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There’s a lot of dark talk around about the government shutting down the Internet, banning criticism of the administration, ending the “toxic” chatter from conservative talk hosts and even more dire assaults on free speech.
Nobody ever says a kind word about incest, bestiality, sadism and sexual trafficking, and that’s fitting and proper. There’s another “sin” that has no advocates that I’d like to separate from the no-no bunch and bathe in at least a slightly improved light. This may be the first kind word you’ve ever read about “complacency”!
Complacency has its place. It’s not always a dangerous condition. It’s obviously foolish to say, “It (meaning dictatorship and repression) can’t happen here in America.” If democracy can happen in Albania, then anything can happen anywhere. If we back up just a little, however, we’ll be OK. Strike out “It can’t happen here!” and substitute, “Elimination of freedoms like speaking and voting are highly unlikely in this 244-year-old democracy, so put it at or near the bottom of your patriot’s worry-list.”
WorldNetDaily reports that Nancy Pelosi is having a “rocky road” trying to marshal support for the “Disclose Act” and has withdrawn it for the time being. That act would not murder the First Amendment; just jab it in the thigh with a poison-tipped umbrella. The Supreme Court has OK’d “Citizens United,” meaning it’s perfectly all right to throw special-interest money into “issue” advertising. Mrs. Pelosi prefers all such donors to be identified. And, of course, she’s having a hard time. All “Pelosis” will always have a hard time pushing any measure limiting or even threatening free speech in America.
Despite this many decades of left-lunging policies in education, welfare, spreading the wealth and a political correctness horrified at the concept of anything that might offend anybody, they still haven’t done the job. They haven’t gotten rid of the American freedom gene. We’re not done yet. They can’t even get the fork in deep enough to tell.
So, heretical though it sounds, I think some complacency is OK. I don’t think there’s any danger, for instance, that Bill Gates will ever miss a meal because he can’t pay for it. Or that Ellen DeGeneres will ever try to muscle my wife out of the way, grab me by the elbow and take me away to the Caribbean. Much American turf is eligible for complacency.
The U.S. military is a totalitarian organization charged with the defense of freedom. The eagerness to “obey orders” does not come merely in the German accent. In the Army, I heard that “Yes, Sir” in every accent, brogue, burr and twang. You get ahead in the Army through obedience and subservience. Yet one day in the Army they experimented with our unit by issuing a false order to see how we’d react. They straight-facedly announced that from now on the “Universal Military Chapel” would convene for worship at ten hundred hours (10 a.m.) Sunday morning. Permission to be non-present at the UMC would be upon written permission of your commanding officer only. And this order applied to all Catholic, Protestant and Jewish personnel.
The post was Arlington Hall Station, just south of the Pentagon in late 1953. And how did we disciplined “yes-men” react? There was a mutiny. Open rebellion. GIs who walked around with comic books jutting out of their back pockets turned out to have an amazing amount of the Constitution in their hearts.
Not all countries deserve that complacency. I’ve done time in countries where the fuehrer prinzip, the strongman system, is as ingrained in the civilian population as the insistence on freedom is in most Americans. Many of those countries are labeled “democracies” today, but don’t shake the container or the label might fall off. A great journalist named Robert St. John described those countries as the kind where they name a street after you one day and chase you down it the next.
Are you so liberal or so chic you can’t admit America is special? And America is the heart-lung machine of freedom everywhere? And if it weren’t for America, there would be no freedom of speech anywhere? Don’t just sputter. Explain who else would have stopped the successful expansion of the Soviet Union, where the local “Pelosis” had no rocky roads when it came to eliminating freedom of speech and everything else.
I’m not saying, don’t look both ways before crossing the railroad tracks. Go ahead and look. But if it’s America and you’re expecting a train full of blackshirts and jackboots, it’s going to be a hell of a long time coming.
Who’s the American who makes me so confident? He’s the one who, when he got a government form to fill out with a blank space that said, “Do not write in this space,” he put a pen to that very space and wrote, “I’ll write where I damned well please!”