The point of that last post — "I have professors that received doctorates..." — is that as the protest drags on and protesters are sleep-deprived and frustrated and tired of nothing happening but standing around chanting and listening to drum-beating for hours on end, logic and proportion is flopping away. There was some serious aggression yesterday.
You saw Meade's video where 2 over-aggressive protesters interrogated a couple of nice ladies who drove into Madison just to stand quietly, in the sea of Walker-haters, and hold their pro-Walker signs. In the video, you can hear that the 2 protesters are not making that much sense, and when Meade tries to mediate — meadeate — for them, other protesters in the area close in on Meade.
There's very tense confrontation, and it flips into paranoia and incoherence. At 4:35, you hear a woman say, "Are you a plant?" At 4:57: "I think we know you're a Walker plant?" At 5:00: "You [are a Walker plant] on this gathering and we can tell." At 5:17, a large man barges into Meade and grabs the Flip camera, and actually gets it out of Meade's hand. No one in the crowd does anything to help Meade in this assault, and Meade grabs the man's arm and wrests the camera out of his hand. This man says "Get your hands off me," as if he's a victim. After he assaulted Meade, he acts like he's the peacemaker and says — referring to Meade and the 2 pro-Walker women — "They are fools and idiots and just ignore them." He continues to bump his large body into Meade as he's saying that. A woman says, "These are Walker plants."
I see some people descending into irrationality — beginning to form a cultish mentality that demonizes outsiders. Meade was at a demonstration, photographing it. A demonstration is — to a clear-thinking person — a collection of people asking to be seen, wanting to be photographed. Yet when they perceive that Meade isn't one of them they flip — it's a Flip camera — into fear. Meade had been trying to talk to them rationally about why the pro-Walker woman might not want to debate her ideas in that setting, and instead of seeing Meade as a citizen who's finding out what's going on and helping 2 women who are surrounded and outnumbered, they spread their "plant" theory. And it's not just a theory. They know he's a plant.
But he's not a plant. He's a human being. An individual human being. And so are all the protesters, but I fear they are losing their grip on that reality.