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Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Why We Fight

Okay, look, I understand the fallacious dangers of Slippery Slopes, but dig this:

A shrewd victor will, if possible, always present his demands to the vanquished in installments. And then, with a nation that has lost its character-and this is the case of every one which voluntarily submits-he can be sure that it will not regard one more of these individual oppressions as an adequate reason for taking up arms again. The more extortions are willingly accepted in this way, the more unjustified it strikes people finally to take up the defensive against a new, apparently isolated, though constantly recurring, oppression, especially when, all in all, so much more and greater misfortune has already been borne in patient silence.

I've quoted that a lot of late, and it bears so much repeating I can't stand it.  Why?  Because that damned Hitler knew his shit when it came to agitprop, psychology and how der Staat can manipulate das Volk.  Logic doesn't really enter into this discussion because we're talking about politics, passion and people.

Think about it.  Many Jews weren't keen on leaving Germany because they figured the rampant anti-Semitism would blow over, and heck, they'd survived plenty of other storms in the past by keeping a low profile.  And even as the SS pushed them closer and closer to the abyss, people thought "this is it, this is the absolute bottom."  It is a pretty long way from relegating a people to particular professions, to forcing them to register and wear Yellow Stars, to putting them into ghettoes, to killing them, isn't it?

So we fight erosion of civil liberties at every turn, no matter what the justification from the State might be.  That is the 'eternal vigiliance' of which Jefferson spoke.  The Constitution doesn't guarantee any rights.  The Senate doesn't safeguard our liberties.  The President doesn't protect us.  Only we the People do.  Once we abdicate our responsibility to be skeptical of our government, to engage in oversight, to scrutinize its every deed, we lose that liberty we're supposed to defend.

America is not unique in the makeup of her people.  We can just as easily slip into despotism as the Germans, or the Russians, or the Japanese.  What makes our nation unique is the recognition by a bunch of smart folks that government can help solve problems, but it must be watched lest it become a problem.  Why is it, then, that so-called conservatives don't trust the government to collect taxes to provide vital services, yet are perfectly fine with granting it the power to kill, to regulate a woman's body, to snoop in our private conversations, etc, without so much as a by-your-leave from the very people from which it derives its most basic powers?

It's astounding that the same people who boldy resisted giving an inch to the Godless Commies during the Cold War, or the Islamo-Fascists in this Global Struggle Against Violent Extremism, get right the fuck on their kneepads when Bush invokes 9/11. The same nation that rebelled against tyranny two centuries ago even in the face of total destruction now is willing to give up liberties so they can fly to grandma's house for Christmas in a bit more safety?  The Framers are all spinning in their graves.

I hear the whole "what part of 'we're at war' don't you understand?" bullshit.  Allow me to retort: what part of "We're America" don't you understand?

This nation survived an invasion of a superpower in the early 19th century when the country was young and rather defenseless.  It survived a civil war that killed more Americans than every other war we've fought.  It survived the War to End All Wars.  It survived the most destructive conflict this planet has ever seen.  It survived the Cold War and all its attendant small wars.  And now, when faced with box cutters, we decide that our civil liberties are a burden, that the Constitution is a scrap of paper, that our ideals are quaint?

NFW.  The line has been drawn.  Either you are for America's ideals, or you are against them.  I invite Republicans of conscience to join us, the true Patriots, and defend what this nation truly represents.  If you defend Bush in any capacity, I condemn you as history will condemn you: collaborationists who refused to answer the call and stood with the real enemy.

ntodd

December 20, 2005 in Why We Fight | Permalink

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NTodd is also thinking and writing about why we must not surrender to the forces of darkness: So we fight erosion of civil liberties at every turn, no matter what the justification from the State... [Read More]

Tracked on Dec 22, 2005 8:21:29 AM

Comments

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Death
Patrick Henry, March 23, 1775.

Posted by: tbsa | Dec 20, 2005 8:24:25 PM

Excellently said, NTodd.

Thanks/SD

Posted by: Sarah Deere | Dec 20, 2005 8:31:28 PM

America is not unique in the makeup of her people. We can just as easily slip into despotism as the Germans, or the Russians, or the Japanese.

The American people are, however, unique in their belief that such things could never happen in this country.

Which, of course, makes it easier for it to happen. Willful disbelief and cognitive dissonance are powerful things.

Posted by: Eli | Dec 20, 2005 8:39:00 PM

Rant, rant against the lying of the right.

Posted by: pvt pyle | Dec 20, 2005 9:39:17 PM

Name me one civil liberty of yours that's been violated or diminished in any way.

What's the point in fetishizing the hypothetical, anyway?

Posted by: Toby Petzold | Dec 20, 2005 10:23:54 PM

i stand with you ntodd. you don't stand alone.

