Posted by: Patrick Allen Foster | October 16, 2013

Althouse on the War Monuments and the Shutdown

Twelve days ago, we noted the political theater of elderly veterans (and their families, and some members of Congress) pushing aside Park Service barriers to visit the WWII Memorial on the National Mall (see item #5 in this post). My take on the story (and the way that cable news promoted the story) pretty much aligned with Steve Saideman’s take: “the fact that this manifestation of the shutdown’s effects will get far more play than lots of others that are are less symbolic and far more consequential is as appalling as it is unsurprising.”

Anyway, I was surprised (pleasantly) by Ann Althouse’s reaction (which I just saw yesterday):

Are you surprised to learn that I do not approve of this?

Those who visit veterans monuments — even if they too are vets — ought to show respect for the monument, not perform political theater, especially when it’s about another topic entirely (like the budget or healthcare policy). An antiwar protest at a veterans monument would make more sense, but even then, it should honor those who have served.

Quite aside from respect for war monuments, I don’t accept protesters screwing with government property. These barricades are not theirs to move around for the purpose of making statements. Use your own signs, your own words and gestures if you’ve got something to say.

Obviously, these people think they’re pretty cute, and they’re getting egged on by anti-Obama media (like Breitbart and Instapundit). But all protesters who actually care about their objectives need to think really hard about how their hijinks look to people who are not already on their side. I saw the same problem with the Wisconsin protesters in 2011. They were so inside their own enterprise that they couldn’t perceive how it would look to those standing away at some distance.

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