favorite movie, or your child’s play, and this is a one time showing. Then some jerk-ass stands up and starts shouting about how awful the actors are.
You’d be cross. If they kept up you might help some other parents or movie goers escort the crazy bastard out.
It isn’t that the people protest Trump, or even disagree with him. That’s totally fine, and most people wouldn’t object at all to a rational discussion of the issues. But there is a time and place for that. Standing up when a person is speaking and shrieking is not the time or place for it.
Because this new form of “protest” isn’t designed to protest anything: it aims to silence.
We’ve seen this building for years across many different types of “protest.” Interrupting a speaker at a college has become something of a badge of honor for the cowards that are just brave enough to step out of the hugbox in large groups. 9/11 Truthers took to loudly interrupting people speaking about completely different topics, including the very liberal Bill Maher and even President Clinton.
It’s a growth from the lunatic fringe protesters that attack people with paint and ruin their expensive coats, or the lunatics that put spikes in trees to hurt loggers. The rights of the person they oppose don’t matter. We see it in social media as well — for simply disagreeing with a person a crowd forms and begins to harass them, often posting pictures of their home, their address, and contacting their employer. That crosses a line out of free speech and into harassment.
Further, these disruptive protesters aren’t doing it for the cause — they do it out of narcissism. Can anyone name three different causes for the protesters disrupting Trump? No, but those idiots feel better about themselves, they feel they got the attention they needed.
They’re no better than saggy flashers in dirty trench coats.
That’s all it really is, a protected type of flashing. While they have the right to free speech they do not have the right to go into a venue paid for by someone else or interrupt something another person has paid for. Use your own venue, or protest in public spaces. Even if you pay to get in to the movie you aren’t allowed to talk loudly on your cellphone. We’ve got to stop pretending these people are victims trying to exercise their free speech. They’re bullies, narcissists, political flashers.
It doesn’t add to the discourse.
Stopping someone from being disruptive at an event isn’t preventing their free speech any more than sending a disruptive student to the principal is. But we’ve given everyone this air of self esteem because, well, they’re all special snowflakes. Free speech isn’t absolute like that — I can’t stand in your yard and yell my opinions. I can’t bust into your living room to tell you what I think of you.
(I intentionally avoided discussing the alleged assault of a Breitbart reporter because that is a completely different topic and the story is still playing out. If someone assaulted her the legal system needs to run its course; I do not believe it is the job of an employer to fire someone over an unproven allegation — convict him then I’ll offer more of a comment.)