Ok, here is what happened: On March 31, 2005, Pat Buchanan, conservative commentator and former presidential candidate, was giving a speech at Western Michigan University when some 24-year-old ding-dong, who apparently did not like what he was hearing, decided the appropriately mature and tolerant behavior would be to attack Mr. Buchanan with a bottle of salad dressing.
I do not know the motives of this nut, whether he was going crown Mr. Buchanan across the noggin, but he ended up "dousing" him with salad dressing instead while screaming, "Stop the bigotry."
Now this could, I suppose, be construed as the actions of a simple-minded, nut-case liberal who, when he hears rhetoric with which he cannot cope, has to resort to a violent act to settle issues in his liberal-demented mind. However, this was not an isolated incident.
Just two days prior to this event with Mr. Buchanan, another noted conservative, William Kristol, editor of the magazine, The Weekly Standard, and former chief of staff to Vice President Quayle, was attacked with a pie at a college campus in Indiana.
Do we see a trend here? This confuses me. However, a great deal in life confuses me.
Isn't the liberal side of the aisle supposed to be the group who condemns the conservative side of massive intolerance, bigotry, insufferable dogmatism, hate speech, and whatever else they can come up with when they have had a little too much to drink? Aren't the liberals (at least in their own minds) the only creatures on earth who champion the cause of tolerance in everyone from the gays to the ACLU defending the North American Man Boy Love Association's right (pro bono I might add) in a civil case where they claim it is free expression to teach adults how to rape children?
Do you remember Ward Churchill? He was the University of Colorado professor who wrote an essay about the victims of the 9/11 attack.
Of Churchill's essay, an Associated Press writer quotes,
"The World Trade Center victims were "little Eichmanns," a reference to Adolf Eichmann, who organized Nazi plans to exterminate Europe's Jews. Churchill also spoke of the "gallant sacrifices" of the "combat teams" that struck America." (College Cancels Professor's Appearance, Tuesday, February 1, 2005, Associated Press).
What, no salad dressing dousing or pie throwing?
Am I on the wrong track here? Am I cruising down the wrong way on a one-way street? This man, Ward Churchill, made the incomprehensibly hideous comparison of 9/11 victims with Nazis and no one wants to throw a pie, pour a little thousand island on him, not even a clicking of a tongue or a wagging of a finger?
Ok, here is the entire point of my confusion: is this how a liberal deals with free speech? Is a physical assault upon the person expressing a contrary view the behavior of a tolerant left? Is this what we should now expect in the behavior of the left-physical assault?
Today it is a bottle of salad dressing or a pie. What will they use next? To what depths can we expect this liberal-assault-a-conservative behavior to escalate?
Should I conclude that the left only tolerates the free speech they find appealing and in agreement with their particular worldview?
This is so confusing that my wife and I decided, two years ago, that going to hell in a hand basket is not what we wanted to do, so we moved to another country so that we could sit back, contemplate our confusion, and watch the rest of America enjoy the ride.
Doug Bower is a freelance writer and book author. His most recent writing credits include The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Houston Chronicle, and The Philadelphia Inquirer, and Transitions Abroad. He lives with his wife in Guanajuato, Mexico. His new book, Mexican Living: Blogging it from a Third World Country, can be seen at http://www.lulu.com/content/126241