Theoretically we the people, elect (hire) our government officials. This is notwithstanding creative computer programming in some precincts and the furtive fraud in others. Supposedly our elected officials are answerable to both the voters and to the constitution that they have sworn to uphold. [i] They have the responsibility to defend their constituent’s constitutional rights without the necessity of constant voter scrutiny. Distracted, trusting voters rarely investigate the actions of their elected officials after any election. However, it is often the case that when an individual has power and authority they seek additional power for a variety of reasons – financial gain, worldly accolades, to gratify their pride, to satisfy their ambitions and for the sake of absolute control over their fellow beings which leads to odious oppression. So it is imperative that we elect good and honorable people with integrity and then pray that they remain principled. The obvious prerequisite is that good and honorable people run for office. When the wicked rule, the people mourn.
I am going to exercise some creative liberties and develop some contemporary relevance to the oft-quoted statement made by the German Pastor Martin Niemoller. [ii]
In America they came first for the Muslims and I didn’t speak up because I am not a Muslim. Then they came for the property owners and I didn’t speak up because I am not a property owner in Arizona [iii] or New London, Connecticut. [iv] Then they came for the Christians and I didn’t speak up because I didn’t attend that gay rights festival in Philadelphia. [v] Next they came for the disabled but I didn’t speak up because I am healthy. [vi] Next they came for the enemy combatant and I didn’t speak up because I am not combative. [vii] Then they came for me and by that time no one was left to speak up.
What an abusive, ‘unaccountable to their constituent’ government is allowed to do to someone – they will ultimately arbitrarily do to everyone. There were some horrific personal liberty abuses under the Clinton administration galvanized by the notorious Attorney General Janet Reno assisted by her compliant “just following orders” gang. [viii] The conservatives were quick to point out the abuses but that didn’t prevent the media covered, armed, predawn raid and kidnapping of six year old Elian Gonzales at the home of his relatives on 22 April 2000. One hundred and fifty-one “heavily armed federal agents, consisting of 131 Immigration and Naturalization Service agents and twenty U.S. marshals were unleashed on the Gonzalez family's home and neighborhood.” “The raid employed counterterrorist tactics usually used in hostage situations. These included the predawn hours, the use of obscenities and of violence against inanimate objects to intimidate and disorient the actual targets, and the fabrication of an imminent breakthrough in negotiations just before the extraction team moved in.” [ix] This very unconventional response to an illegal alien who was seeking asylum is so totally opposite to the response of our current administration towards illegal aliens. Both responses are extreme and serve the same objective but use very different methods – loss of personal freedoms. Conservative sensibilities did not prevent or reduce the number of bodies at Waco or Ruby Ridge, other incidents of abuse of power. [x]
Now we have pro abort Attorney General Alberto Gonzales of similar mentality but more sinister and secretive. There is one glaring distinction – he was appointed by an alleged conservative Republican. [xi] Whatever abuses of power he endorses go completely unnoticed by the conservative media. We dare not question less we appear anti-American. Should any criticism of prisoner policies arise it is always deflected to the liberal left, such as the case of the vilified Senator Richard Durbin [xii] who dared mention Guantanomo and the responsibility that the Bush administration has to prisoners under the Geneva Convention. [xiii] Despite damaging and biased media coverage this should not be considered a partisan issue. Well conditioned constituents believe that whatever a member of that other party does or says is incorrect and the media masterfully manipulates this. I certainly bought into in a previous article. It was the alleged conservative republicans who overwhelmingly voted for CAFTA which was a vote against the American middle class.
When Bad Boy Bill Clinton lied about his sexual escapades we wanted and got impeachment. [xiv] Presidential lying is an impeachable offense. But falsehoods in the Bush White House bring nary a murmur from the conservative media. Abuses against our personal liberties outlined in the Patriot Act will prove more pervasive and invasive. And the blind but obedient conservatives, wanting to believe that their needs are being met and their rights are being protected continue to render compliant support while rationalizing any inconsistencies with the help of a complicit so-called conservative talk radio media.
Whatever escapes the elite print media censor and gets published is devalued as liberal lies by the conservatives. Or events are covered up or downplayed and justified as perfectly legitimate by the professed conservatives. It appears that the primary job of each party is to critique the actions of the opposing current ruling dictatorship to the distraction of the voters. Partisanship is insignificant in terms of the covert government agenda.
The inattentive conservatives stubbornly focus on the abortion issue election year after election year, or when there is a vacancy on the Supreme Court. We will have more to worry about, in addition to abortion, if John Roberts is sworn in. [xv] Folks, if the unconstitutional opinion called abortion were going to be overturned, it would have happened under Reagan or the first Bush administration. Now it is hopelessly entrenched in our society with little hope of overturning it. Young women currently claim it as a personal right, never knowing a time when this immoral yet legal procedure was not available. This media focus on the very emotional issue of abortion at significant times is an obvious diversion away from the stark reality that we are losing the freedoms guaranteed by our constitution as government becomes larger, more invasive and increasingly abusive.
We have lost considerably more of our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms since the opportunistic events of 9/11. We cannot isolate everything that happened on 9/11 from everything else that has happened since that day. That day was the stimulus for the Patriot Act. [xvi] This legislation was just renewed for another ten years. The terrorists did not impose the Patriot Act on us – our government did.
Possibly the most gullible of the conservatives are the Christians who are unconvinced that someone they trusted would actually commit crimes against them. Most church going Christians would never think of intentionally harming another person so they suppose that anyone who claims to be a Christian, even our illustrious elected officials, are of the same mentality. Christians will be the last group in the concentration camp to admit that there might have been a conspiracy perpetrated by the very people that are supposed to protect our liberties. Christians should be the first to investigate. I am Christian so don’t ask why I am targeting the Christians. I am against following the clamoring crowd when that crowd is choosing a questionable road. If you think I am targeting the Christians – wait!
