Monday, May 10, 2010

Free Speech In the Crosshairs

Do you remember what it was like before the internet and talk radio and Fox News?

Do you remember the suffocating cocoon in which we felt wrapped and trapped, desperate for someone, anyone, to simply tell the unspun truth about the direction in which our country was headed? To express an understanding of the love we felt for a proud America who need not apologize to any nation or people, unashamed of its independence, vitality and free markets?

The Obama Administration remembers those days; so does the Left; so does the Mainstream Media.

They long for those times – times when they could empower the march to Marxism on a daily basis, news cycle after news cycle after news cycle. They are desperate to return to that era of control over the shaping of the political agenda, and as their electoral prospects dim, their anxiety grows.

The Tea Party Movement is their worst nightmare.

It is becoming a mighty river of public opinion and voting trends, flowing from the confluence of talk radio, cable news and the internet; it is Rush Limbaugh, Fox News and writ large; it is, indeed, the awakening of the sleeping giant . It is the message of conservatism gone viral; it is a longing to return to constitutional principles that is sweeping that portion of the populace that reveres and believes in the documents that are the foundation of this great country.

The Tea Party Movement empowers people who wish to halt the “fundamental change” being wrought upon this nation. Fundamental change? Why would any person who believes in the sanctity of human life and liberty want to fundamentally change a nation that has done more good for more people than any country in the history of the world?

Because of these things: the internet, talk radio, Fox News and Tea Party rallies, the silent majority now has a voice and feels empowered to push back. Worse for the left, it appears that we don’t merely wish to keep the statists in check – we mean to make fundamental changes to our government by disabusing it of the insane "entitlement-as-a-right" atmosphere that has pervaded Washington since the sixties.

And so, for the march to Marxism to continue, we must be stopped.

A seed was planted back in the ‘90s, when Bill Clinton tried to lay the impetus for Oklahoma City bombing at the feet of Rush Limbaugh, a seed which has been fertilized and watered by Democrats, the mainstream media and the Left countless times over the years.

It was nurtured again last week by Mayor Bloomberg, whose first instinct was that the as-yet-unidentified Times Square bomber was someone who was unhappy with the recently-passed health care legislation - code words for a disgruntled Tea Partier.

Then a few days ago at a graduation ceremony, President Obama said, “Meanwhile, you’re coming of age in a 24/7 media environment that bombards us with all kinds of content and exposes us to all kinds of arguments, some of which don’t rank all that high on the truth meter...[snip]...Information becomes a distraction, a diversion...”

Information a distraction?

These are not isolated events; these are puzzle pieces which the Left hopes to fit together, and I can guarantee you that we will not like the picture that emerges after it is assembled.

Right now, the Tea Party movement stands atop a three-legged stool that is comprised of talk radio, cable television, and the internet. From this vantage point, at rallies throughout the country, grassroots groups espouse an obedience to the Constitution that is anathema to this Democratic Congress and their radical agenda – but all attempts to collapse this stool have thus far failed.

The collective wheels of the Left continue to spin, however, and therein lie my worst fears.

There is one thing which will give the Left, championed, as it is, by this Democratic Congress and the media, a shot to silence once again the silent majority: a major domestic terrorist attack that can be hung around the neck of the Tea Party movement.

Forget, for a moment, that a single kook with deranged purpose can erupt within ANY ideology – that truth that will be ignored. The sad truth is that the agenda of the Left is advanced by any act of violence that can plausibly be connected to an American that has expressed or implied Tea Party connections.

And if that happens – watch out.

Expect the Left to drag out the Fairness Doctrine, and use it as a cudgel to beat conservative voices into silence. ALL conservatives will be blamed for the attack, even humble bloggers, and all will be condemned as the enablers, the instigators, the progenitors of a deranged, right-wing monster.

They will shout that under such circumstances political candidates must disavow the Tea Party movement at every turn, that rallies must cease – or even be outlawed as an incitement to violence – and that mainstream America is obligated to turn away from the conservative principles in which we so passionately believe.

Say goodbye to Limbaugh, Levin, Malkin, Krauthammer and the rest if the Left finally gets the inaccurate and disingenuous "hate speech" moniker to stick.

To ensure that a movement such as ours will not rise again, they will systematically cut off every leg of the stool, every voice of the movement, and they will do it through legislation or simply by fiat. All they need is one kook.

My fear is that they, the Left, will provide him.

Already, one outlier has exhorted “infiltration” of the Tea Party movement to discredit it – but that was a single nut without a real plan, and without the brains to keep his intentions secret. There are other, smarter and more dangerous individuals out there, to whom a human life – or a hundred, or a thousand – is a small price to pay to quash a Constitutional movement that threatens to unravel decades of planning for "fundamental change."

The disturbed individual that tried to exhort his followers to infiltrate and discredit the April 15th Tea Party events with racist and violent signs became neutralized when a bright light was shone on his shadowy plot. That one was easy. The next one might not be.

The next one may carefully infiltrate the movement, stand shoulder-to-shoulder with ordinary Americans at rallies, may carry the appropriate signs, talk the talk, walk the walk - and then strike. His Tea Party bona fides will appear to be impeccable, but his heart will be filled with duplicity, hatred and death.

Be vigilant. Stay strong. And if, God forbid, such a thing were to happen, stand firm in your commitment to our country, our flag, our Constitution and the goodness of America. We cannot let the actions of a madman, whatever his motivations, be the excuse this Administration is seeking to marginalize - and worse, criminalize - this movement of free Americans.

Frank Santarpia
Staten Island, NY