The Linear Canvas
This journal is about the wrongs and rights of the world, as I see them.

The Linear Canvas

Freedom to Dissent in America 2006

September 2nd, 2006 . by Alexander Fisher

I have never known a time when so many high-ranking government officials hated me for my freedom of speech and thought. Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Bush are actually currently on their “I Hate Most Americans and Want Them to Shut Up” concert tour. They are hitting all of their usual stops, the American Legions, Army bases, etc. I know some of the Americans they are playing to, for some reason, agree with them. That is odd because some of these people fought for my right to disagree with the government. Many real patriots have died throughout our history for me to think freely and act according to my beliefs. It is also strange because these officials control government and the mass corporate media and there is no reason for them to do anything I want, other than out of shame.

I believe these men and their cohorts think I am a bigger threat than the Taliban or al-Qaeda ever was. The worst thing is, as a taxpayer, I am paying these men to tour the country, telling their audiences that I should shut up. What is next, calling for my imprisonment because I am un-patriotic, an un-American, a threat to national security? I wonder what country this trio grew up in? I am sure that if they ever had read any history books, they would have idolized the same great men who founded this country, as I did, like Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Grant. I do not believe these men were infallible, but had a sense of the past that included the historical memory of authoritarian regimes controlling the “facts” and the practice of religion and free thought.

I do not claim Edward R. Murrow was one of these greatest Americans. He did however have a sense of what America is supposed to be, and the intellect to be able to voice his opinion in a way that all current Americans should take notice of. In 1954, he spoke of the threats to democracy that plagued his era:

"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear – one, of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of un-reason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men; Not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were – for the moment – unpopular."

It is unfortunate that very few of our current politicians and celebrities seem to have the same sense of where we have been in history and how to keep from arriving at the same crossroads that our fore fathers did prior to our Revolutionary War period. I just hope that there exists that principled individual who will stand up and lead us away from the corporatism that seems to be our fate.

I hope.

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