Today is Martin Luther King Day. Theoretically there’s nothing controversial about that. There was once. Admiration for Dr. King and his work was far from universal when he was actually doing that work and even the years immediately afterward. Here in 2012, just about everyone recognizes Martin Luther King for the powerful force for peace and justice that he was and realizes now that to honor him is to honor an American patriot.
Just about everyone. Let’s just double-check though.
Martin Luther King used nonviolent protest masterfully. He was the finest peaceful warrior this side of Mahatma Gandhi. Everyone understands the value of nonviolent protest and respects its use.
“All the Occupy movement starts with the premise that we all owe them everything. They take over a public park they didn’t pay for, to go nearby to use bathrooms they didn’t pay for, to beg for food from places they don’t want to pay for, to obstruct those who are going to work to pay the taxes to sustain the bathrooms and to sustain the park, so they can self-righteously explain they are the paragons of virtue to which we owe everything. That is a pretty good symptom of how much the left has collapsed as a moral system in this country, and why you need to reassert something by saying to them, ‘Go get a job right after you take a bath.” -Newt Gingrich
Martin Luther King was a passionate ally of organized labor. It was his efforts to help the sanitation workers of Memphis in their labor dispute with the city that occasioned him to be in Memphis the day he was murdered, April 4, 1968. Everyone respects that which Dr. King fought for, including labor unions.
“The National Labor Relations Board, now stacked with union stooges selected by the president, says to a free enterprise like Boeing, ‘You can’t build a factory in South Carolina because South Carolina is a Right to Work state.” – Mitt Romney
Martin Luther King was nonviolent all the way across the board, advocating for the major antiwar causes of his day. He opposed the madness of the arms race between the United States and Soviet Union and came out strongly against the war in Vietnam. He cautioned the United States to avoid thinking that God had chosen “America as his divine, messianic force to be a sort of policeman of the whole world.” He thought it important that the United States not try to correct the woes of every nation at the point of a gun and that military intervention in other countries was often less necessary than the U.S. seemed to think it was, at least at that time. Fortunately today, everyone admires Dr. King today and everything he stood for, such as his stance on the use of U.S. military might.
“A weak America in Iraq will be unable to stop Iran. Stopping Iran is potentially literally a matter of life and death” – Newt Gingrich
“Blockade, bombardment and surgical military strikes.” – Mitt Romney, listing options for dealing with Iran
“We need to use covert activities. And we need to plan a strike against their facilities and say to them that if you do not open up those facilities and close them down, we will close them down for you.” -Rick Santorum on Iran
Happy Martin Luther King day everyone. Well almost everyone. Apparently there are still people who don’t quite embrace the lessons he tried to teach.
Somehow, I just don’t see those people being commemorated with a national holiday any time in the future.