Is it a stretch to say that freedom of speech is under attack in the United States of America?
Well, I could point to evidence that if you question this president, his administration and policies, you come under vicious attack — that much is certain.
It has gotten to the point where Obama's media attack dogs have even gone so far as to accuse me of sedition:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOE KLEIN, TIME MAGAZINE: I did a little bit of research just before the show, it's on this little napkin here and I looked up the definition of "sedition," which is conduct or language inciting rebellion against the authority of the state. And a lot of these statements, especially the ones coming from people like Glenn Beck and to a certain extent Sarah Palin, rub right up next, rub right up close to being seditious...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
Rush Limbaugh was attacked on that same show:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
JOHN HEILEMANN, NEW YORK MAGAZINE: And you know, Joe's right and I'll name another person, name Rush Limbaugh who uses this phrase — constantly talks about the Obama administration as a regime...
(END VIDEO CLIP)
But the real target isn't me or Rush — it's you. Everywhere you turn, the Tea Party movement is being viciously maligned as dangerous, racist, crazy or stupid:
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
JANEANE GAROFALO, ACTRESS: They have no idea what the Boston Tea Party was about, they don't know their history. This is about hating a black man in the White House. This is racism straight up. That is nothing but a bunch of tea-bagging rednecks.
FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: A lot of the things that have been said, they create a climate in which people who are vulnerable to violence because they are disoriented, like Timothy McVeigh was, are more likely to act.
REP. JOHN CONYERS, D-MICH.: We're here now to understand the frustration of the tea baggers and the people that are angry because many times when you're angry, your rational abilities are compromised.
REP. JOHN DINGELL, D-MICH.: Well, the last time I had to confront something like this was when I voted for the Civil Rights Bill and my opponent voted against it. At that time we had a lot of Ku Klux Klan folks and white supremacists and folks in white sheets running around in a lot of other things causing trouble.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
Really? Have we come to the point in America where we can't question our government with boldness anymore? Clinton talked about getting back to the constitutional speech that our Founders intended. If they didn't intend for just this type of speech — political free speech, the ability to criticize our government with vigor — what were they protecting?
And what happened to this sentiment?
(BEGIN AUDIO CLIP)
THEN-SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, D-N.Y.: I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration somehow you're not patriotic. And we should stand up and say, "We are Americans and we have a right to debate and disagree with any administration!"
(END AUDIO CLIP)
Come to think of it, let's look at the free speech our Founders intended.
Here's an example from our Founders, a pro-John Adams federalist paper, during the presidential campaign of 1796 between John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, calling Jefferson "a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father… raised wholly on hoe-cake made of coarse-ground Southern corn, bacon and hominy — with an occasional change of fricasseed bullfrog."
Going after his parentage is one thing, but accusing him of being raised on "Southern corn made hoe-cake"? Now that's hitting below the belt.
It didn't end there. In the 1800 campaign, Adams' allies wrote about what to expect if Jefferson were elected: "Murder, robbery, rape, adultery and incest will be openly taught and practiced, the air will be rent with the cries of the distressed, the soil will be soaked with blood and the nation black with crimes."
The prestigious Jeffersonian Murder, Rape and Robbery Schools were tough to get into, but if you could get a scholarship to one, you were set for life.
Now, no one is advocating for these kinds of smear campaigns, but the point is maybe Bill Clinton should at least know the history of the country before opening his mouth about free speech as our Founders knew it.
The current onslaught against free speech is all-encompassing. The Marxist-led group Free Press is using "Net Neutrality" to attack speech on the Internet as well. Never in world history have a people been able to express themselves as freely as we can right now over the Internet and we all know it. That's why they have to create this bogus, non-existent crisis to stop it.
The Department of Justice has also gotten in on the act, going so far as to claim that Americans have no right to implied privacy of location and that they can use your cell phone to track you.
This is what Barack Obama and his administration are fighting for. These are the same people who screamed about warrantless wiretapping and the Patriot Act during the Bush years — both of which he has now made permanent and has gone far beyond what George Bush ever dreamed.
In a completely unrelated story, the Library of Congress also wants to archive every tweet, just for the sake of history. I'm sorry, I don't trust them anymore. I don't want them cataloguing tweets, checking our e-mails, tracking our cell phones — I just don't want it.
Let me ask Obama supporters a question: Do you see any problem yet? Is all of this still absolutely fine? We heard you loud and clear during the Bush years, expressing your concerns over the Patriot Act. Not only is it still in force, Obama has now removed the sunset clause, so it now has no expiration date.
I know the inevitable response: Where were you when Bush was president? First of all, I was expressing strong concerns then, too — but if you were there then, where are you now? The fact is, all you were yelling about then is much worse now. In addition to the action taken by Obama that we've pointed out when George Bush was brutally attacked by his critics, not only did he not try to silence them, he didn't even respond to them.
Has everyone so soon forgotten what was said about him?
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIPS)
KEITH OLBERMANN, MSNBC: This, Mr. Bush, is simple enough for even you to understand... You're a fascist. Get them to print you a T-shirt with "fascist" on it.
KANYE WEST, MUSICIAN: George Bush doesn't care about black people.
WOLF BLITZER, CNN: President Bush said as recently as this week the United States does not torture detainees.
FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER: That's not an accurate statement.
BLITZER: You believe the United States, under this administration, has used torture.
CARTER: I don't think it, I know it, certainly.
BLITZER: So is the president lying?
CARTER: The president is self-defining what we have done and authorized in the torture of prisoners, yes.
(END VIDEO CLIPS)
No one called them seditious. No one called them traitors. President Bush didn't send out his minions to attack MSNBC or Hollywood. Cindy Sheehan camped outside his home in Texas nearly every weekend and he didn't address it, except to say she had the right to be there.
Now, cries of sedition, traitor, anti-American are common — just for speaking out. They even send out their goons to the Tea Parties to try to shut down legal, peaceful protests in the street.
Barack Obama has pushed the most radical agenda in history, and he got health care passed despite a huge majority of the American people vehemently opposed to it. And rather than try to heal the nation after a divisive fight, he's now trying to jam at least two more wildly divisive issues down our throats: cap-and-trade (despite a totally discredited climate change industry and zero warming for over a decade) and comprehensive immigration reform (even as violence, drugs and chaos has spiraled out of control on the border.)
Then when opposition to that agenda arises, it's shouted down and we're divided even more. It's not even about the issues anymore; it's about fundamental transformation. Our system is not even smearing people anymore, it's training people to hate each other.
Do not confuse the truth with hatred.
So, here's what I believe we must do: We must use our free speech to go in the other direction. Spread the positive message of peace; of faith, hope and charity. Exercise your freedom of speech while you still have it: use Twitter, use Facebook.
Not racist, not violent, just not silent anymore — put this message everywhere.
— Watch "Glenn Beck" weekdays at 5 p.m. ET on Fox News Channel