I seem to recall mentioning a similar story long ago, but I will go ahead and give a nod to this story about the quarantining of dissenters and protesters from anywhere near President George W. Bush. Those with differing opinions are sequestered miles away from the media and public attention in “free speech zones,” an Orwellian Newspeak term if there ever was one. I found particularly galling the tale about the protester who was arrested for trespassing in a public park, after police picked his sole dissenting poster out of a mass of pro-Bush banners.
The problem is not just the abuse of power and the curtailing of civil liberties that the current administration has embarked upon. It is the apathy of most Americans in the face of these assaults on civil liberties. We are like frogs, slowly boiling as the water heats up, yet too comfortable to hop out of the pot. Everyday another barrage of images on the television dulls our senses and fills our heads with propaganda. Forget religion, television is the opiate of the masses. Media demagogues preach ever more extreme views and seek to destroy the freedoms established by generations. Violence is glorified, ignorance championed – where will it lead? What is to become of us? Will the interminable War on Terror become a New Imperial Century?
First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me–
and there was no one left to speak out for me.
Rev. Martin Niemoller