I heard a very disturbing story last night.
A parent on my son’s baseball team was telling me about a woman in her little town in Texas who’d been very involved in the Tea Party there. She said recently she asked the woman if she’s still involved, and she answered “no.” When she asked her why, the woman explained that when her group attended a speech by President Obama, a Secret Service agent called her by name. Finding that frightening and intimidating, she quit the Tea Party.
I hope this story isn’t true or is missing key facts that make it all more palatable because if it is true, there is something seriously wrong going on and it would go well beyond what we know about applications for 501(c)(4) status.
Our country is unique because we have the freedom to speak out and question our government. Presumably, it’s that very freedom that helps make government accountable to the people it serves.
Among the many profound things Thomas Jefferson said is the following, “When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.”
Every American has the right to speak up and share political views no matter how unappealing they may be to others without fear of reprisal from the government. That’s everybody. No exceptions. If we don’t have that, we have nothing.
Before we do anything else in this country, our elected officials must absolutely assure that this fundamental right is upheld.
President Obama views government as the primary agent for positive change in our country. In his commencement speech at Ohio State University, he very clearly implored its graduates to put their faith in the good government can do.
In order to make this argument effective, the president must first assure the American people that government can indeed be trusted. Knowing that the fundamental right to free speech and free assembly is indeed protected is the first step necessary to restore that trust.
Hopefully, the entire IRS matter will be fully investigated and any wrongdoing remedied. If there are other government agencies engaged in similar activities that might be regarded as intimidation of political speech, hopefully that will be ferreted out and remedied as well.
We must demand good government for ALL the people. Edmund Burke noted that “[a]ll tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent.”
Speak up. Call your elected officials and demand that all our rights are upheld and that even government itself isn’t above the law.