"The only way to make sure people you agree with can speak is to support the rights of people you don't agree with."
- Eleanor Holmes Norton
Recently I linked to a Salt Lake Tribune editorial which called for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign, and I expressed some degree of surprise at the fact that this was coming out of Utah, which in the 2004 Presidential election voted for President Bush with a 3:1 ratio - the strongest plurality of votes President Bush received amongst all the 50 states.
To illustrate just how conservative people are in this state the city Provo, which is the seat of ultra-conservative Utah County, was named the most conservative city in the United States by the Bay Area Center for Voting Research a few years back. Democrat John Kerry garnered just 11 percent of the vote in Utah County in 2004.
So the reports yesterday of protests against VP Cheney at BYU, the LDS Church-owned university located in Salt lake City, are of interest -- and may be what I believe is a sign of more things to come.
Not surprisingly, the anti-Cheney protesters on the street outside of the entrance to the University were treated to raised middle fingers and admonitions of "I'll be praying for you!" from the passing motorists. Dissent breeds... dissent, and while some may disagree, I personally feel any non-violent dialog, even one punctuated by raised voices and erect middle fingers, is healthy.
Leading into the landmark November 2006 election I noticed a trend among young voters (under 25) moving over to the blue side -- a shift that proved to be an important factor in the outcome of the election. I think we'll be seeing a lot more open, vocal dissent leading into the 2008 Presidential elections, with young Americans leading the way.
Huzzah! brave protesters at BYU, huzzah! May your example light a fire across America, and inspire people on both sides of the aisle to speak up and speak out about what is wrong about America today, and what we need to do to make it right again.
(graphic: Project for the Old American Century)
Note: Wizbang Blue is now closed and our authors have moved on. Paul Hooson can now be found at Wizbang Pop!. Please come see him there!