Posted by: chris from boca | Dec 20, 2005 10:24:26 PM

Good post NTodd.

This is a country of laws, and even the President must follow them. The 4th Amendment says that we should be free from unreasonable search and seizure, "because I say so" is not a good reason to violate that right.

Posted by: The Old Man From Scene 24 | Dec 20, 2005 10:28:38 PM

Yeah, who cares that the President has declared himself able to break laws at will? Not like it keeps you from using the f-word.

This is what we call "libertarianism." God bless Santa, motherfuckers.

Posted by: Thers | Dec 20, 2005 11:09:30 PM

Werd.

Posted by: fiat lux | Dec 21, 2005 12:13:35 AM

Whoa! I'm grabbing my pitchfork and torch, NTodd! Ready to storm the castle!

Posted by: ellroon | Dec 21, 2005 12:52:27 AM

Toby,

It's real easy to sit there in your velour recliner, watching Everybody Loves Raymond reruns, and say some bullshit about how "I don't care if they search my house. Let 'em look. Tap my phones if they have to, I've got nothing to hide."

Why? Because no one's ever fucking searched your house, that's why. Because you've never faced being regarded with suspicion if you protest, refuse or otherwise say no.

As I have come to say a lot in the last few days, if you prefer that your government not be required to obtain warrants for search and seizure, MOVE TO RUSSIA YOU ASSHOLE.

You're right, NTodd. This is a moment of truth. Gut check time for so-called conservatives. They can either stand with the rule of law, with America, with the ideals that led the Framers to spend so much time debating and discussing and composing and ratifying our wonderful Constitution, or they can stand with despotism, with the rule of men, with foolish destructive expediency.

We know what side the contemptible Toby stands on, how about the rest of them?

Posted by: Horatio | Dec 21, 2005 2:53:04 AM

Superbly well-said, NTodd. Push has come to shove. This is way beyond any mere political conflict. If we don't face the Man Who Would Be Dictator now, everything we say we believe in is lost... just so many words. It wasn't just words to our founders.

If America has any claim to being special, it is not in the forces that assail us... those face us in the new century as surely as they faced Germany in the 1930s... but in our much-ballyhooed intolerance of oppression. The current Executive has claimed the power to run every aspect of our lives without any oversight. It is time to impeach the bastards. To those who hesitate, I offer the old playground taunt: you in, or you out?

Posted by: Steve Bates | Dec 21, 2005 2:54:36 AM

NTodd, Typepad won't let me trackback this post, but just know that it is the subject of my first post today.

Posted by: Mustang Bobby | Dec 21, 2005 7:22:24 AM

Geez, that Toby douche really is a good little fascist, isn't he?

Posted by: BlakNo1 | Dec 21, 2005 7:49:07 AM

This nation survived an invasion of a superpower in the early 18th century when the country was young and rather defenseless.

Small correction there, NTodd (as the Old Professor pointed out): the War of 1812 was in the early 19th century.

Posted by: Mustang Bobby | Dec 21, 2005 9:21:52 AM

Shit. I thought I'd corrected that already. Thanks for the headsup.

Posted by: NTodd | Dec 21, 2005 9:26:22 AM

A couple of further nits, against what I'm sure will be a very wide dissemination: you have a superfluous "i" before the initial word (at least I presume it's superfluous), and it's das Volk, not der Volk. Otherwise, rock on!

Posted by: Michael | Dec 21, 2005 9:35:22 AM

I just came across my copy of "Fundamental Liberties of a Free People" by Milton R. Konvitz. This book should be required reading for ALL public officers, and there should be a TEST after...

Gah, these little Nazis really get me going, I'm going to need the SuperSize bottle of ranitidine, or maybe some of that pixie dust...

Posted by: minusp | Dec 21, 2005 10:14:19 AM

Michael - It's so hard to rant when you have to, like, type and shit. The 'i' was a fluke from when I was corrected the 18th/19th century thing. I correct that, too. But I missed the der/das thing. Sigh.

minusp - Animal House seems to be more and more apt these days:

Bluto: [thrusting six-pack into Flounder's hands] My advice to you is to start drinking heavily.
Otter: Better listen to him, Flounder, he's in pre-med.

Posted by: NTodd | Dec 21, 2005 10:34:03 AM

Great post and I did quote you in my allied post. It seems that Typepad has some new feature that is preventing trackback via haloscan. Here is the message.

Pinging http://www.typepad.com/t/trackback/3891196...
Problem: Server said 'In an effort to combat malicious comment posting by scripts, I've enabled a feature that requires a weblog commenter to wait a short amount of time before being able to post again. Please try to post your comment again in a short while. Thanks for your patience.'
You can delete this comment but I did want to you to know why you might not be getting trackbacks at least from haloscan. Merry Christmas to you and Steph and Sam and Cairo.

