|Email Ken Stallings||We Can Learn From History|
This isn't the first time in American history where forces of authoritarianism have been foisted on the people. It's happened to significant level thrice before. Each times, the forces of individual liberty emerged victorious from the contest. The first time was the American Revolution that established America as a free nation, though still saddled with the rancid institution of slavery. The second time was the American Civil War that rectified slavery by its official destruction, but was unable to truly establish liberty for all until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's seemed to reverse that injustice.
In all three of these struggles, there were millions of Americans who chose to ally with the forces of authoritarianism. They were called Tories during the American Revolution, Confederates during the American Civil War, and Segregationists during the Civil Rights Movement. All three of these manifestations of authoritarianism were eventually defeated, but not eliminated. The remnants of the Tories fled for England or Canada. The Confederates who most aligned with slavery surrendered in name only, and formed the Ku Klux Klan, and then ushered in all sorts of state laws that destroyed freedom for blacks in America, who were rendered free in name only throughout the southeast. They taught their children to hate, and it was not until the 1960's that this final vestige of the Civil War was lifted from America.
Sadly though, it appears there is now a fourth generation of American authoritarianism, and they share all the bitterness and great hypocrisy of their forefathers in hate, intolerance, and animus against individual liberty.
Gina Carano dared to post a social media tweet that warned that years before Nazi Germany could send Stormtroopers throughout Europe to round up Jews and other so-called "Untermensch," and railroad them to mass death camps, the Nazis had to first condition Germans to hate people simply because they were Jewish. Carano then applied the warning directly to our current times, where the American left is being conditioned to hate people because they hold different philosophical views.
As Carano wrote, it is no different. Both situations are rife for civil unrest, and possibly outright evil. Good luck convincing most of the American left to buy in to those warnings. Instead, their Cancel Culture mob leapt immediately to destroy Carano, remaining blind that their intolerance provided the very validation of her point.
We don't need to limit ourselves to modern views of this great intolerance of Cancel Culture, which seems entirely determined to bring re-education camps to America, deny employment, and render as second class anyone who dares stray the slightest off their narrow-minded pathway for life. We can go back in history, to consider the wise words of the people who had to battle the previous forces of American tyranny. One man in particular disserves special focus, not only because he, more than anyone else except Abraham Lincoln, won the Civil War for the Union, but also because his modern memory and memorials are being threatened, and sometimes destroyed, by the Cancel Culture mobsters in Antifa and BLM.
"There was no time during the rebellion when I did not think, and often say, that the South was more to be benefited by its defeat than the North. The latter had the people, the institutions, and the territory to make a great and prosperous nation. The former was burdened with an institution abhorrent to all civilized people not brought up under it, and one which degraded labor, kept it in ignorance, and enervated the governing class. The labor of the country was not skilled, nor allowed to become so. The whites could not toil without becoming degraded, and those who did were denominated 'poor white trash.' The system of labor would have soon exhausted the soil and left the people poor. The non-slaveholders would have left the country, and the small slaveholder must have sold out to his more fortunate neighbor. Soon the slaves would have outnumbered the masters, and, not being in sympathy with them, would have risen in their might and exterminated them." -- Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant
Look at what is happening today in states like California and New York, setting records for populations fleeing to other states with freer economic markets. Look at the great intimidation that Cancel Culture has brought to corporations, academia, and government, where employees, students, and bureaucrats increasingly believe they must keep quiet, or else find themselves capriciously ruined. Look at how class warfare has devolved into our most current version, where so-called education programs are actually teaching students and adults both to hid their "whiteness." All this does is promote a system of fear and subjugation, not at all unlike what tyrannies of the past have first done to their own people, before turning their increased might to dictate life to the outside world, and threaten everyone.
You think the near year-long BLM and Antifa protests were about real social justice? Think again if you do. They were about power, about trying to intimidate people with fear of being victimized by marauding gangs, whom the local municipal leaders favored for political reasons, and largely rendered above the law, in the same manner that the newly empowered Nazi Party sent Brown Shirts throughout Germany to attack, loot, and burn, fueling a campaign of social hate and intimidation. In total similarity with how corrupt Democrat governments openly allied themselves with the Klan, fostered segregationist laws that alienated the most basic rights of blacks, and then violently threatened anyone who dared to speak against those who usurped Constitutional liberties, all the way through to the end of the 1960's. Such evils are only separated by their various degrees of violence and misery, and nearly always at the end, many exclaimed shock at how bad in retrospect it all became.
How many Germans in 1932 do you think anticipated the Final Solution? If you said practically none, then you win the prize. Yet, ten years later, the Final Solution was a reality, and along with it the cold hard warning that, "first they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out ... then they came for me -- and there was no one left to speak for me." The left today even has a toss away line to denigrate any comparisons between the authoritarianism in today's left, and the horrible tragedy of the 1930's that led to the Holocaust. They call it "Godwin's Law." Mike Godwin created this principle back in 1990, decades before Cancel Culture emerged as the hate-filled and intolerant movement to destroy anyone the self-declared Master Race of culture deemed afoul to their dictates.
