Politics

Those who’ve confronted representatives with vitriolic language speak out

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Jeff Winkler
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      Jeff Winkler

      Jeff Winkler is a Daily Caller staff writer covering firearms, as well as campaign advertising and fringe culture topics. He worked previously for several Arkansas and New Zealand publications. His byline has appeared in Slate, Reason, Good magazine, the Guardian, Washington City Paper and most notably, Worm Digest.

Jared Loughner’s question for Gabrielle Giffords was utterly incomprehensible. When the Arizona representative couldn’t makes sense of Loughner’s nonsense during a 2007 rally, it set the alleged Tucson gunman off (“Can you believe it, they wouldn’t answer my question“). Loughner felt ignored and then the questions stopped.

In wake of the Arizona tragedy, however, there is one question that needs to be asked: Where’s the line between enough security and not enough liberty?

South Carolina Democratic Rep. James Clyburn wants special treatment at the airport. Republican Indiana Rep. Dan Burton* wants to corral the public behind bullet proof Plexiglass when they view proceedings on the House floor. And who knew the creaking, grinding jaws of a thousand pundits would sound exactly like Charlie Brown’s teacher after a 90-hour Meth bender?

The best Panel of Experts — experts on rhetoric, vitriolic language and freedom of speech — are those who’ve tested the boundaries. They disrupt committee hearings, stage protests, and occasionally “act alone.” Often, they get arrested doing it.

The Daily Caller spoke to some of these protesters who’ve pushed the idea of free speech to its limits. They come from all political persuasions. They use vitriolic language. They each have their own issues, their own reasons for speaking up: The war, or health care, or abortion, or gays or a Kenyan president planning a New World Order.

These are the mainstream “anti-government extremists.”