Posted by: fallenmonk | Dec 21, 2005 11:11:08 AM

As I have come to say a lot in the last few days, if you prefer that your government not be required to obtain warrants for search and seizure, MOVE TO RUSSIA YOU ASSHOLE.

Better yet, move to Belarus. At least Russia still has somewhat transparent elections. Belarus leaders liked the USSR so much that they continued the oppression.

Posted by: Thor Heyerdahl | Dec 21, 2005 11:43:21 AM

Excellent piece Ntodd!!

Posted by: Dave | Dec 21, 2005 1:31:50 PM

Huzzah.

Posted by: Auguste | Dec 21, 2005 2:02:02 PM

Amen!

Welcome to Germany, 1933. Sarah, sadly, the "it can't happen here" delusion is a universal human attribute.

Posted by: bo | Dec 21, 2005 2:27:51 PM

Animal House really is appropos

Bush: Hey, you fucked up. You trusted us.

Posted by: geeno | Dec 21, 2005 2:29:05 PM

Ntodd,

Damned right. Time to put the propaganda-spewing, freedom-hating pigs on notice. As they inch ever-closer to openly revealing their Nazi hearts, we inch closer to our guns.

American liberty will not go quietly into the night. The world's oldest democracy will not go down without war.

Posted by: Jim | Dec 21, 2005 2:33:56 PM

Word the fuck up, brah.

Unfortunately, I feel that as long as the lights remain lit, McDonalds has $0.99 double cheesburgers and WaMart sells crap, the status quo will remain. People just don't give a fuck, because they're too wrapped up in their own struggles. Their focus too narrow and memories too short. They don't want to know. It's all too much. And, by the time this shit hits home, it'll be far too late.

Which begs the question, where the fuck are the gatekeepers? The media? Our elected representatives?

All up in someone's pocket, snugglin' like the ho's they are. . .

Posted by: munkihaid | Dec 21, 2005 3:11:39 PM

This long-time Republican stands with you.

Posted by: Lex | Dec 21, 2005 3:41:40 PM

i like the "move to russia" or "move to belarus" things a lot. lately, i've taken to saying "if you want to live in a monarchy, you should move to saudi arabia."

Posted by: joe_christmas | Dec 21, 2005 4:05:06 PM

That post was so good, I need a cigarette.

Posted by: Capitola | Dec 21, 2005 6:02:10 PM

Down with the Monarchist Party. Death to Monarchist Traitors!

Posted by: Thomas Bing Crosby Jefferson | Dec 21, 2005 8:11:25 PM

He who would surrender freedom for security deserves neither.

Posted by: OyToTheWorld | Dec 21, 2005 9:06:37 PM

I'm with you

Long Live the Republic!

Posted by: marcus | Dec 21, 2005 10:21:16 PM

Thank you, NTodd, for another excellent post. You ahve stated it perfectly for many of us. Those who stand against us seem to be so wrapped up in their own fear, ignorance, greed, and religious bullshit that they truly can't see what is actually happening in this country. And lord knows, the teaching of real history is not happening. By the time the powers that be start coming after the 'base,' it will be much too late. We ARE living under the classic definition of fascism now, and the base seems to be enjoying it. Until...

Posted by: Green | Dec 22, 2005 10:49:50 AM

An excellent and inspiring post.

I would point out, however, the War of 1812 was a war of American aggression, in which Upper Canada was invaded repeatedly and Lower Canada was spared invasion only by bad planning and climate.

The British retaliations until 1814 would be better described as police actions than invasions.

Posted by: luke | Dec 25, 2005 6:11:24 PM

Toby, Bush has declared that for the kinds of civil liberties that can most insidiously be violated, He and His minions don't have to let me know that they have been violated.

BTW, that applies to you, as well. Mybe you feel safe because you agree with Him, but that's not appropriate. Ask all those non-enemy-combatants still in Guantanamo.

Posted by: Mellifluous | Dec 25, 2005 9:55:18 PM

Great post! There was a reason the founders designed our government to be somewhat inefficient - they knew that dangerous governments are more dangerous if they're too efficient. Hence the checks and balances. This administration's actions are anti-American. They need to reflect on the fact that every man and woman who has ever served in the armed forces has sworn an oath to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign AND DOMESTIC. And there are a lot of us, even if the neocons don't know any.

Posted by: Liberal Jarhead | Apr 7, 2006 10:46:58 AM

i like the "move to russia" or "move to belarus" things a lot. lately, i've taken to saying "if you want to live in a monarchy, you should move to saudi arabia."

Posted by: blindb | Sep 4, 2006 10:21:42 AM

Read a news story today that HUGE majorities of Americans support torture. This is absolutely not a Christian nation.

Posted by: Willendorf Venus | Jun 24, 2008 10:46:11 PM

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