January 11, 2012
The scene: Two well-dressed people, aged 60-70, a hybrid car plastered with bumper stickers advertising every “thought” the owner ever had; alongside, a table with a sign saying “Recall Walker, sign here.”
They’re parked on the property of a respected medical clinic, providing a subtle but gut-churning lesson in how the Left intimidates competing opinions into self-censorship.
A motorist approaches, reaching to open his window and ask if the clinic has authorized the use of its property for political aggression. But more vehicles are behind, waiting to exit the same parking lot. Holding them up would be rude. The petitioners go unchallenged.
The next thought: Write a letter to the clinic advising that if it allowed this use of its property it is guilty of severe disrespect for the deep convictions of many of its patients.
But then another thought: The motorist’s elderly parents are patients here. Unless he sends a distasteful, anonymous letter, they may be pre-identified as evil Republicans at their next visit to a clinic that plays politics: “Have a seat. Someone will be with you in five hours.”
Why not ask them if they’d worry about sending a letter?
Nope: Just asking would keep them permanently upset knowing they might be under the care of people who practice medicine politically, like the UW doctors who mass-produced phony sick-leave notes for Capitol protesters last winter. Better not to bring it up.
People who respect the concerns of others must know the Left will use their good manners against them. Civilized reluctance to cause a ruckus is exploited every day. A lab coat or fireman’s helmet can cover bullying with a cloak of respectability.
The question has been the same throughout history: How much freedom will you give up for the sake of staying polite?