You can see the controversial commencement speech where Chris Hedges was “booed off the stage” online now. You’ll see that while some people stood and turned their backs it was actually just a few of the typically nasty and disruptive right-wing thug types who were shouting and blasting air-horns, even sneaking up and pulling the plug on the microphone. Most of the crowd was sitting calmly, wishing the ruffnecks would shut up. Some were shouting back at them “freedom of speech!” When the Dean asked the disrupting Party Members to allow the speaker to continue the crowd clapped and cheered. When Hedges finished there were as many people clapping as booing. Then some of the thugs rushed the state to threaten Hedges. (Keep in mind as you watch this that Hedges’ message was simply, “war is bad.”)
The message-amplification organs of The Party, fresh from their corporate-sponsored national trashing of the Dixie Chicks, trumpeted this event as another triumph for Bush and The Party, encouraging more of this sort of activity.
So here we have another example of what I’ll call “agents of The Party” using thuggery – violating the rights of the rest of the crowd, shouting down a speaker for opposing The Party, and disrupting the graduation ceremony of a college – only to be praised in the media as heroes. Why do I call them “agents of The Party?” Because this behavior is occurring more and more in Bush’s America, encouraged by “The Wurlitzer.” Drudge shouts headlines of another pansy liberal “booed off the stage.” Rush and Sean and all of AM radio talk about the elitist limousine liberal speaker out of touch with or hating America. Fox tells viewers of the heroes of Rockford patriotically rejecting the anti-American rant. Certainly no one from The Party has spoken up to denounce this type of behavior!
Bush’s failure to condemn this signals his support and understanding of how it benefits his agenda. And occasionally he goes beyond silent approval, as he did with his endorsement the organized, coordinated campaign of intimidation against countries threatening to vote against us at the U.N.
While Bush said he did not expect “significant retribution from the government” against Security Council member nations that didn’t line up with the United States, he pointedly left open the possibility of a popular backlash.
This is not a man condemning thuggery, this is a man gratefully utilizing it.