Where the Real Fear Is

Posted: Nov 28, 2009 10:24 AM

You should be very afraid.

No, not of Islamic extremists plotting to kill their fellow Americans. After all, “At this point, there is no information to indicate Major Nidal Malik Hasan had any co-conspirators or was part of a broader terrorist plot,” the FBI announced almost immediately after Hasan allegedly opened fire at Fort Hood. That must be the federal version of, “move along, nothing to see here, folks.”

And you certainly shouldn’t fear a rapacious and steadily growing federal government. No. Your biggest concern should apparently be…the right-wing militia movement.

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“The truth is, is that these groups are popping up like mushrooms after a spring rain,” Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center told CNN reporter Jim Acosta. The network recently aired a long series of reports on the militia movement.

The series included images of supposed extremists pledging -- hold on to your hat for this one -- allegiance to the American flag. It also featured men, women and, yes, children, learning how to handle firearms.

“Well, any time we get a Democratic president in the office, people become concerned, including myself, and we get a resurgence out here,” one member told Acosta. He “didn’t want to give his last name,” Acosta explained, over “worries the government will eventually take away his gun rights.”

Well, the last thing anyone wants these days is to catch Uncle Sam’s eye. Liberal civil-liberties attorney Harvey Silverglate estimates the average American now commits three felonies every day without even knowing it (hence the title of his recent book, “Three Felonies a Day”).

Examples abound. A 12-year-old in Georgia spent two days in jail for bringing a Boy Scout knife to school. A Texas man was sent to prison for selling orchids. An Alaska man was detained by federal agents for failing to properly label a UPS package. In today’s overcriminalized society, if the feds decide to charge you with a crime, they’ll find something to pin on you.

Still, the militia members seem more giving than fearful. “They’re prepared to teach anyone, even this reporter, how to fire a semiautomatic weapon like this Russian assault rifle,” Acosta reported over video of himself shooting. If these people were zealots plotting to overthrow the government, would they really be so friendly with a reporter and his camera crew? It sounds as if they’re gun-lovers who simply want to teach others how to use weapons.

“There really is this kind of terrible fear mixed with fury about the idea that President Obama is somehow leading a kind of socialistic, you know, takeover of America,” the SPLC’s Potek adds.

But is “socialism” such a wild accusation? In the last several months the House of Representatives has passed a massive cap-and-trade bill that would raise taxes in order to supposedly combat global warming. It’s passed a massive health care reform bill that could change everyone’s access to medical care in order to supposedly “bend the cost curve.” And it’s passed a “stimulus” bill and a budget that will combine to spend your children and grandchildren into the poorhouse.

And it’s worth noting that the real fear and loathing in this country is on the left.

Recently, the liberal publisher of the Falls Church News-Press attempted to explain what’s driving the tea party movement. Conservatives aim to, “Go after those African-Americans (including your president), those immigrants, those gays! Don’t let them have health care! Don’t let them have equal rights! Harass them, beat them up! Yeah, that’s ‘freedom,’ man!” Nicholas Benton wrote.

It’s great when the mask slips and liberals show what they really think of their fellow citizens. No wonder they’re so afraid of conservatives, if they really believe this is how we think and act.

A few years ago, the Supreme Court issued its infamous Kelo decision, mistakenly finding it would be constitutional for the city of New London, Conn. to seize private property and turn it over to developers. Dozens of people lost their homes. Ironically, the company that had planned to build an office complex on the land pulled out recently. Now it’s just empty space. That underlines the point: government doesn’t give, it merely takes away.

This Thanksgiving week, let us celebrate above all else the wisdom of the Founding Fathers. Not simply for bequeathing to us the Constitution -- the single greatest governing document in the history of mankind -- but for actually having the foresight to write it down.

That ensures that, no matter how mangled the supposed “living” Constitution becomes over the years, there’s at least the chance our country can someday return to its roots by simply reading and following the actual words of our Founders.

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