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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Anarchy and Ambivalence

Protesters at the Republican National Convention in New York, though they received limited media attention, were universally labeled as "anarchists". I hang out with a lot of liberals and I don't know any who would call themselves anarchists. There are times when I, myself reason that an anarchist system would be an improvement over the tragic way American government is going; but I quickly dismiss this notion, an organized government is essential for society.

I bring up the so-called "anarchists" to make the following points:

Who decided to label the protesters anarchists?

Is it possible that a large number of protesters wrote major news outlets declaring that "the anarchists are coming to town"? Possible, but it didn't happen.

Did a majority of the protesters have signs that said things like, "We are anarchists! We respect no authority!" or "To hell with government! I want to live in a cave!"? I think not. Though a menagerie of issues were protested during the RNC, I safely speculate that anarchy was not a serious topic among most.

Why did they do it?

I suggest that the protesters were labeled "anarchists" for three reasons.

1. The protesters came to New York for dozens of reasons. Many came to protest the war. Others chose to protest the government propaganda network also known as Fox News. Yet others protested things like job outsourcing and corporate greed. These protesters lacked a clear message, they all came for different reasons, their voices blurred together into an incomprehensible noise. Far too much was being protested to be easily digested in an Action McNews power lunch. Therefore, it is because of the lack of a clear, united voice, that the protesters were tagged with the term "anarchists".

2. The Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary defines an anarchist as one who rebels against any authority, established order, or ruling power. Calling the protesters "anarchists" is an easy way to take away from their messages. The average TV news glutton will hear of anarchists causing a ruckus in New York and think:



"Anarchists? What's the point? They don't believe in anything. They are just wasting their time. I shouldn't care about what they have to say."

This is the very reason that they are called "anarchists". Not because they believe in nothing, but because the media wants them to be disregarded. Many of the things these brave, radical protesters are so opinionated about would not look good on television. Wal-Mart would not be happy if a network that shows their commercials also shows protesters denouncing their filthy business techniques. Fox News is not about to air protesters outside their New York studio chanting "Shut the Fox up!"

Most Importantly
3. Most of these demonstrators had a real beef with the Bush Administration. If the press exposes any shred of doubt regarding the President's integrity, intelligence, or policy there will be grave consequences. People might start to question Bush's rock-solid stance on bombing-the-hell-out-of-places-we've-never-heard-of-for-no-reason. People could stop supporting a stupid war that is doing nothing for America. People might even turn "anarchist" themselves, GASP! Acknowledging these protesters could jeopardize national security! The demonstrators must be derided and devalued lest someone begins to doubt our commander and chief.

The protesters were labeled as anarchists to cover Bush's oily Texan ass.

Senator Kerry, who kinda opposes the Republicans (I guess), doesn't wish to be associated with the protesters as they might detract from his wholesome image. Why couldn't the media outlets label these protesters as "democrats"? They are certainly in New York because they oppose the Bush administration and everything they stand for. So why can't they just be tagged as the "polar opposite" of republicans, democrats?

It's comforting to hear that the people have such a powerful voice in the way our country works. Citizens who bring up their discontent with the government are brushed aside, called names, and forgotten about. What will it take for the powers that be (and stay) to listen to popular opinion?

How many "anarchists" does it take to screw in a lightbulb? How many "anarchists" does it take to turn our country around?



1 Comments:

Blogger Nina said...

If you polished this post and added a few historical accounts, this could be a great nonfiction piece.

6:16 PM  

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