I grew up in America in the 60’s. Fear and guilt were my constant companions.
In our “Progressive” household, we watched the assassinations of John Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr. and Bobby Kennedy on television; Vietnam unfold at the dinner table and Watergate spin out of control; and the military-industrial complex and intelligence community grow. We thought then that the danger was tyranny from the “Right.” And, at that time in America, it seemed we were correct. But, today it is the “Left” who threatens liberty.
My grandmother emigrated from Poland, before the Nazi and Soviet atrocities. She became American, through and through. She was dedicated to freedom so much so that after World War II broke out in ’39, she tried to enlist. The recruiters laughed at this tiny, almost middle-aged woman with a heavy accent. But, as the reality of Europe became more clear, they laughed less, and respectfully called her “little Mother.”
After Pearl Harbor– the Pacific seeming poised to fall, and Hitler declared war on America– they came to visit her in a government sedan. They asked her if she still wanted to fight, and offered her a job. She became a welder in Kaiser’s Sun Shipyards in Marcus Hook, near her Wilmington, Delaware home. She built cargo ships that were called “Liberty ships.” She soon took to bossing big men too old or unfit for active duty.
And though America won, she lost almost all her family who stayed behind – only two survived. One a little strawberry blonde, blue-eyed, five year-old Jewish girl in a death camp, who the Nazis just didn’t have time to exterminate before the Russian onslaught from when the East swept over them. After surviving in the displaced persons camps, she finally found herself in Israel. She made a new home and family.
Cousin Genia came from Israel after the Six-Day War, to visit my Grandma Mincha. I was sitting with her in Grandma’s house in Wilmington, on horrible thick clear plastic sofa pillow covers that protected hard-earned furniture, when I saw the numbers on her arm. The precocious and sensitive boy that I was, I reached out and gently touched the tattoo. I said, “I know what those are. Don’t worry. You’re in America now. You’re safe. It can never happen here.”
I will never forget it– as if I could ever forget anything– the look on her face. She went ashen and blank, and seemed to just, well, disappear. She sat there, but it was as if there was no one left. I felt strangely alone. After a moment, she ran from the room, leaving me to wonder what was wrong with her. I didn’t realize that it was me that was wrong. I did not understand the trauma, her loss.
Grandma came in alone, about 15 minutes later. I had always been the apple of her eye– “so smart, so handsome, so wonderful!” I was unprepared when she raised her hand high, swung it down and struck me in my face. It was so hard that it knocked me to the floor. The anger and sorrow and guilt made her, a small woman, seem like a giant.
She roughly grabbed my shoulders and pulled me up, shaking me. Eyes inches from mine, she spat out, “Do you think we were uncultured? Uncivilized? Animals? Do you think we knew what would happen? That butchers would kill us all?”
We were both weeping. She made me promise to never to let it happen in America.
But it did happen, many times, many places since, the same way it’s beginning to happen here.
The continuum from Left to Right is not a line, it is a circle. On one side, there are moderates, what I consider the reasonable. There are Liberals who want individual Liberty; Conservatives who want to preserve the best of heritage. Mostly honest– we can work together to solve problems.
Our founders were explicit in executing our Constitution. They clearly spelled out exactly what powers were allowed to the federal government, and those reserved to the states and the people. They wrote volume upon volume of published prose and private letters, detailing why they made it so. They understood the best and worst of human nature. And they warned us of the dangers.
There are many reasonable folks who have become inured to gradual corruption of government and lessened liberty, who see no troops in the streets, no mass arrests, confiscations or FEMA concentration camps, who ask why we should worry. They should consider consequences, intended or not. Shall we continue to follow “Progressive” plans toward “group identity,” mutable rights, civilian disarmament, educational indoctrination, undefended borders, incomprehensible regulation with criminal consequence, unaccountable control by alleged experts, usurious taxation, corrupt corporate crony capitalism, a politically correct press that publishes naught but propaganda? Even the most cynical and sanguine must admit the possibility that we tread the same path to perdition as other countries that became tyrannies. The lessons of history cannot be ignored. And what downside could there be to restoration of limited, constitutional government– of state and individual rights?
We have but a brief moment to forestall the well-laid plan of “progress,” to hold the line and then take the fight to the enemies of freedom. Corrupt-ocrat crypto-fascists will be our undoing, if we let them. Today, using discredited but time-honored tactics of the big lie, divide and conquer, and created crisis, we are pushed forward to a dystopia of almost unimaginable proportion. Today they make totalitarianism legal. Today the forces of darkness have at their disposal technology so efficient, so pervasive and invasive, that once lost, liberty may never be regained.
Who would they come for first? Christians, Muslims, Jews, blacks, whites, gun owners, Tea Partiers? Will we be as Rev. Niemöller, or will we fight for those targeted for oppression, knowing we are next? We must restore liberty and become that “shining city on a hill!”
This is what we stand to lose or gain, why we must wake up and stand up. That is why I am giving up my beloved anonymity, my peaceful life of quiet contemplation. I fight because of our our God-given rights, our Constitution, and a promise once given.
By: Daniel Martin Gray, 9 May 2013, Watchdog Wire, http://watchdogwire.com/pennsylvania/2013/05/09/opinion-why-i-fight-for-freedom/