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October 2, 2009

Down the Road to Freedoms Lost

Joe Charlebois

When did we – as a nation – embrace socialism, communism and totalitarian dictatorships as regimes that exist on the same morally equivalent plane to the democracy established by our Founding Fathers?


Since the end of the 19th century our country has seen the introduction of several waves of progressive and socialist waves of influence. The remains of each wave that retreated have left an ever growing level of acceptance among the moderates and left wing of our society.


The latest tribute paid to a society full of repression and devoid of freedom can be seen in the decision by the management of the Empire State Building to honor the Peoples Republic of China by bathing the iconic symbol of New York City in the red and gold of their national ensign.


October 1st is recognized as the anniversary date of the birth of the brutal communist regime. The fact that the heart of the capitalistic world would honor a nation – that is likely to have allowed or caused the death of upwards of 71 million people and still vehemently denies the massacre of Tiananmen Square – is akin to condoning the tragedies caused by the world’s largest nation.


It wasn’t until the end of the 20th century that the popular acceptance of anti-democratic nations has been at the expense of the United States.


The root of public repudiation of the United States can likely be traced to the very public support of communism by Jane Fonda. Her betrayal of United States servicemen held imprisoned by North Vietnam is well documented. Her actions gave hope to our enemies. The North Vietnamese soon realized that public support would wane with the likes of Ms. Fonda spitting in the face of America. They fought on even harder and played the waiting game. This in effect lengthened the war and caused an innumerable number of additional deaths and casualties among American soldiers, sailors and marines.


Since that time American celebrity has felt emboldened to not only speak out against the United States but done so in the midst of some of the world’s most vicious dictators.


For years the elite has paid tribute to the oppressive Cuban dictator Fidel Castro.  Mr. Castro has continued to mesmerize an unending line of leftist politicians – like President Jimmy Carter and Jesse Jackson – and Hollywood elites – such as Oliver Stone, Chevy Chase, Naomi Campbell, Steven Spielberg, Harry Belafonte, Danny Glover, Matt Dillon, Jack Nicholson and CNN founder, Ted Turner.


Mr. Castro, like so many other charismatic leaders, has developed a cult of personality that allows followers and admirers to dismiss the evil within. He has remained in power by using the island nation as a natural prison. The only escape for the prisoners of this communist state is the life and death gamble that plays out on the 90 miles of seas between Cuba and the coast of southern Florida. The fact that Cuba was held hostage by the mafia – as they turned Cuba into a gamblers paradise – does not justify the brutal revolution of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro and the subsequent installation of oppression.


The demi-god du jour, of course, is Venezuela’s “president” Hugo Chavez. Even though Mr. Chavez has been elected president of the South American nation, it is no surprise that he has moved to become president for life.  He has turned the once jewel of South American democracies into an iron-fisted dictatorship modeled after his friend Castro’s despotic regime. Who supports Chavez’s style of governance? Some of Hollywood’s elite who actively pay homage to the Venezuelan dictator are Sean Penn, Naomi Campbell, Danny Glover, Kevin Spacey as well as former president Jimmy Carter and anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan.


Why the love affair with tyrannical leaders? One can only surmise.  But the common thread among those who worship at the feet of dictators is a hatred for America. There is no reason to spend time with leaders like Mr. Castro and Mr. Chavez. These men do not believe in the ideals of freedom. There is no tolerance for free speech. There is no freedom for man as there is in this country.


If we are not careful, we can fall into the same trap that has beset countries both large and small. We must remain grounded in our first principles and rebuke those who would institute socialism. We should not elevate any government official to a position of power over us. We must remember that we are a country of the people – not of the government. If we don’t pay heed to our founders, we will no longer be land of the free.


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