How Politicians Use A Crisis To Take Away Our Rights

By Michael Todd

   The current push to label Trump, his followers, and The Republican Party as extremists is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Not only are the events on January 6th not being reported correctly, but democrats and their media allies are using this to create emotional anxiety within society to expand police-state powers further. By labeling the opposition existential threats to our country, they are attempting to silence half of the country in a move similar to the CCP. This type of divisive rhetoric is concocted for one reason, it creates conflict and generates fear that they can exploit for political gain.  

   In modern US history, several initiatives have been sold to the American people under the pretext of fighting extremism.  Unfortunately, they quickly devolved into tools used to violate the civil rights of American citizens. For example, the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO), Dodd-Frank, and the Patriot Act have been used to attack political opponents and intimidate innocent civilians.

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

Ronald Reagan

   The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) was created to investigate disloyalty and subversive activities by private citizens, public employees, and anyone suspected of having fascist or communist ties. This led to more than 300 directors, radio commentators, actors, and screenwriters being boycotted by the studios. Stars such as Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles, Alan Lomax, Paul Robeson, and Yip Harburg were forced to leave the United States or go underground to find work. Some even had to write under pseudonyms or the names of colleagues. Many of whom were never able to resurrect their careers after the unsubstantiated claims. There are sticking parallels with the rhetoric being professed in today’s political climate, calling people domestic terrorists for exercising their rights as American citizens.

   The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Counterintelligence Program (COINTELPRO) is best known for its role in a series of covert and illegal projects which surveilled, infiltrated, discredited, and disrupted many domestic political organizations. The tactics of COINTELPRO are still used to this day and include discrediting targets using psychological warfare and slandering individuals and groups using forged documents. COINTELPRO also readily plants false reports in the media, harasses, and wrongfully incarcerates people to force confessions or exert pressure on targets identified as subversive. The goal is to neutralize movements and their leaders who are subjectively labeled destabilizing to the country. As we witness a former president’s unconstitutional impeachment, the underlying objective is to label anyone who voted for or supported Trump as seditious conspirators intent on overthrowing the government.

   The Patriot Act, which was sold under the pretense of protecting Americans from foreign Terrorists, expanded the government’s authority to spy on citizens while simultaneously reducing checks and balances on those powers like judicial oversight, public accountability, and the ability to challenge government searches in court. Section 215 of the Patriot Act directly violates the Constitution in many ways. It violates the Fourth Amendment, which states that the government cannot conduct a search without obtaining a warrant and showing probable cause indicating the person has committed or will commit a crime.

   Dodd-Frank, which is an often-overlooked law, was created due to the financial crisis in 2008.  Under the moniker “too-big-to-fail,” insolvent banks could no longer rely on taxpayers to bail them out. But there is a catch; banks can legally bail themselves out using depositor funds. In other words,  a bank can lawfully freeze and confiscate the funds in your checking and savings accounts for purposes of maintaining its solvency. To compensate you once they’ve taken your money, the bank will provide you the equivalent value in company shares. Essentially, if the bank fails, it takes your money and hands you stock in its failed operation. While unethical, it’s now legal.

   Regardless of political differences, Washington DC’s partisan climate serves no one but the politicians seeking to distract with one hand while taking away our rights with the other. Most of the issues affecting our society are caused by politicians seeking to create division under the guise of social justice.   At times like these, we must stay vigilant and come together to protect the rights and liberties that have allowed us to flourish as a nation. It is also necessary that we stay informed and try to understand both sides of a story before making impetuous judgments.  Like Benjamin Franklin once said, “A democratic republic cannot exist without an informed, politically active people.”

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