Sunday, September 13, 2009
Now We Have Something Else To Argue About - The Number Of Tea Party Protesters In DC
ABC is reporting that the DC Fire Department says 60,000-70,000 protesters descended on Washington yesterday for the Tea Party Protest. Those who were in the crowd have breathlessly reported 1 million to 2 million on their Facebook accounts. Britain's Daily Mail also says that "up to" 2 million people participated. That's a wide disparity, Clearly, someone is having trouble counting heads accurately.
Regardless of the numbers who showed, it's disconcerting to see that - in spite of public condemnation of this in the past - there were a number of signs comparing President Obama to Hitler. That's the beautiful thing about the United States, isn't it? We have almost unfettered freedom of speech. But if you're going to wave such a sign as an exercise of your First Amendment rights, then I'll condemn it as an exercise of mine.
Before I get accused of being partisan - I found it equally distasteful when President Bush was compared with Hitler.
Frankly, I can't tell whether Obama's detractors find him a fascist or a communist these days. Just for the record, the Soviet Red Army helped put down the German Nazi threat during World War II. Say what you will, they are not the same. So, those who are trying so desperately to label the president should decide which color they really want to paint him with.
The fact is, no one is being hauled off in cattle cars to concentration camps to meet their fate in an incinerator. The president isn't demanding that people hang posters of him throughout the nation and salute him as did the fuhrer. The United States isn't taking over entire continents to force its will on people and demand that they pledge allegiance to Obama. Until that happens, the comparison is unfair.
I don't say all this to be dismissive of the concerns raised by those opposed to the health reform proposal nor the runaway spending by the United States government. I'm concerned as well. And, as I have previously posted here, I'm really disappointed with the president for being loose with the facts.
But that doesn't make the Nazi comparison right. I've said it before and I guess I'll probably say it again, but we need to tone down the rhetoric a bit in order to get the facts so we can make an intelligent - not an emotional - decision on health reform. But apparently not all of the 60,000 or 2 million people who protested in Washington yesterday agree.
Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/marisseay/3912656655/