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Using the pretext of the brief Capitol takeover, Progressives and their Big Tech allies are moving apace to secure the country. Yesterday, a digital pogrom took place — the President was banned from Twitter and Big Tech took actions to block and minimize the reach of any alternative to Twitter that the President or his allies could use. Other prominent conservative voices were likewise silenced.
As I contemplated these actions I was put in mind of an analogy: the “iron curtain” imposed by the Soviet Union on eastern Europe. Winston Churchill, although not coining the phrase, gave it publicity and prominence in his speech in Fulton, MO, on March 5, 1946. Here is the oft-referenced statement: “From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.” The statement was included in a larger speech entitled “The Sinews of Peace” where Churchill argued for a special relationship amongst the English-speaking peoples, as a means of promoting liberty and well-being for humankind.
Now I come to the second danger of these two marauders which threatens the cottage, the home, and the ordinary people—namely, tyranny. We cannot be blind to the fact that the liberties enjoyed by individual citizens throughout the British Empire are not valid in a considerable number of countries, some of which are very powerful. In these States control is enforced upon the common people by various kinds of all-embracing police governments. The power of the State is exercised without restraint, either by dictators or by compact oligarchies operating through a privileged party and a political police. It is not our duty at this time when difficulties are so numerous to interfere forcibly in the internal affairs of countries which we have not conquered in war. But we must never cease to proclaim in fearless tones the great principles of freedom and the rights of man which are the joint inheritance of the English-speaking world and which through Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, the Habeas Corpus, trial by jury, and the English common law find their most famous expression in the American Declaration of Independence.
All this means that the people of any country have the right, and should have the power by constitutional action, by free unfettered elections, with secret ballot, to choose or change the character or form of government under which they dwell; that freedom of speech and thought should reign; that courts of justice, independent of the executive, unbiased by any party, should administer laws which have received the broad assent of large majorities or are consecrated by time and custom. Here are the title deeds of freedom which should lie in every cottage home. Here is the message of the British and American peoples to mankind. Let us preach what we practise—let us practise what we preach. [emphasis added]
Setting aside whatever condescension may have existed in Churchill’s attitudes as a Victorian peer, his statements are true. The American Declaration of Independence remains the touchstone of human liberty. So thought Frederick Douglass:
I have said that the Declaration of Independence is the ring-bolt to the chain of your nation’s destiny; so, indeed, I regard it. The principles contained in that instrument are saving principles. Stand by those principles, be true to them on all occasions, in all places, against all foes, and at whatever cost.
From the round top of your ship of state, dark and threatening clouds may be seen. Heavy billows, like mountains in the distance, disclose to the leeward huge forms of flinty rocks! That bolt drawn, that chain broken, and all is lost. Cling to this day — cling to it, and to its principles, with the grasp of a storm-tossed mariner to a spar at midnight. [emphasis added]
Douglass’ speech was a rebuke to an Antebellum America that celebrated liberty on the 4th of July while holding millions in chains. That rebuke did not discredit our Constitution, only the unequal application of it. And that is what we face today as the digital curtain comes down on America. “Speech for me, but not for thee” is not an organizing principle for liberty. Come this July 4th we may all have cause to lament as did Douglass:
I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. — The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth [of] July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak to-day? If so, there is a parallel to your conduct. And let me warn you that it is dangerous to copy the example of a nation whose crimes, lowering up to heaven, were thrown down by the breath of the Almighty, burying that nation in irrecoverable ruin! I can to-day take up the plaintive lament of a peeled and woe-smitten people!
“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down. Yea! we wept when we remembered Zion. We hanged our harps upon the willows in the midst thereof. For there, they that carried us away captive, required of us a song; and they who wasted us required of us mirth, saying, Sing us one of the songs of Zion. How can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand forget her cunning. If I do not remember thee, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth.”
Fellow-citizens; above your national, tumultuous joy, I hear the mournful wail of millions! whose chains, heavy and grievous yesterday, are, to-day, rendered more intolerable by the jubilee shouts that reach them.
Progressives have learned that they need not formally amend our Constitution. It is sufficient to redefine it to promote their purposes. As George Orwell formulated this dystopian society in 1984:
War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength
If we do not voice the preferences of the Party, we will have no voice at all. That is the dictate of the Tech oligarchy that has moved quickly to silence dissent. These are the same folks who have aided the Chinese Communist Party in controlling their people. Why should we be surprised?Published in