Free expression is not a rejection of reason, including reason in public health. Libertarian politics – of free markets in capital, labor, and goods, of responsible government, of individual liberty, and of peaceful international relations – requires a mature discipline.
I do not support recent protests against temporary public health measures during this pandemic. And yet, even if I did, the behavior of protestors in Brookfield, Wisconsin and elsewhere should be an embarrassment to those who support free expression. A chaotic gaggle, milling about without the proper distance and protective masks, betrays an undisciplined immaturity.
Days ago in Israel, protestors (for many reasons) against Netanyahu gathered in Rabin Square in Tel Aviv —-
Admirable, truly. These Israelis were a model of mature discipline – standing apart, perfectly in place, but collectively together.
Days ago in Brookfield, a smaller number crowded together to protest Evers —
I work for The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, a Pulitzer Prize-winning and transparent pillar of the Fourth Estate. The standard is the standard. ??
From the editors: No, an image at Brookfield rally was not doctored as false accusations on Facebook claim https://t.co/At485Bij8k
— Jim Owczarski (@JimOwczarski) April 20, 2020
Embarrassing, truly. Standing together, ignorant or dismissive of public health, with so little symmetry they looked like shards on the sidewalk. There is irony in a Confederate battle flag from protesters who claim to represent liberty, but it’s fitting for this ilk: the red hat is this century’s white hood.
The exercise of liberty benefits from both reason and discipline these Wisconsin protesters lacked, but that the Israeli protesters commendably displayed.