As you know, Black Friday got off to a great start when hundreds of Walmart shoppers at the Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream, N.Y. literally trampled to death a Walmart employee who happened to situate himself between the shoppers and the bargains.
Jon Swift thinks the shoppers should be blanket pardoned:
Of course, my heart goes out to the family of this man who was just in the wrong place at the wrong time, but while it is unfortunate that someone got hurt, capitalism is not a dinner party. There will always be some collateral damage in a free market. ….
How can those of us who were not there judge people on the front lines of the Christmas shopping rush? Can we honestly say that we would not have rushed past or over this unfortunate man on the way to grabbing the last plasma TV or Wii to bring some Christmas joy to our children? After 9/11 President Bush said that the best way to defeat the terrorists was to “go shopping.” Should we now condemn those who took him at his word? If he meant what he said, then before he leaves office President Bush should issue a blanket pardon to these high-spirited consumers to head off this assault not only on Americans who were just trying to make Christmas a little better for their families in these trying economic times but on the capitalist system itself….
But issuing blanket pardons may not be enough. Kristol goes on to say that not only should the Bush Administration officials who kept this country safe receive pardons, they should be awarded the Medal of Freedom. “They deserve it,” he says. That would certainly send a message to the America haters who think that they can change all the rules just because they won an election.
And if police do succeed in identifying the Wal-Mart shoppers, think of the message President Bush would be sending about the free enterprise system by awarding these great Americans the Medal of Freedom. They refused to horde their hard-earned dollars in low-interest savings accounts but instead went out to spend it, just as President Bush has urged them to do, at an American company that in the best American tradition has given consumers the best bargains possible by not overpaying their workers and by scouring the world for the cheapest merchandise produced in countries that are not subject to draconian labor and environmental laws. Isn’t that the very definition of freedom?
Jon Swift: true to his name.