by Weiland Ross
In 1946 there appeared a poem written by Rev. Martin Niemoller titled “Then They Came For Me”. Niemoller was a clergyman in Germany who for several years was a strong supporter of Hitler and the Nazi movement. At some point he realized the fallacy of his position and began to criticize the Nazis. He was imprisoned at Dachau, but escaped the Holocaust.
His poem lists the groups being purged by the Nazis, and his reaction. The poem reads, in part, ‘First they came for the ___, I did not speak out. Then they came for the___, I did not speak out. When they came for me, there was no-one left to speak out for me.’
The lesson here is clear. A political party spent several years gaining control of the government and then demanded complete conformity to their ideas. They implemented a concentrated ‘fake news’ machine which relied on the dictum that a lie repeated over and over becomes the truth. Anyone who opposed them were considered undesirable as members of society and were to be deplored and silenced. No dissent of any kind was tolerated.
The Nazis soon had a devoted following that did not sense the danger in their demand for ideological purity. They were supported in their programs by major corporations that profited by going along with their movement. Before long the demand for conformity spread from the national level down to the state and local levels. People fell into a mob rule mentality and turned on each other to demand conformity.
A similar mentality has emerged in the U.S. in the past several years. We have seen the rise of the ‘cancel culture’ and its’ demand to re-write our history to fit a confused set of new social and cultural memes. Too many people smiled vacantly as our national sovereignty was attacked by the open border folly and the ‘sanctuary’ cities and states that refuse to enforce Federal laws. ‘Identity politics’ became a major force. Members of any identifiable group were told that they have no status as individual persons. Their only worth is determined by their membership in a group. Individual responsibility and free thought are considered dangerous.
The virtues that made our great nation are now under attack by those who would control our society for their own gain.
Vermont has not been immune to these trends. Too many Vermonters have mindlessly joined the movement to destroy the traditional values of our democracy. Controversial speakers are not tolerated at our most prestigious colleges, i.e. the riots at Middlebury two years ago. This past year has seen a series of abuses of freedom, i.e. the privileged status of the Black Lives Matter group. This group is controversial for several reasons, even though some of its’ goals are worthy. State and local official official’s are afraid of them. They are permitted to paint their slogans on city streets and highways, but other groups are denied this opportunity.
BLM is a private political group, but their flag is flown officially at several schools around the state. No other political group is given this perk. When a group of voters in the Mill River School District tried to submit a petition to their school board to remove the BLM flag, they were told that they had no right to submit such a petition. So much for dissent.
Attacks on personal free speech are routine. The principal of a high school in Windsor County was forced to resign because she posted some comments on social media that were in support of Pres. Trump. These were personal remarks not made in school or in any official part of her job. How can we justify punishing someone for speaking freely? The same question arises in the case of the State Police Sgt. who was forced to resign because he posted a comment on social media. Again, this was not done in any official police capacity, but as a private citizen. What happened to his right to express an opinion in a democracy?
Perhaps the most potentially dangerous abuse came last week when a legislator requested the Attorney General if it was possible to subpoena the bus company that drove fifty one Vermonters to Washington to attend the pro-Trump rally on Jan. 6 to supply the names of those who went. For what purpose? This representative has no right to inquire about these names. They broke no laws. The right to travel freely has been established by the U.S. Supreme Court in several rulings. Her only motive could be some kind of harrassment of these people for being active participants in our democracy.
If free expressions of ideas by our citizens is no longer tolerated in our peaceful little state we have no choice but to be afraid, very afraid, of the steps that could follow.
The author is a resident of Sunderland.
Thank you, excellent article.
We are bein inundated with change politics, change society, change world order
Combine 1984, WW2, Brave New World, Atlas Shrugged, Animal Farm, 300 people gaining access to the Congress, out of a crown of 500,000 Peaceful Republicans and you get a small piece, virus, lockdowns, no work, all on welfare, no travel, churches slammed shut, schools closed, food and supply shortages, endless and everchanging Virus without end, “Contact tracing”, isolations ……….Endless list
I’m running out of wind, and have not even started on the deep and some irretrievable changes in our America and the World. imposed on our world.
This is TOO LARGE to be just HAPPENSTANCE. What is left of your real life and your real heritage???
Doug Richmond, I have information on a co-optation of Liberty Union Party by a violent faction. Evidence, in the form of emails, that I was illegally ousted. I have a bizarre condition and personality due to neuro-metabolic problems, but am quite rational and truthful. No one seems willing to confer with me on this. One example is that I’m aware of the identity of the person who “doxxed” the state trooper. I was close like family and learned they’d been deceiving me for years. They’re politics depend on deceiving their own power base, meaning the people who believe them.
Very good piece on mob rule, This writer had it all down the way it is happening, If we in Vermont don’t stop it now where will it end?
Hopefully not with all our rights gone
The only way to combat the infringements on our rights is to push through the courts and ultimately to the Supreme Court, although I’m not convinced even they would support the rights given us via the Constitution.
It does not appear to me to be turning around any time soon. It’s a kind of madness humanity has seen countless times, and it only goes away in one of two ways: disillusionment or demographics. The former requires prolonged suffering and loss, and the latter takes a generation (or more). This is our world now.
I wish I believed in God.
Joseph (biblical hero of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”) told his brothers who sold him into slavery, “what you meant for evil, God meant for good.” I wonder if something like that might be happening here. We will see!
I believe Vermont conservatives and willing Republicans need to form a network to protect our First Amendment rights (and each other), to aggressively challenge the Progressive narrative, and coordinate our message and actions with like-minded stakeholders across the state.
As one who has written hundreds of letters to the editor let me just say that this letter is exactly what I would strive to emulate – so well written – directly to the point – after reading it I can walk away with a much more organized understanding of how all the pieces fit together.
Thank you so much.
Thank you Mr. Fisher. Look forward to seeing your letters on Vermont Daily!
We need to lawfully fight back. Sue for slander, boycott – whatever we can do. I am leaving my employers insurance Blue Cross for stopping donations to Cruz for challenging the election results. I called them and e-mailed them and told them what I was doing and why. My Pillow was dropped by Kohls, Wayfair and Bed, Bath and Beyond because it’s owner challenged the election results publicly. – I called and e-mailed all three and told them I would no longer be purchasing items from them. I also told them and did order two sets of sheets from My Pillow (bright orange and a set of white – can’t wait!) When Goya’s President praised Trump there was a call for a boycott, AOC joined in. Their sales increased 1000% and Goya named AOC employee of the month Bahahaahhahaha! Two can play that game. . . . . 74 million can play that game. One has to ask themselves, if there is such a push to squash free speech on looking into the amount of fraud that took place in the election, what are they hiding? My guess is the truth – if there was no problem a full-on investigation would be welcomed – it is not welcomed and that speaks volumes to me.
I am encouraged by the responses to the informative letter. Why don’t we form a state-wide organization to follow Tom McLinden’s lead to stand up for protection of our Constitutional rights before they evaporate before our very eyes. We can can GIVE UP or we can STAND UP. Count me in to STAND UP !