Monday, July 14, 2014

Bring on the torches and pitchforks?

I'm trying to think of what would be the equivalent today in the U.S. of storming the Bastille. Granted, even back in 1789 in France it was primarily a symbolic gesture -- there were only 7 political prisoners in the prison at the time -- but even so. . . just where we would go if we wanted to do the equivalent today? Storm the prison where Leonard Peltier is held, whichever one that might be? Try to tear down the headquarters of the National Security Administration (they do seem to be spying on everyone)? Attack the White House? Riot at the Capitol? Is there any one place in this country that would be sufficiently symbolic to merit having a mob armed with the proverbial torches and pitchforks attack it? Even the most hated of government agencies (e.g., the Internal Revenue Service) are sufficiently amorphous that no one building really seems to capture the flavor necessary for a good symbolic act. Granted, the occasional lone nut will plot an attack on a federal building, but they don't seem to have much popular support. If they did, they wouldn't qualify as the occasional lone nut; they'd be leading a crowd of like-minded persons.

In any case, nothing is likely to be stormed by anyone any time soon. With a few exceptions, Americans are too apathetic to be outraged by much of anything. If they weren't, Occupy Wall Street would still be protesting and there'd be a lot more Moral Mondays happening around the country.

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