You’ve probably heard by now that Republican congressmen across the country have tried to wave off their increasingly vocal constituents by arguing that any folks who want to engage with them face to face are paid protesters, and therefore, illegitimate.
It is, of course, absurd on its face. America itself was birthed from angry protesters. And waving off concerned citizens as people being paid to agitate discounts the very real sacrifices people make in order to make their voices heard.
But while President Trump and other GOP lawmakers are suddenly talking a lot about paid protesters, efforts to write off any criticism as insincere and thus, unimportant, are not new. And they happen in San Diego all the time.
Often when we write about the school district or charter schools, for example, people have a standard knee-jerk reaction — to point out that one of VOSD’s founders is a backer of charter schools. (It should go without saying, but here I am saying it: VOSD board members don’t tell us what to write. They don’t trick us into writing stories in their favor. We have agreed with them on what we stand for, including a high-quality education for all students.) San Diego Unified often instantly rebuts anything we write with a similar insistence: You’re out to get us!
Suggesting we’re just tools of a particular interest group, or are devoted to bringing down a particular agency or person is not only untrue, it’s a very convenient way to avoid engaging any specific argument on its merits.
Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton this week, as he faced a raucous and livid crowd of town hall attendees, stumbled into a good point. One woman prefaced her comments to Cotton by saying she was not being paid to be there. Cotton responded: “I don’t care if anybody here is paid or not. You’re all Arkansans.” Forget that his comment leaves the door open to the idea that paid protesters exist. His underlying point is right: That thing everyone is insisting should discount your voice should not in fact discount your voice.
We Stand Up for You. Will You Stand Up for Us?
Are we still a Democracy? I doubt it. I think many people of color would agree they don't feel like they are living in a Democracy in San Diego- but not just San Diego...
Something very much darker pervades our Union. If you think that everyone lives as you do...with a voice .... Nothing could be further from the truth.
And it was not that long ago when your voice would not have had a platform, you are female. I think we have a very dark presence in San Diego related to the Military Industrial Complex (ie a Navy and Marine town) and all the contracts that are available by hook or by crook from the DoD. And much of this business is conducted by Crook.
It influences out law enforcement, our DA's office, our Judges, our Sheriffs and the FBI which our Sheriff worked for in his earlier years...All the way to the US attorney's office. I guess it is good to be male white and rich but all I've experienced are the worse behaviors humanly possible, behaviors unbecoming of the military, and DoD trickle down to local politicians and law enforcement which in this case is a misnomer.
Feels, acts, and tastes more like a fascist state, than a Democracy.
I think VOSD has a liberal tilt.
I also think that VOSD seems to piss everyone off on both sides.
That is balance in an era of media imbalance.