"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Friday, March 4, 2011

Observation in a Minor Key

Yesterday I went to a middle school wrestling meet in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.   Across the street from the school is the Wauwatosa City Hall, and outside the City Hall there were about fifty or so demonstrators, protesting the budget plan offered by Governor Scott Walker.   I could hear them shouting as I pulled into the school parking lot, and I could hear the occasional honking of cars, in solidarity, I guess.   Most didn't honk, and undoubtedly more people passed the protest in their cars going home from work (or going off to do something else important to their private lives) in thirty seconds of traffic, than were protesting. 

Anyway, when I came into the gym, I was surprised to see that there were well over a hundred people in the stands, many more than were protesting across the street for supposedly the most pressing political issue of our generation in Wisconsin.   For middle school wrestling.  On a Thursday afternoon.   On a cold, early March afternoon.  

I offer this observation merely to point out the obvious truth that, whenever you read or hear about "protests" or "demonstrations," you have to recall that the protestors and demonstrators are simply people who chose to do protesting and demonstrating, while the vast majority of people have better things to do.  

In my view, and to paraphrase Bill Buckley, I'd rather have a hundred people from a Wauwatosa middle school wrestling crowd decide important issues for my country than the hundred members of the United States Senate.  

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