Obamacare

Reason Writers Around Town: Shikha Dalmia on Non-Violent Resistance to ObamaCare

|

In her latest Forbes column, Reason Foundation Senior Analyst Shikha Dalmia offers a citizen's guide on how to resist ObamaCare. As she writes:

The prerequisites for any movement's success are credible leaders and a moral high ground. The first means that opponents of ObamaCare cannot—cannot—let Mitt Romney come within sniffing distance of their cause….

As for maintaining the moral high ground, ObamaCare opponents have to be very careful when invoking rhetoric from the revolutionary period. Tea Partiers quote the Founders, especially Thomas Jefferson who said that the "tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of tyrants." But any hint of violence—even inadvertent—will compromise their cause.

Read the whole thing here.

Advertisement

NEXT: Thomas Friedman's Tee Tea Party

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Well, non violent resistance is futile. It gets no results LOL

    Lou
    http://www.privacy-online.eu.tc

    1. i wonder if i clicked on that link my computer would get a virus?

  2. “opponents have to be very careful when invoking rhetoric from the revolutionary period…that the “tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of tyrants.” But any hint of violence?even inadvertent?will compromise their cause.”
    Well, there goes the H&R neighborhood.

  3. I suppose that the tree of liberty quote from Jefferson might give the MSM cover to label civilian disobedients as domestic terrorists a la Timothy McVeigh.

    I prefer this Jefferson quote, “I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.” It usually gets a thumbs up even from my liberal friends.

    1. The MSM and the Left apparently believe in the magic power of words to change reality: It is whatever they say it is – call it something else and it becomes what one calls it. No wonder the Left has always hated labels. I’ve often thought there must be a connection between the rise of Progressivism and the various “New Age” religions, such as Theosophy and its later offshoots and variants, like New Thought, or the Science of Mind, or the I Am Activity, etc.

  4. I’m sure Shikha’s audience in Forbes will not committ acts of violence – how many teabaggers she reaches with that column is another thing…

    1. I’m guessing probably a not, as I don’t think tea partiers read Forbes.

  5. “Anyone who clings to the historically untrue — and — thoroughly immoral doctrine that violence never solves anything I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler would referee. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than has any other factor; and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and their freedoms.”

  6. I’m all for nonviolence…until I’m not.

  7. Make the liberals commit the violence. Make them throw the first punches, and get them on video.

    I’d take a punch for the cause. Then I’d file such the lawsuits.

  8. I think the worst thing about ObamaCare is that it means the republicans are going to sweep this november’s election. and then probably 2012. That means prepare for a 2013-2017 years of neocons and more war probably.

    1. And even worse, you know that when push comes to shove, the Republicans won’t lift a finger to repeal this bill, even after riding it’s repeal into office.

  9. I think the worst thing about ObamaCare is that it means the republicans are going to sweep this november’s election. and then probably 2012. That means prepare for a 2013-2017 years of neocons and more war probably.

    We need to nominate liberty-minded people like Ron Paul.

  10. But any hint of violence?even inadvertent?will compromise their cause.

    Why don’t veiled and not so veiled hints of violence by State ever “compromise” its cause?

    1. Oh hey now, that’s different. Don’t ever forget, that’s different.

      You aren’t even supposed to be thinking about that.

  11. any hint of violence?even inadvertent?will compromise their cause

    Protesters should replicate civil rights-era posters from the early ’60s. Nothing would fuck with the minds of Olbermann et al like a crowd of white Tea Partiers holding signs that read: WE SHALL OVERCOME…I HAVE A DREAM…A RIGHT DELAYED IS A RIGHT DENIED.

    1. Stage a sit in in the capital. A total nonviolent sit in. Chain yourself to the doors. Lets see the liberal media spit and sputter about that.

      1. There’s an emerging story, indeed a strategy, of Democrats being “threatened” by unhappy citizens. Look at the absurd Sarah Palin angle being floated by MSNBC and others. Palin has advised her followers to “target” certain Democrats for defeat. “Target,” in the warped minds of leftist demagogues, means “kill.” The strategy, if it isn’t obvious by now, is to stifle free speech and expression. Remember when Democrats supported civil rights?

        1. There’s an emerging story, indeed a strategy, of Democrats being “threatened” by unhappy citizens. Look at the absurd Sarah Palin angle being floated by MSNBC and others. Palin has advised her followers to “target” certain Democrats for defeat. “Target,” in the warped minds of leftist demagogues, means “kill.”

          And the problem with this is.. uh?

  12. What the author, and most other people, fails to realize is that many of the acts of civil disobedience involve acts of force.

    One needn’t use one’s fists or a weapon to exert force upon another. Indeed, one doesn’t even have to touch another person to exert force on them.

    And force is always violence.

    1. One needn’t use one’s fists or a weapon to exert force upon another.

      Correct.

      And force is always violence.

      Incorrect. Fraud is a crime–a type of force–but it’s hardly violent. By your definition of force, simply refusing to go to work in the morning could be considered “violent” behavior, as it “forces” your employer to make other arrangements. Get a grip.

      1. Political force, while not physical, is still violence because violence only requires that a given action result in an injury or violation of rights.

        Fraud fits this definition easily as would most common protest methods including blocking the highway to prevent free travel, or sit-ins, or chaining one’s self to doors or what-have-you – all of these are actionable because they violate someone’s rights.

        Not showing up for work does not fit because in most cases, one is an “employee at will” meaning both parties understand that the “job” could end at any time and supposedly both parties have taken steps to mitigate this. Contracted employees are governed by the contract and any consequences for refusal to work would be either spelled out within or determined in a civil trial.

        I’m not saying that everyone should bust out the guns and start shooting, I’m just pointing out that “civil disobedience” that violates the rights of others is a form of political force and therefore a form of violence and it is disingenuous to call it “non-violent protest.”

        1. I think your use of the word “violence” is probably deviating enough from the standard understanding of the term that it hampers honest communication of ideas.

  13. Moral high ground is nice and all, but practical arguments are the most effective.

    And there is no paucity of straightforward, purely practical arguments against ObamaCare. The whole health care reform plan is packed with flaws from end to end.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.