By Scott Tibbs, August 27, 2007
It is a common theme in politics that if someone is cornered, he will attempt to draw the attention away from himself and onto something else. It is a natural response: if you are losing an argument, you would much rather shift the topic to something else. This is known as a Red Herring logical fallacy, and was made apparent again in the past week when radical Leftists shut down a meeting meant to help communities plan for Interstate 69.
The Herald-Times mistakenly reported that Leftist protesters had thrown a chair at last week's meeting, as did I. Now Leftists are attempting to distract from the inexcusable behavior displayed that night by focusing on the H-T's error. How terrible that the H-T would report that a chair was thrown when no chair was thrown! They are sensationalizing the news! They are being so mean to the people there. After all, the chair was only kicked.
You see, kicking a chair is so much more civil and so much more acceptable than throwing a chair.
The fact that a chair was kicked rather than thrown is an insignificant detail in this story. What is significant is that one instigator climbed up onto a table and began screeching anti-interstate slogans. What is significant is that the second instigator was screaming into the face of one of the people who was only doing his job by presenting information. What is significant is that police had to be dispatched to get the situation under control.
Is it so hard to just admit that the behavior of the anti-interstate protesters was inexcusable, and to denounce that behavior? After all, most opponents of I-69 do not support the use of such radical tactics. Most opponents of I-69 support peaceful, lawful protest methods. The radicals who shut down a legal meeting and showed such extreme disrespect for the First Amendment certainly do not represent all opponents of I-69.
The question I have to ask is this: why are some Leftists so determined to distract from the events of last Tuesday night? I think they owe the community an answer, as well as an apology for downplaying the intimidating tactics used by thugs pretending to be legitimate actors on the political stage.