Be Good or Be Gone

 

Based upon the tone at recent town hall meetings, it appears that some rather spirited Americans are experiencing the summer of their discontent. This may one of those rare times when our elected officials wished that they would have chosen to forego recess in favor of the tedium of late night legislative sessions in Washington.

 I know that I speak for the entire staff of American Public House Review when I say that we fully support the right of all of our citizens to assemble in order to express their concerns and opinions; but that we strongly disagree with the apparent lack of decorum and the disruptive tactics that are being implemented by certain individuals and groups under the protection of free speech. Hooliganism may be acceptable at a tea party in Boston or an English soccer match, but it degrades and dishonors American democracy. When we award undue credence to the clamor and clatter we greatly diminish the ability of those voices of reason, on either side of an issue, to be rightfully heard.

 During the protests of 60s and 70s it was common to hear the phrase “America, love it or leave it” being uttered by anyone that felt that those on the street were ill-mannered or in abuse of their First Amendment rights. I’m not about to advocate for the banishment of any American to Canada, especially since their public health care system probably doesn’t cover treatment for malice and malcontentedness.

Back Bar at McSorley's Old Ale HouseNo, what I’m suggesting is that we adopt the house policy at McSorley’s Old Ale House in Manhattan. Enshrined behind the bar in that beloved New York institution are the words “Be good or be gone.” Those words serve as a kindly reminder to all that enter that they have the right to gather, kick up their heels a bit, and to express their opinion on any matter, as long as they are well behaved and respectful of the rights of those on either side of the bar.

 We at American Public House Review raise our glasses to all those who honor and exercise our democratic freedoms with dignity and goodwill toward their fellow citizens.

 

Posted by: Chris Poh

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I have been surprised by the lack of civil political discourse in some of the threaded discussions in the blogs. I suspect it might reflect the sort of people we are (i.e., in American society). Here is the post if you are interested: http://euandus3.wordpress.com/2009/11/03/are-the-american-people-really-like-mr-smith/

  2. Tea party citizens show lack of decorum?

    A million people marched on Washington D.C. and not one arrest.

    You are printing non-truth.

    When a group of people are looking at a steamroller, and it is about to run over them, you can bet your booty that they have a RIGHT to express their outrage, and look, we have remained civil in doing so, but as much as we are trying to get Congress’ attention … do they really listen?

    No!

    They are obsessed with power and will not listen to us.

    THAT is the truth.

  3. What steamroller? Is there one or has it been conjured up by “advocacy journalism?” Are we getting all worked up by an illusion?

    What is different now? Who stole our country? Is it because there is a Democrat in office, or is it just racism. Some people might just be pissed because our country’s demographics are changing.

    What is the revolution against? What is the terrible oppression that just came about with this administration?

    Our founding fathers displayed genius in creating a country where the individual is equal to the collective. Neither should take precedent over the other. Any issue or proposal must take both into consideration. We are not a country of every man for himself, nor are we a nation neglectful of individual rights and privileges. Somewhere in the balance between the two lies a healthy pursuit of happiness.

    Of course the horse race goes to the fastest, hardest working, or even the luckiest horse. But every horse should have an equal spot at the starting gate!

    There are excellent conservative commentators say . . . in the NATIONAL REVIEW and other thoughtful journals, but hardly any on FOX NEWS which is just playing on our fear and prejudice to achieve reactions and ratings.

    We should not let others manipulate our emotions. We all need to do a little work on our own to find the truth, and not depend on commentators bent on stirring up controversey to enhance their own celebrity.

    Thanks

  4. You know, the media really pushes it by trying to make it look and sound like people in tea parties are not well behaved. I’m sorry but, I went to Washington, DC on a Rally, and there was no trash on the ground and everyone was very polite and “exercising our democratic freedoms with dignity and goodwill toward their fellow citizens”, as you put it.
    Did you see what the place looked like after the big “party” they had for Obama when he became president of the U.S.?? Maybe you should tell those……..!


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