For his part, Godwin himself said in a Washington Post article from 2017, "My own instincts as a former reporter, as well as a lawyer, is to make sure you understand everything as much as you can before you go public. I wrote about using Nazi comparisons in The Washington Post well before it was believed the election would turn out as it did, and that certain factions in American culture would feel empowered by it. What I wrote was, if youíre reading history before a comparison to Hitler, Iím for that."
Of course, his context was the 2016 election, and not Cancel Culture or the 2020 election. But, if he did express any concern about Cancel Culture, he would find himself on the same receiving end of the brutal destruction, as other liberals in America have experienced in concert with most all conservatives already. Perhaps Godwin should sit down with Alan Dershowitz and discuss what the First Amendment really means, and why it's under assault in America.
It's also Freedom of Worship that's under assault by the American left today, who now also share in common with the Nazis wanting to destroy books they find unacceptable, and also denigrate Christians. Ironic again, that the original author of the poem, that warned about failure to stand up for liberty when the government comes after people you may not associate with, was a Lutheran pastor named Martin Neimoller. He wrote the famous poem, "First they came ...," in 1946, having survived being arrested by the Nazis, a party he first supported during the 1930's. He was placed in Sachsenhausen and then Dachau, and was liberated by the Allies in spring of 1945. Neimoller considered himself to be anti-Communist during the 1920's and onward, because the Communists wanted to eradicate religion in the Soviet Union. For this reason, he supported the Nazi purge of German Communists. But, when the Nazis declared the state to be supreme over religion, Neimoller reversed himself, and criticized the Nazis. As his poem stated, this conversion by him was too late in 1937, as by then, the Nazis really did come for him after there was no one left to speak for him. Nor should one deny Neimoller a degree of accuracy, for the same tyranny in Germany in the 1930's had already visited the Soviet Union, and caused the murders of tens of millions of innocent people many years before Hitler rose to power.
The most necessary development for a government to enact tyranny is for the people to lose interest, buy into the initial subjugations, or allow themselves to be denuded of the means to protect liberty, even from their own out-of-control government. The Second Amendment was written by our Founding Fathers precisely to prevent America from seeing its Constitution destroyed in the manner that the Nazis destroyed the Weimar Republic. That lesson becomes vital when considering what today's left in American government has in mind for gun rights.
US Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, has written a bill, HR 127, she intends to submit for Congressional approval, and if signed by President Joe Biden, would become federal law. That bill would require all owners of firearms to obtain a federal license to own any type of firearm or ammunition, and if a current owner failed to obtain the license, he would be guilty of a felony crime, punishable by a year in prison. Moreover, the bill would create a national public registration of all firearms owners, listing how many firearms they own and where they store them. It would establish a minimum ownership age of 21, and also require all applicants for the firearms license to pass a psychological evaluation, with enough terms that practically anyone could be unilaterally declared unfit to own firearms.
Her legislation would make it illegal to own any ammunition of 50 caliber or larger, require the owner to pay for insurance, and give direct ownership jurisdiction to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (BATFE). In effect, it would subject the Second Amendment to a federal bureaucracy to decide when and how Americans can legally own firearms.
And it would require the applicant to pay an $800 fee to process the firearms application, which would be good for only five years, but could be revoked by the Department of Justice, without even requiring a court order. In short, the bill is a direct assault on Constitutional liberty, and clearly an instrument of government tyranny to confiscate firearms and make a mockery of the Second Amendment. But, by allowing the feds to decide ownership rights, without any court review, this bill would also destroy the Fifth Amendment's prohibition that no one "be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law."
There is more that's abhorrent about HR 127. It's a repugnant violation of the Constitution by a law maker who thinks nothing of her oath of office to support and defend the Constitution. It illustrates the depth of animus the left in America has today for individual liberty. It also quite clearly reveals the left's guiding philosophy that the American people are not citizens whom the government works for, but are instead subjects to be ruled by the government.
Sure, we can say the US Supreme Court would strike down this law, as a clear and horrible violation of the Constitution, but would they instead cower under threat of having their own power curtailed by court packing, or by threats of Antifa mobs attacking them, in the same manner it is believed that Chief Justice John Roberts yelled fearful warnings to his other Justices, as reason to refuse to hear the election cases pending before the court in December of 2020?
Today's American left has declared war on Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Assembly, Freedom of Worship, Freedom to Keep and Bear Arms, and the Right to Due Process of Law. These are the cornerstones of our Bill of Rights. America has not seen such an open violation of individual liberty since the American Civil War, and the decades long continuation of that ACW, that did not end until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960's.
There is a terrible truth in all this. Democrats have led the way to the ACW, Jim Crowe laws, and today's Cancel Culture, with their attempts to eviscerate the Constitution. Democrats did not exist during the American Revolution, but the Tories who did voiced the same mentality of the people being subordinate and subject to the monarchy of Great Britain.
What General Grant said of the South in 1861-65 remains true for the left in today's America. They represent an authoritarian rule, that would sap the people of the very liberty that energizes and empowers us to live out our own dreams, to create and prosper. Through the left's demand of submission, they would crush the energy out of the people, and usher in the same malaise that destroyed nations once vibrant and hopeful, and turned them into economic destitutions, and instruments of outright terror.
We're better than that, America. Let's put an end to this latest generation of terror in the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave.
-- Ken Stallings
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