Protect & Protest



The absolute absurdity of what was popularly coined the “government shutdown” is luckily over, but for what it was worth, perhaps it would have been best had the government remained “shut down.” From laid off federal workers (as Congress and our lord and savior Obama continued to get paid) to closed national parks, navy chaplains being banned from performing sacramental to federal workers being ordered to make the shutdown as painful as possible, there is no shortage of grievances that can be placed on this administration. Out of all, the most notable and downright idiotic had to be the standoff, rather debacle, at the war memorials.

There is a reason war veterans are so respected. We tend to thank them for allowing us as a country to keep the freedoms promised to us after    the original founding fathers broke off from the British Crown of George. What we tend to forget, in fact seldom or never realize, is that these veterans were tasked with fighting wars in which the  US did not need to get involved. Take that for whatever it is, but did the United States really have to invade places such as Vietnam, Iraq, etc.? That debate isn’t the point of this piece though.

Leaving a lasting memorial to those lost in battle is the least the government can do to thank the troops for their service, but it was a downright mockery that they would barricade them during the shutdown to keep the veterans away. This harkens back to the absurdity of the entire situation predicated by the fact that those in government choose to keep us in chains. But the idiocy didn’t stop there. No. These war veterans were not only barred from paying their respects to their fallen brothers but were painted by mainstream media as homeland terrorists and outright extremists by media pundits like Maddow.

One can only find so many ways to exhaust the meaning of the word ‘absurd.’ For lack of a better vocabulary, let’s continue.

By now I am sure you as the reader already know or have the wherewithal to determine what really happened at this event so the purpose of this piece isn’t to dispense information, but rather to analyze it in the context of our trying times.

What happened between the two parties wasn’t merely an insignificant whiff in time but rather a lasting historical milestone, a microcosm of the historical generation in which we live. What were these brave men doing? They were doing the one thing they knew to do best: protecting our freedoms.

The current administration is one of the most, if not most, tyrannical administrations to ever run this fine nation. Our nation was founded and predicated on the basis of freedom, that all men have natural liberties that are entrusted to government so as to protect those freedoms. However, when there comes a time when that government begins to take away those freedoms, something starts to grow. Something begins to manifest. People begin to grow weary, anxious, annoyed, inflamed, angry. People begin to see the government for what is, and at that point things tend to get ugly.

Government exists because those who live under it agree to have it. In essence this is what we commonly coin “by the people, for the people.” When the government no longer reflects the will of the people, it becomes illegitimate. We have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights as a way to spell out the liberties entrusted to man. This government absolutely refuses to uphold those rights. Gun bans and confiscations violating our second amendment, NSA spying and TSA checkpoints violating our fourth amendment, the inability to say anything “bad” against government violating our first amendment. As a side note, the Department of Homeland Security recently purchased enough ammunition and armored tanks to fight three world wars. (Their former head Napolitano is now the head of the UC system). Food for thought.

At some point the frustration tips over and chaos, a good chaos, ensues as constituents ban together to reclaim their rights. That was what the veterans did. They were fed up with the constant destruction of our Constitution and the citizenry.  They were tired of the fact that they had to be the ones on the front lines and now return home to being called extremists and terrorists.

We thank them for protecting our freedoms. And now we have to thank them again, not only for protecting them, but for helping make us realize that we need to reclaim them. No, this wasn’t just another rally forgotten over time. This rally should, and will be recorded in history as the start of the homeland revolution, the revolution to take back the rights promised to us in the Constitution. These veterans are true warriors and encapsulate the entirety of the definition. What they have done has served as the model for our reclaiming of America. Veterans, again we thank you.


David Vu is a third-year public health policy major. He can be reached at