Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Tasering of Dissent

In George Lucas' Revenge of the Sith, Senator Amadala wryly observes, "So this is how democracy ends--to thunderous applause." Not quite, Senator, it was tasered.

The tasering of free speech occurred at a John Kerry appearance at the University of Florida on Monday, when a student, Andrew Meyer asked a series of increasingly annoying questions, including whether or not Kerry was a member of the same Yale secret society that George W. Bush belonged to. After being told that his time was up, and having his mike cut-off, Meyer refused to be quiet and was grabbed by police, who wrestled him to the floor and used a taser gun on him. You can see the video here.

Meyer was obnoxious, rude and disruptive. But he was not a threat, unless the very act of questioning is a threat. Senator Kerry, ever the automaton, proceeded to answer stumble through a answer, as if people get tasered everywhere he goes.

Whatever happened to universities being places for the free exchange of ideas?

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