J. Baxter writes:
I am a conservative moving quickly into the libertarian camp. Libertarians are the last bastion of defense for the Constitution, I do believe, and watching the hysterical, knee-jerk reactions of both government and the social movers and shakers these last weeks since 11 September is alarming. The reactions of government beyond the military mode should leave little doubt in the rational mind that we long ago crossed over into socialism and so far away from the Constitution and the First Amendment, that little argument to the contrary remains.
That being said, the First Amendment as written…
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
…should not be merely the whip by which the “religious right” are the ones flogged, but also in order, every time: Congress for screwing around with the free exercise of religion, or the freedom of speech (add and read that “internet”), and of the press (as they parrot the governmental line they should be severely chastised); the peaceable assembly of citizens who are just damn sick and tired of not being counted anymore unless redistricting or a new tax hike is in the works; and yet again the government for using every means possible to shut down the response of the citizenry, if even by demagoguery and the use of the press to further governmental schemes.
There exists an all out assault on the First Amendment, and even those who would defend it to the death deal with the assault piecemeal, rather than exposing the whole battle plan of whatever opposition. The first two amendments, and the 10th, are the targets, and as long as most Americans can live with their take-home pay and ignore the deductions, talk their faith only at church and not criticize any governmental official at any level (try it at the most local level and see the reaction), most Americans are as happy as clams.
Of course the American ire was aroused on 11 September. Home invasion causes such a reaction. But now I watch us being lulled back to sleep by the same governmental agencies responsible for this whole flipping mess anyway.
The blame is being shifted; every American is now a suspect (try getting on a plane these days), and it is little wonder that the prophet par excellence of our time is no one other than Charlie Daniels, who had the temerity to put to music the words:
I ain’t asking nobody for nothing,
if I can’t git it on my own
If you don’t like the way I’m living,
you just leave this long-haired country boy alone
Amen, Charlie… hope your recovery is going well.
By J. Baxter