Keith Olbermann’s commentary from earlier in the week reminds us that there are still thoseÃ‚Â who wishÃ‚Â to silence freedom of speech and even thought in the name of fighting terrorism.If, in the name of fighting terrorism, we extinguish the right of dissent we allow terrorism to succeed in altering the very freedom we wish to protect.
From Olbermann’s Special Commentary
Mr. Gingrich, you told a reporter from Fortune Magazine; Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am not Ã¢â‚¬ËœrunningÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ for president, I am seeking to create a movement to win the future by offering a series of solutions so compelling that if the American people say I have to be president, it will happen.Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â
Newt Gingrich sees in terrorism, not something to be exterminated, but something to be exploited.Ã‚Â
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s his golden opportunity, isnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t it?Ã‚Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Rallying a nation,Ã¢â‚¬Â you might say, Ã¢â‚¬Å“to hysteria, to sweep us up into the White House with powers that will make martial law seem like anarchy.Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â
ThatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s from the original version of the movie Ã¢â‚¬Å“The Manchurian CandidateÃ¢â‚¬Â Ã¢â‚¬â€ the chilling words of Angela LansburyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s character, as she first promises to sell her country to the Chinese and Russians, then reveals sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll double-cross them and keep all the power herself, waving the flag every time she subjugates another freedom.Ã‚Â
Within the frame of our experience as a free and freely argumentative people, it is almost impossible to conceive that there are those among us who might approach the kind of animal wildness of fiction like that Ã¢â‚¬â€ those who would willingly transform our beloved country into something false and terrible.Ã‚Â
Who among us can look to our own histories, or those of our ancestors who struggled to get here, or who struggled to get freedom after they were forced here, and not tear up when we read Frederick DouglassÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s words from a century and a half ago?: Ã¢â‚¬Å“Freedom must take the day.Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â
And who among us can look to our collective history and not see its turning points Ã¢â‚¬â€ like the Civil War, like Watergate, like the Revolution itself Ã¢â‚¬â€ in which the right idea defeated the wrong idea on the battlefield that is the marketplace of ideas?Ã‚Â
But apparently there are some of us who cannot see that the only future for America is one that cherishes the freedoms won in the past, one in which we vanquish bad ideas with better ones, and in which we fight for liberty by having more liberty, not less.Ã‚Â
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am seeking to create a movement to win the future by offering a series of solutions so compelling that if the American people say I have to be president, it will happen.Ã¢â‚¬ÂÃ‚Â
What a dark place your world must be, Mr. Gingrich, where the way to save America is to destroy America.
The unfortunate truth is that the Newt Gingrich Syndrome has spread into the hallsÃ‚Â of Orange County government. The rule for any county worker is simple:
Hear no evil,
See no evil,
and Speak no evil.