Dissent NOT Highest Form of Patriotism
How interesting - a certain group's rallying cry turns out not to be the stated reality. The oft-quoted "Dissent is the highest form of patriotism," did not originate with Thomas Jefferson at all, but from one Howard Zinn in an interview with ThomasPaine.com. Here's another Zinn quote. “We need to decide that we will not go to war, whatever reason is conjured up by the politicians or the media, because war in our time is always indiscriminate, a war against innocents, a war against children.”
Mark Steyn has an engaging review of the misattributed Jefferson quote, its use since 9/11, and what it means for one particular political party.
According to the Jefferson Library: "There are a number of quotes that we do not find in Thomas Jefferson's correspondence or other writings; in such cases, Jefferson should not be cited as the source. Among the most common of these spurious Jefferson quotes are: 'Dissent is the highest form of patriotism.' "
Steyn is less than congenial toward a crowd that would embrace an open call for anti-Americanism. Not that presenting one's point of view and trying to persuade others to accept that point of view is bad, but attacking America without offering alternatives or a better way to get there (wherever "there" may be) is just whining. Where's your plan? And could it possibly be that you actually stand for nothing? Convince us otherwise and that would restore some honor to politics.
What does it mean when so many senior Democrats take refuge in an obvious bit of hooey? Thomas Jefferson would never have said anything half so witless. There is no virtue in dissent per se. When John F. Kennedy said, "We shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty" — and, believe it or not, that's a real quote, though it's hard to imagine any Massachusetts Democrat saying such a thing today — I could have yelled out, "Hey, screw you, loser." It would have been "dissent," but it wouldn't have been patriotic, and it's certainly not a useful contribution to the debate, any more than that of the University of North Carolina students at Chapel Hill who recently scrawled on the doors of the ROTC armory "F—- OFF!" and "WE WON'T FIGHT YOUR WARS!"
A real Jefferson quote is “Bigotry is the disease of ignorance, of morbid minds; enthusiasm of the free and buoyant. education and free discussion are the antidotes of both.” Please give a speech where you discuss a plan, and avoid any attacks on the other guy. I expect that you will find this impossible since your party can only agree on one thing - "Bush is bad, mmkay."
Moving on to the immigration rally - there is no problem with supporting immigrant rights. Immigrants made America great, but they made her great by becoming Americans. How many first generation (fill in originating country here) Americans, born to those who immigrated from the old country, never learned the language of the their parents? Being bilingual has been shown to demonstrate higher IQ in children. So why was learning one's parents' language such a bad thing? The quote that says it all - "We're Americans now - we speak English here." "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to be free." A great inscription at the base of the Statue of Liberty. Liberty and Freedom - the highest ideals of this great country of ours.
Neither socialism nor communism ensure that a country is free. If there are no free decisions regarding one's economics or one's political voice, then there is no freedom. Freedom means you have the ability to choose your own destiny. But this means that you have to live with the consequences of your decisions. If you've made bad life decisions or things just have not gone your way, you will probably not drive an expensive car or live in a fancy house. That's okay - that's the result of freedom. If you make a better life for yourself and your family by working two jobs, or by ensuring your children get their higher education, then you have won the game of life. If you have not made things better and demand later in life that the government take care of you, that's where we go our separate ways regarding the meaning of freedom. The Statue of LIberty welcoming quote is for those who are willing to work to make America a better place - not those who cost more than they give back.
Today is May Day - still a holiday in Russia, just because the Russians like their holidays. They simply attach a different meaning to the day off as the political winds blow from differing directions. Today is also the day of the big immigrant rallies and that was the entire reason for this post. We here at ThreatsWatch do not agree with the Bush immigration stance - we write, we petition our Congressional leaders, and in November, we'll vote. Our dissent is with the open border. Before anything else, we must stop the illegal immigration. Illegal means that the U.S. Government does not know you are here. Yes - we agree that the work visa process must be improved, quotas increased, etc. But in order to deal with any other issue, the first thing that must happen is that free border crossing is stopped. Period.
Illegal immigration has negatively affected state budgets, the federal budget, and the security of this nation. We understand that the majority of these folks are hard working - that is not the issue. Let's fix the process to get them work visas and then let them work for a little better pay, and most importantly, protection under the law. Illegal immigrants are not protected from employer abuse - this is a violation of the 13th Amendment (Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.) But only citizens or those legally authorized to be here have any Constitutional protections.
Stop the illegal part, then let's work to fix the other parts - it is impossible to fix everything at once. There will be no single "sweeping" legislation that will take care of it. There are already plenty of laws on the books - we do not need more. We need enforcement of existing laws and Congress to budget for the building of a border that is not easy to penetrate, whether that is a fence or with extensive manpower. Then maybe we can have an intellectual debate regarding the status of those already here. Today's rallies may accomplish more than expected for the open-borders crowd - they could rally the much larger majority of American citizens against illegal immigrants "If you're here illegally and you don't want to work, there is no need to have you here." Think about this before you walk off your job and head into the streets to demand legal protections and benefits.