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View Diary: Psycho PA Police Chief Suspended (172 comments)

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  •  Had he not acted like a nut ... (0+ / 0-)

    none of us would have ever heard of him and he would not have become a rallying point for the many working class rural folks out there who have similar views even if they don't act as crazy as he does.  How else does a nobody from nowhere garner national press for days on end without breaking the law?    And why did he get so much attention?  His message resonates with a certain class of people who probably number in the millions.  

    Kessler is also a talented guy.  Uneducated and crude, but talented nonetheless.  I used to hate people like him.  Now i try to understand them.  There are too many like him to just ignore them.  The GOP does not ignore them, I will tell you that.  40 years ago, most would have been union democrats.  

    •  i'm sorry, i watched those videos and saw (0+ / 0-)

      someone who hates a good portion of the people who live in his country. I suppose sustaining that is a type of talent but there's nothing to admire.

      Also, if you read the newspaper letters and comments for the main paper in his area, it's full of people blaming all their problems on immigrants. Problem is, that area is demographically 98% white. There are almost no immigrants, and the problems that exist happened before different looking people trickled in. That's who he blamed for his bar brawl when he shot himself.

      •  Try to understand them ... (0+ / 0-)

        ... it's easy to attack and judge them.  Anyone can do that.  The fact is that there is a reason why he was not fired.  There's a reason why a guy like that can be police chief for 14 years.  And that little town is representative of little towns all over America.  

        There is a lot to be learned from exploring and understanding the mindset and values of people whom you disagree with - or who are your (political) enemies.  I had to live among people like this.  I represented them on the town council.  They voted for me.  As a democrat in a solidly republican town.  And I am  probably more liberal than the average daily kos reader.  

        •  P.S. Just to be clear ... (0+ / 0-)

          ... and since my views were distorted and misrepresented by a critic - I do not agree with Kessler's viewpoint ... I was not defending the substance of Kessler's rhetoric and schtick.  I am not a gun nut and do not share the political beliefs of oath keepers or find militia symbolism gratifying.

          Rather, I was defending Kessler's first amendment right to make those videos, to hold his views and to associate with whomever he wishes - without being punished for it.  If you are at all familiar with first  amendment jurisprudence, you understand that the first  amendment really means very little if all it protects is popular speech.  Our rights under it are defined, or won, on the backs of people like Kessler who engage in speech the majority of people find outrageous and might feel inclined to ban or punish.  But his speech is political speech and deserves the highest protection of any speech - at least that's what the supreme court has said for many decades.  i would hate to see that change - especially now that govt. computers sift through everything we say on line, and also given the expansive definition the govt. applies to "terrorism" or "terrorist."

          I also found the entire incident fascinating and a productive  prism through which to view the political and social divides in this country.  Finally, i think it is important to understand and find common ground with people who are attracted to his message - and his defiance of the establishment.  There are a lot of them out there and finding common ground with them can lead to progress and positive results. I know that from personal experience.  You can't do that if you don't  understand them.

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