A Personal Statement and Dedication, on behalf of myself and my wife, Delores Taylor (Laughlin)
“The greatest danger facing America is that it will split into two parties (factions) and men will put their loyalty to their party ahead of their loyalty to the people and the country as a whole.” -- George Washington
As Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and other Founding Fathers feared, nothing has destroyed the American Ideal of all sovereignty being with the people, all political power in the hands of the people, than the current, thoroughly corrupt two Party system, as the last several shameful elections, the last five years of legislation, and above all, the heinous 2005 legislation, punishing the middle class and stripping Americans of their Constitutional rights have proved.
We believe that both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party have become so systemically corrupt, that, as Senator Warren Rudman said when he resigned from the Senate, “This place has become so corrupt it cannot function anymore.” We believe that is true of the entire Congress, the White House, the Pentagon, and the entire political system inside the Beltway. It is no longer capable of representing the people. It is no longer capable of being the voice of the people, but only the voice and will of the special interests, the wealthy, and the corporations, especially the multi-national corporations.
This blog will be the people’s voice, passionately and fearlessly.
We despise the incredibly stupid demonizing of members of one Party by members of the other Party as neo-Satanic. We also despise the childish, even idiotic dividing of people into Conservatives or Liberals, Right or Left, Red or Blue, using those as labels to smear anything the other might say. Any intelligent, balanced person who is in touch with reality is both Liberal and Conservative – liberal in some areas of their life, and conservative in others, left in some areas, right in others – as are we.
What America desperately needs is a new, mainstream – not fringe – 3rd Party to break the stranglehold big business and the multinational corporations have over both the corrupt cowardly Democrats, or the equally corrupt rapacious Republicans.
“I detest what you say, but I defend to the death your right to say it.” – Patrick Henry *
Above all else, America is freedom of speech (especially to dissent, to challenge), of belief, of religion, and the right to assemble (especially to protest) without being punished.
Even more important than just having freedom of speech, for other nations have that, the only definition of the true American is the one who will defend to the death his neighbor’s right to his free speech even though he detests what his neighbor says, to defend his enemy’s right to speak no matter how repulsive.
The ultimate test of who is the only real American, the only true patriot, is the one who, though he detests what his neighbor says, will defend to the death his right to say it.
If you do not defend to the death your neighbor’s right to speak, no matter how much you detest it, you are not an American in any sense of the word.
To defend the right to speak freely only to those who agree with you, and who support your leader, is to betray everything America stands for, and to be no different from the Husseins, the Jong IIs, the Castros, China, etc.
To suppress someone’s right to speak freely, to try to silence them by intimidation, boycott, economic coercion, or any other way, instead of defending their right to say it no matter how much you detest it, is to betray everything America is, was, and stands for. It is the highest form of betrayal of America.
of the Majority
Partisan extremists, radio and TV hosts, and pundits such as Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Joe Scarborough, Ann Coulter, etc., who are trying to squelch dissent and oppress free speech criticizing President Bush and the war, calling for boycotts of Celebrities who have a different point of view, calling anti-war protestors “traitors who hate America,” are the greatest danger today … turning America into a dictatorship of the majority.
the anti-war/anti-Bush activists, or those who would suppress them?
America is freedom.
Above all, America is the freedom to dissent.
America is the right to challenge our leaders and those in authority, especially our political leaders from the local level to the President.
America was settled by people who challenged their authoritarian rulers and refused to live under that oppressive way of life, including having their right to think, believe, and speak freely oppressed.
This country was founded on the right to challenge, by men who challenged the authoritarian might of the all powerful British empire and its King, and challenged it so vehemently they revolted and threw out the King’s authority and British rule, even entering into a seemingly hopeless war against the invincible British Army and Navy to do it.
America is the only nation that was conceived for a moral purpose – the Rights of Man – every man, everywhere - and first and foremost among these rights was the right to think, believe and say what you please, the freedom to speak your mind out, to dissent, criticize, even ridicule and rebel against whatever government is in power without fear of reprisals or being physically or economically harmed in any way.
Everything America was, is, and should forever be, is summed up in two of Patrick Henry’s speeches covering the same subject at a crucial time in American history when those in power were trying to suppress those with extremely harsh, critical, even rebellious ideas towards the British government which they supported, just as they are doing now, even going so far as to shout down Henry with cries of “Treason! Treason!” Instead of being intimidated and backing down from his enemies who were calling him a traitor, the most heinous accusation possible, Henry stood tall and replied:
“If this be treason, make the most of it!”
On another occasion, Henry expressed the fundamental principle that is the foundation of everything America is, and everything an American should be with the saying:
“I detest what you say, but I defend to the death your right to say it.”
Thomas Jefferson was equally adamant against those whose tyrannical bent was to oppress the freedom of dissenters to criticize, even attack, the government:
“I have sworn upon the alter of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”
As a young man I stood in the Jefferson Memorial late at night and read those words around the top of the rotunda. The words hit me like a thunderbolt. Like Saul of Tarsus, I understood in a flash what was the American religion, not the theological, but the spiritual religion that created America in the first place. Then and there I devoted my life to that principle which drives me to this day, and causes me to create this blog.
That attempt to exercise tyranny over the mind of man extends into every corner of our lives, and it includes the tyranny of the pro-war/pro-Bush fanatics for indulging in an all out campaign to smear, vilify, and label as traitors anyone who disagrees with Bush’s policy on Iraq, with a special emphasis on intimidating celebrities into silence, which they have done successfully. The extremists have created a dictatorship by the majority.
The nuclear core of what makes America, America, the greatest, most unique country in the history of the world, is that in America there can Never – NEVER – under any circumstance -- be a dictatorship of the majority.
Jefferson, Washington, Madison, Hamilton, Thomas Paine, George Mason, and all the rest of the Founding Fathers were so terrified of America becoming a dictatorship of the majority that everything they put in the Constitution was to prevent that from ever happening, and to absolutely guarantee that could never happen, they topped it off with the First Amendment being the guarantee of Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Belief, Freedom of Religion, and Freedom to Assemble and Protest, even to protest to the point of calling for open rebellion against the Crown, which at one point the majority of Americans denounced as treason, but that didn’t deter our Founding Father heroes from continuing to vigorously protest as we saw in Patrick Henry’s reply, “If this be treason, make the most of it.”
The moment coercion of any kind, whether it be government power, economic reprisals that take away one’s right to make a living, or the fear of public opinion, especially organized public opinion, makes Americans afraid to go against the grain, to have their own mind, to publicly have their own voice, or to say publicly what they think without fear – even to “rebel against the Crown” -- we have turned into a dictatorship of the majority, and we are no longer America.
The true American feels an enormous responsibility – a sacred obligation – to defend everyone’s right to speak no matter how much he detests it. If you do not feel the responsibility – the obligation – to defend your neighbor’s right to speak, no matter how much you detest it, you are not an American in any sense of the word.
Next: When does an Autocratic Totalitarian regime become Neo-Fascist, or even Fascist?