Robert Knight

When you’ve got some dirt to deal with, you can do one of two things. You can take out the trash or sweep it under the rug. Most of us, being sinners all, use a variety of methods to get by.

Then again, if you have no shame, you can leave your trash out in public view and make it someone else’s problem. That’s what the marchers for the great liberal One Nation rally on Oct. 2 did in Washington, D.C. After a series of speeches blaming their problems on everybody else and calling for more massive government, the crowd chucked their stuff and left.

The media did their best to downplay the litterscape and also the socialist and communist activists peppering the crowd with banners, badges, books and buttons.

But the Internet poses a problem to folks accustomed to having the media clean up after them. Lots of people have cameras. So you can go to YouTube and see a wonderful 90-second array of socialist imagery from the march while listening to the Anthem of the Soviet Union. It’s a great piece of music for truly awful causes. Americans for Prosperity put this nifty video together.

Elsewhere, at Hotairpundit, you can view litter scattered in front of the Lincoln Memorial and even at the World War II memorial on the Mall. There’s something cathartic about seeing cups, placards and hot dog wrappers piled up against a marble wall emblazoned with the names of places steeped in American blood, such as Guadalcanal, Okinawa and Iwo Jima.

The leftist march’s contrast with the August 28 rally led by Glenn Beck could not have been more stark. The far larger conservative crowd left the mall looking better than they found it. Seeing that the trash cans could not hold everything, many took their litter with them, picking some off the ground as they went. These folks are used to doing what needs to be done and not foisting it on others.

Years before conserving nature turned into a pagan religion headed by the Goreacle, my sixth-grade teacher used to tell the boys in the class to pick up litter on our field trips and stash it in our pant cuffs. He was a big fan of Teddy Roosevelt and the national park system, and he reinforced what I learned in Boy Scouts, which was to leave a place better than you found it. To this day, a stray wrapper in a public park annoys me and probably most of my former classmates. But unlike today’s kids, we weren’t being taught to turn in our parents as environmental criminals if they used the wrong light bulbs.

Robert Knight

Robert Knight is an author, senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a frequent contributor to Townhall.