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"DON'T TREAD ON ME"!

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One of the greatest hypocrisies of our time is the claim by the Right to stand up for "rugged individualists" whose life, liberty, and property are constantly under assault by "big government" of the Left.

Putting aside for a moment the fact that the federal government has grown under the current Republican president while it shrunk under his Democratic predecessor, the Right purporting to be champions of "libertarian" ideals is a bit like the Confederacy purporting to be guardians of "states rights" -- it depends on whose liberties and whose states we're talking about: the powers-that-be or those over whom they wield power.

For the leaders of the Right are the political and philosophical bastard heirs of the slaveholding aristocracy that ruled the feudal fiefdoms of the Old South -- the haunting similarity of the Red State / Blue State maps of the 21st Century to the Slave State / Free State maps of the 19th is much more than sheer coincidence -- but today, although the country has yet to awaken fully from the nightmare of racism, bondage is becoming a matter less of skin pigmentation than of class distinction (not unlike how the system of castes evolved over the centuries in India).

The policies of the Right will if unimpeded take us to an "ownership society," but one less in keeping with the folksy homilies of George Bush than the dire warnings of George Orwell.

Make no mistake about it: The ultimate goal of the Right is no less than to own us -- not simply lock, stock, and barrel but also body, mind, and soul.

When the Right opposes a woman's right to choose, is it not laying claim to her body?

When the Right opposes universal healthcare or supports a prescription boondoggle that benefits the drug and insurance industries who sponsored it far more than the seniors it was advertised to help, is not the Right laying claim to the wellbeing of our bodies?

When the Right wages unprovoked war on unsubstantiated rumors, killing and maiming untold thousands of human beings (both on "our side" and "theirs"), is not the Right laying claim to any and all bodies that get in the way of its insatiable greed and lust for power?
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When the Right holds individuals never given the benefit of a lawyer or trial let alone a sentence of guilty or not, in isolation from their families and nations, and tortures them for information (whether useful or, all too often, not), is not the Right laying claim to not only their bodies but also their minds?

When the Right propagates propaganda through an all-too-complicit or -complacent multi-national multi-media and continually and unabashedly violates the private communications of millions of citizens, in defiance of explicit federal law, is not the Right laying claim to the innermost secrets, both personal and professional, of our very minds?

When the Right teaches our children that modern biological science is no more real than ancient religious myths, is not the Right laying claim to not only the minds but also the souls of our children?

And whenever the Right imposes its particular vision in matters of faith with the force of laws legislated, executed, and adjudicated, and damns all those who dare to think, act, or believe to the contrary, is not the Right laying claim to our souls ... and thus in effect playing God (at the peril of their own souls)?

The Right has no right to our bodies, minds, or souls (let alone the fruits of our labors, which they apparently cannot help but try to horde for themselves).
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In the words of a serpentine flag from the earliest days of our nation, when patriots pledged their lives, property, and sacred honor in a life-and-death struggle against the most powerful, greedy despots of their day:

"DON'T TREAD ON ME"!

 

Doug Drenkow is a writer, editor, webmaster, and producer. A fourth-generation Democrat, Doug has produced the political talk shows "Barry Gordon From Left Field," on radio, and "NewsRap with Barry Gordon," on cable TV, featuring top (more...)
 

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