When bullies beat up other children in the school yard did you stay silent least you anger them and have them turn their wrath on you? When local politicians passed ordinances that adversely affected you, did you remain silent, expecting others to step forward and demand a revision of those ordinances? When national politicians passed new laws that lowered your ability to provide for your family or that took education and life decisions out of your hands and placed them in the hands of bureaucrats did you remain silent hoping things would pass? Have you not seen or heard things when crimes were committed believing silence would save you from the thugs who now control many of the streets in our cities. For many of you the answer is yes to one or all of these questions. There was a time when silence might save you but that time has passed us by.
Silence is consent. If you do not speak out against what is being done, then more will be done and you will be affected. You cannot stay safe from the crimes of thugees on the streets or in the corridors of power. The longer you wait the harder it becomes. The key to democracy is participation. Participation begins with education, understanding and then action. Speech is action. Let your elected representatives know how you feel about what is happening with the social fabric of the Republic being ripped and rended beyond recognition. I shan’t belabor you with historical examples of what happened to people who remained silent. You know them well enough and if you studied your history you would find more and more of them.
Act now! Educate yourselves. Understand the issues and understand clearly that the most basic of the issues is power. Those who want it must remake the social order. Let’s get back to the one person, one vote and away from the corporations and dark money special interests groups pretending to be people and representing large blocks of votes. Let’s demand news readers who read the news and don’t bloviate in favor of one party and against another. Let’s make them have a flashing light on the screen that says “opinion” when someone speaks other than provable facts. Let’s discover a mechanism to hold accountable those who craft lies disguised as facts. If lying to a federal investigator is a crime, then lying to the enabling source of authority for that federal investigation, the people, should also be a crime. Would make for some interesting news programs. Where is the FCC? Why don’t we have that flashing “OPINION” sign on our screens. We identify opinion pieces in magazines and newspapers. We identify them on line. Why don’t we identify them on cable news?