I've posted political stuff in my blog before. Generally it's due to a mixture of wanting to make sure people are aware of something, along with wanting them to think. Often, there's a sprinkling of disgust.
This post is different. Tonight I'm writing out of fear.
I haven't heard one mention of it in the news media, but congress recently passed a bill that gives the President what amounts to complete, unlimited power. For the first time in our history, US citizens may be detained and completely stripped of all their rights. All that's required is the government decide they've "purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States". It wouldn't be much of a stretch to consider this entry such an act.
There are 4 articles you should really, really read (we're talking all of about 15 minutes here):
This shows the similarities between what's just happened to the US and what put the Roman empire on the road to it's demise.
This is a condensed version of this article that goes into a bit more detail about what this new law means. Sadly, the article itself contains a bunch of Bush-bashing, which I think is a disservice. This is far larger than Bush. It's far larger than the Republicans. If there was ever a time to put partisan politics aside, this is it.
Finally, this article is perhaps the most important, because of this quote:
In case I disappear, remember this. America is an idea, a dream, and that is all. We have borders and armies and citizens and commerce and industry, but all this merely makes us like every other nation on this Earth. What separates us is the idea, the simple idea, that life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are our organizing principles. We can think as we please, speak as we please, write as we please, worship as we please, go where we please. We are protected from the kinds of tyranny that inspired our creation as a nation in the first place.
That was the idea. That was the dream. It may all be over now, but once upon a time, it existed. No good idea ever truly dies. The dream was here, and so was I, and so were you.
A comment on one of those LJ posts posed the real question: What are we to do?
First, word of this needs to spread, far, wide and fast. Please, post about it in your blog. Email your friends. Call your family.
Second, the cowards who voted for this must be removed from power. They wanted to do this for an election year? Then lets make it an issue.
To that end, I think it's especially important that people who are members of organizations that tend to favor Republicans (for whatever reason) need to do whatever they can to encourage those organizations to set aside their political agenda for this election to defeat those that voted for this bill. In my case, that means the NRA. Any of you who know me know how strongly I feel about the 2nd Amendment. Well, this time the 2nd Amendment (and every other political issue facing this country) simply must absolutely take a back-seat to the threat we're now facing. If we remain a free, democratic nation, we can resume the fight for gun rights next election. We can fight for the rights of gays next election. The rights of women to choose, and of the unborn. The illegal aliens. The budget. Whatever cause is special to you (even the war on terror), you can continue to fight for it in a free and democratic society. But we are now officially on the road to an oppressive society. If we continue down that road for any length of time, you will not be able to fight for causes that are important to you, unless they are also important to the sitting government. And at that point, you're not fighting for anything at all.
While I don't care for "smirkingchimp.com" or William Rivers Pitt's Bush-bashing, he is absolutely, 100% correct about one thing. The only thing that sets America apart, the only thing that made this nation great is an idea. For the people, by the people.
That idea is now mortally wounded. We're in that "golden hour"... we must act now to save that idea. If we don't, it will die. And America; the real America, the one that has stirred the imaginations of countless people; that America will die with it. And that is the fear that I'm writing out of.