I'll start you off a couple minutes in, but feel free to scroll back to an earlier point so you can see how this ugliness develops. Stay for the very end, where an old woman gets up in Meade's face and says "You are a person against all of us. The whole nation is looking at you."
How thoroughly awful and creepy these people were! I hadn't watched this video since I edited it, but I just watched it now. How terrible people were! And I was just reading John Nichols book, "Uprising: How Wisconsin Renewed the Politics of Protest, from Madison to Wall Street." He assures readers that media talk of thuggery was a lie:
Yes, of course, talk radio’s Rush Limbaugh would condemn the marches and rallies by Wisconsin workers, farmers, teachers, and students as “thuggery,” “mob-ocracy” and “an anti-democratic movement.” Dismissing the protesters as “union thugs,” Limbaugh ridiculed “the same old traditional argument; the rights of working people are being trampled on,” as if the fact that the rights of working people were being trampled on, and had been trampled on for a long time, was rendered irrelevant by the mere use of the term “union thugs.”Page 22.
It was not uncommon during the course of 2011 to hear protests by middle-class families and prim-and-proper students dismissed as gatherings “of filthy hippies,” “criminals” and “union thugs.” The truth is quickly sacrificed by those who fear the numbers and the message of protesters against a corrupt status quo.Page 160.
But there were thugs. Going downtown in our own city to see what was happening, Meade was surrounded by thugs. Watch that video and see how the mob creates its own energy and attains a righteous belief that it can designate a human being as "a person against all of us." And, as we learned later, it was just the previous day that a vicious mob had surrounded GOP state senator Glenn Grothman.
People were losing their humanity:
I see some people descending into irrationality — beginning to form a cultish mentality that demonizes outsiders.... [W]hen they perceive that Meade isn't one of them they flip... 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.Later, Meade defends a monument.
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.