Monday, April 11, 2005

Pies and Guns

The left's love for theatrical street protests has given rise to an attempt to convince us that certain forms of physical assault are "non-violent"—a triumph of Orwellian double-speak. This Washington Times editorial identifies the danger of this trend, but not its deepest root: a malevolently anti-intellectual contempt for persuasion and public discussion by a political movement that no longer has anything to say.

"Pie Throwers and Goon Squads," Washington Times, 4/11/05

"Consider the case of Dutch politician Pim Fortuyn. In 2002, he was on the verge of a general-election victory. About a month before the election, protesters had thrown two cream pies laced with urine in Mr. Fortuyn's face. The Dutch media dismissed this as non-violent protest. Mr. Fortuyn, however, began expressing fears for his safety. Just a week before the election he was shot to death. This is not to suggest that those who have attacked conservatives here will one day swap their pies for guns. But someone else with less conscience might. That's because once violence, however harmless it at first appears, is accepted as an appropriate means of protest, it tends to escalate. The media should highlight these cases not as the jokes they are perhaps intended to be, but as unacceptable perversions of the First Amendment."