You can bank on it – the Christians will get the blame for the loss of our country. Our silent compliance and our willing acceptance of the gradual loss of freedoms will bury us in one world government tyranny. Christians have failed to connect the proverbial dots even while they have lost the right to pray in public, display the cross, display the Ten Commandments, or sing Christmas carols at school where they now celebrate the winter holiday instead of Christmas. Somehow, the degradation of our Christian culture is always the fault of the liberals.
It is easier to change perceptions than it is to change reality. Just try to ask one of the so-called conservative cheerleading pundits on talk radio. They will set you straight – however rude and hateful they have to be to do it. It is always the fault of those other guys. They are the first to demonize anyone who questions the concocted “war on terror”. What they should be questioning is the administration’s apparent war on our freedoms.
Then we have the popular crusading Christians such as Jerry Falwell of the Moral Majority who are not only compliant but complicit, perhaps ignorantly but none the less they are cheerleaders for evil deeds. [xvii] They are endorsing Bush’s war against terror while shouting down anyone who asks reasonable questions. They vilify or McCarthyize someone rather than listen. Invasions of other countries and the killing or injuring of its civilians is not Christian. Christians serve others – they do not brutally trample over others to establish superiority whether on a personal level or country against country.
I recall that as a young child I sang the following words of the song “No Man is an Island”: No man is an island, no man stands alone. Each man's joy is joy to me. Each man's grief is my own. We need one another, so I will defend each man as my brother, each man as my friend. I still believe those sentiments and that mentality. We cannot kill others through large scale warfare without affecting our collective morality. Our national heart, once compassionate, has turned to stone assisted by the pervasive war hawk mentality promoted as pro-American. I cringe when I hear people repeating the popular media mumbo jumbo that our troops are fighting for our freedoms.
Another cheerleader, Pat Robertson of the Christian Coalition of America publicly called for the assassination of another country’s leader rather than question the motives of our own leaders. [xviii] Excuse me, Brother Robertson, murder is murder. Apologies, not withstanding, you are supposed to be a religious leader. Does this imply that if our elected government, the people we hire, takes out Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez that it lessens the impact of the act? Does this mean it would be okay for the government to knock off anyone that they do not agree with? Perhaps like those “cultists” in Waco? That was certainly hellfire and brimstone for everyone, including the children. Or what about other religious folks we disagree with? What is considered acceptable for some could ultimately be permitted for anyone. One of us could easily fall into that unacceptable category at some point in time.
This is a representative government – I don’t want my government killing anyone in my name. Our government has a responsibility to punish the guilty and protect the innocent. I don’t want them killing Iraqi citizens in my name, period. In the initial phase of this current war we killed over 22,000 Iraqis only to discover they didn’t have weapons of mass destruction. [xix] The only weapons of mass destruction in sight were the ones we transported there and used to slaughter the Iraqis. I also don’t want my government sanctioning [xx] (double speak for starving) the citizens of another country, period. If they can sanction citizens of other countries, they can sanction us. I find it incredible that we have people who believe that it is okay to kill others in order to spread democracy. Americans ought to be questioning this war instead of vilifying others who have the courage as well as the right to question.
When the planes hit the towers we wanted answers. When the “whatever it was” hit the “under construction” side of the pentagon opposite the side where Rumsfeld’s office was – we wanted answers. When the plane was blown out of the sky in Pennsylvania, just when it seemed that brave passengers (one was a pilot) were gaining control, we wanted answers. We would also appreciate viewing the video tapes that the government confiscated. They would surely provide enlightenment. We will have to ask the government for them. They have what appears to be all of the answers.
Conditioned by such media hits as “CSI” and comparable other favorites, Americans desire, nay demand, quick answers and emotional closure. When a horrific crime occurs, especially a crime that renders us vulnerable we immediately want to pin our justifiable wrath on someone. We want to arrest a Lee Harvey Oswald or a Sirhan Sirhan.
The government solved the crime of the century (so far) to their satisfaction within hours. They were faster than Gil Grissom ever dreamed of being even in the most intriguing episodes of “CSI”. Within hours, we had 19 forever unavailable suspects. The government not only provided names but pictures, histories, flying lesson reports, what the men did the night before 9/11 and where they lived and worked. They found that famous indestructible passport and other “evidence” linking the atrocities to the criminals and provided the ethnic group that Americans could now distrust.
Apparently, all the suspects conveniently died. However, several of them have magically resurrected in their home countries and are working and living as if nothing ever happened. Oh, I’ll bet you didn’t hear that on the evening news. It is true – several of the suspects had nothing to do with the event. However, to date, all of the 3,000 victims are still dead. And their families and friends still mourn their tragic loss.
But the official version stands – that government edict created a reason for war. The crime was immediately solved. Eat your heart out Gil Grissom! Of course “CSI” is just a television show. It is imperative that all of the evidence is placed where Grissom and his investigative gang can find and evaluate it. That is why everything can be wrapped up nice and tidy in one hour – including commercials. In every crime, it is easy to discover the criminals when everything is previously scripted.
If we don’t want government sanctioned abortions then how can we endorse the killing of foreign citizens in the name of democracy? If we believe that freedom is fundamental for the Iraqis then we must also recognize that this war to allegedly impose freedom on them is rapidly depriving us of our liberties, depleting our resources and taking the lives and health of many of our citizens. Our infrastructure is neglected due to the building up of our war machines. Our borders are open. Ask some questions – who benefits. Wake up conservatives, wake up Christians!
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