And this week we are told that if we burn the flag we should go to jail. This is the message of the guy who was elected President this November in the U.S.A. His other punishment is lose your citizenship. He surely must know that the very idea of citizenship in the U.S. is unique because it is a country where you can burn the flag and it is protected.
And that is the one thing about the U.S. that is surely worth fighting for in this day and age of emerging fascists and zealots who are passing themselves off as actual political actors: unpopular speech is protected from state censorship. We welcome a healthy debate and discourse.
But we live in a different moment now, so man the barricades, update your passport, and pay close attention, when a tyrant is in charge, as law professor Arthur M. Cathcart wrote of Adolph Hitler in 1933, “free speech” and “a free press” is not “tolerated”; they are considered “unsafe.”
This is also why this guy’s surrogates have a talking point now that says there is no such thing as facts. That is because the facts can’t help them especially when their leader is in love with lies.
But lets remain focused on the flag right now (we will save post-fact America for another day) because if you can’t burn the flag, in public, I mean the actual flag, the next thing is you cannot even question anything and democracy is over. You can’t worship another religion or maybe, you can’t worship at all unless you worship at this time, and before this priest, or minister, in this temple, with this book and you cannot assemble and protest either because you might burn a flag. That is the slippery blank blank slope that the guy who was elected President is on and his loyal zealot followers only interested in some racist satisfactions, only focused on his funky attitude as a white man who will speak his mind, are failing to see.
The only reason, in fact, that he is in office, and was able to run for office, with his outlier views, on race, Muslims, women, abortion, immigrants, the disabled, and a host of other people, is because of free speech. The same free speech that allows us, or anyone who desires to do so, to burn the flag.
So someone somewhere please I hope understands what is at stake. Fascism under Hitler began in a subtle way. Protest and alternate views had to be challenged. They are “unsafe.”
Burn the Flag? If we understood what making that a criminal act means, every city in America would hold a sacrificial burning to make the point to this guy. Where are the libertarians? The conservatives who say they believe in freedom? I did not hear much chatter when he said lock up flag burners. Where are you?