I’ve been seeing some sensible liberals whining about the uselessness of protest lately. Here’s an alternate perspective:

Do not ever again tell me that protests are merely exercises in ‘preaching to the converted.’

I was down with Adam at the ‘Still We Rise’ protest, as reported earlier. In the crowd was a group of pretty young women dressed in red, white and blue costumes. Some of them were arguing vehemently with the protesters, which piqued my interest. I saw one of them standing off to the side, tapped her on the shoulder, and asked what her group was about.

“We’re the GOP Jamboree, a singing group here to support George W. Bush,” she said. I asked if I could get an interview, and she said yes.

Confession: I was planning on taking this young Republican apart at the seams, and all on camera. It didn’t quite work out that way.

Once the interview was underway, I asked her what it was about Bush and the Republicans she supported. She hesitated, cast her eyes downward, and looked inexplicably sad.

“I don’t know,” she said.

She came all the way from California as part of an organized singing group whose whole purpose was to support Bush. An afternoon talking to the protesters, however, had filled her head with data that did not jibe with what she had been told.

The video of this will be up soon. Watch it. The crowd educated a dedicated Republican, and did so in a way that made her think instead of making her defensive.

I raise a glass too her for having the courage to wade vocally into a liberal crowd while flying the Republican flag, but I offer a toast to her for having the courage to doubt her own beliefs in the face of facts. Too many won’t, or can’t, do that.


From the Truthout blog, which lacks permalinks.