We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty. We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction depends upon evidence and due process of law. We will not walk in fear – one, of another. We will not be driven by fear into an age of un-reason, if we dig deep in our history and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men; not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to defend causes that were – for the moment – unpopular.
Edward R. Murrow, 1954
On Wednesday night, Keith Olbermann delivered a devastating response to Mr. Rumsfeld’s highly offensive speech to the American Legion on Tuesday. I would recommend that you read both speeches if you aren’t aware that Rumsfeld essentially referred to those Americans who dissent with his views as traitors. Read his speech, and ponder it, because it’s an example of the dominant point of view in the American government.
Rumsfeld appears to be accusing many of us who speak out against the government of living in some sort of fantasy world, when the same might be said of him. I’m not sure what reality the American government is in, but it’s not my reality, that’s for sure. He speaks of divisions, when we speak of no longer remaining silent about the wrongs that we see, in an attempt to unite.
The speech, in many ways, felt a little defensive, attacking by turns the media, Amnesty International, and the democrats. He seems to be aware that the hold the government has on the populace is slipping, thanks to insane policies, more extensive and balanced media coverage, a general wakening on the part of the American people. He’s right when he speaks to the importance of history, and the sad fact that we don’t pay as much attention to historical precedent as we should.
His speech did contain a grain of truth: “those who know the truth need to speak out against these kinds of myths and distortions that are being told…” How right you are, Mr Rumsfeld. It is, indeed, our duty to speak out, to clarify untruths, to ensure that all sides of an issue are being carefully examined. He’s right when he said that “The good news is that most Americans, though understandably influenced by what they see and read, have good inner gyroscopes. They have good center of gravity. So, I’m confident that over time they will evaluate and reflect on what is happening in this struggle and come to wise conclusions about it.”
Americans are reflecting, and they are coming to wise conclusions.
Has the President worked every day to bring the enemy to justice? He’s been hit with more catastrophic events during his unfairly won terms than many past Presidents. Yet if he is the enemy, how shall he bring himself to justice? How is America to respond when we are corrupt from within? Rumsfled’s speech only solidified this in my mind, as he chose to speech as an opportunity to attack his opponents, rather than contribute any sort of thoughtful dialogue to society. This seems suspiciously like fear to me.
Is our children learning?