Social reform is always something hard fought for, but is it possible that there's a pattern of pushing a little too far and then having to ensure a backlash? Even after decades of campaigning with real progress on issues such as equality or freedom of information there's a core of people who stand resolute in traditional beliefs and practices. Is the backlash also an important part of the process?
Consider for a moment the fight for progressive equality: racial acceptance, gay rights, women's liberties. Each has made huge headway in even the most staunch of conservative establishments and now we're faced with the Tea Party, an even more conservative Pope and the KKK. It feels like even though we're not at our ultimate destination some factions have been pushed too far. Some ground has been lost as the entrenched 'enemy' fight back.
This isn't a new thing though. You could consider the assassination of Martin Luther King in 1968 to be a retaliatory blow against the fight for 'colourless society' and it was not only a tragedy but a set back that may have cost the movement more than just a figurehead. Luckily social reform is a very aggressive force. Is it possible that the retaliation is an integral part of the process? Murder may be it's ugliest face and an extreme example, but perhaps these oppressive traditionalists need to fight back, and in doing so ultimately undermine their own viewpoints and demonstrate to the next generation the regressive nature of their out-dated causes?
Maybe the limelight, the little victories and the nose-thumbing of these people is their ultimate undoing. Their creation of martyrs and ideal-driven causes the eventual final straw? Just because they are not holding the smoking gun does not mean that these people and their figureheads are not in part responsible for every man or woman beaten because they are black or gay, or each bearded man subjected to invasive searching because they look 'kinda middle-eastern'.
I have enough faith in humanity to hope that this isn't going unnoticed, and the weight of hypocrisy will eventually tumble their playing-card castles.