KOKOMO – The most precious sentence in existence is the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution. There is a reason that it is the first amendment contained in the Bill of Rights. For those of you who need a refresher course:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Our forefathers recognized these holy rights and made sure that they were enshrined for all eternity. Today, there are significant elements in our society who would deny us these rights and even those who would practice the worst form of abuse, which is self-censorship.

By now it should be painfully evident to nearly everyone that the mass uprising upon the murder of George Floyd has been hijacked by a sinister group of anarchists who are bent on the destruction of every form of sane existence. The move to abolish the police, the creation of no-police zones in some major American cities, the wanton destruction of monuments and memorials, and the attempt to erase much of our American history is clearly not because a bad police officer used excessive force and killed a black man.  

Students of history will find ample similarities to the rise of National Socialism, Leninism, Stalinism and the Chinese Cultural Revolution of Mao Zedong with the current social upheaval. This issue is bigger than George Floyd and strikes at the very heart of the American Experience.

First, let me say that as a member of one of the largest ethnic minorities in the United States, I feel the pain of many of the oppressed. My Protestant Scottish ancestors were driven from their country by the constant border wars between England and Scotland during the Middle Ages. These immigrants fled to the barren climes of Northern Ireland and tried for a couple of centuries to figure out how to grow crops out of rocks. They labored in this quest until King Charles I of England tried to force them to join the Church of England. My Presbyterian ancestors would have nothing of it and nearly 200,000 of these Scotch Irish made the dangerous trip across the Atlantic to the New World.  

Along their historical way, many of these same immigrants to the New World got fed up with the violation of their lives, liberties and pursuit of happiness by King George III and staged that whole American Revolution thing. Many a Fenn, Dunn, Monroe and Jackson shed their blood and risked their livelihoods and necks so that I would have the freedom to write this column today.

Virtually every successful country has an element in it that is the equivalent of square pegs trying to fit into the round holes of society. For a variety of reasons, known and unknown, these malcontents have failed to find the success or recognition that they believe they are entitled to by their mere presence on Earth. The truth is that for many of these people, a life with purple and orange hair, pierced noses chained to their nipples, a mommy and daddy who never said “no” and armed with a liberal arts degree in romantic languages has not prepared them for a life of economic success.  

These anarchists sit around minding their knitting like a modern day version of Madam DeFarge, just waiting for an opportunity to rush to the barricades and call for the executions and dismemberment of anyone who they believe has been a successful recipient of the fruits of a free society.

To a large degree, I believe that this is what has happened in the aftermath of the tragic George Floyd death. I have several black friends and I have not heard one call for the dismantling of the police or for a systemic destruction of our historical heritage. These calls are coming from the same folks who give you riots and mayhem every time the G7 meets, regardless of which country hosts the meeting. This also explains why the Black Lives Matter violence and destruction spread from the United States to other countries. It was not because of George Floyd, but from crass opportunism using a tragedy to sow the seeds of rebellion.

There is ample proof that the terrorist group Antifa is behind much of the murder and destruction. These people thrive on the chaos that arises when incidents such as the Floyd death occur. They are financed by a diverse group of supporters who have their own motives, most completely unrelated to social justice. Please remember that every war, rebellion and disaster has winners and losers. The supporters of Antifa have their goals, whatever they may be, that can only be achieved by the destruction of our American way of life.

My wife recently spoke with a friend of hers who had lost a key member of her management team, at a social service agency, to another employer. This is generally not news. Happens every day. Except in this case, the new employer is Antifa and the employee’s new job is traveling around to every hotspot and organizing the protestors. That’s the problem with malcontents, they have trouble organizing spontaneous riots on their own. Time to call the professionals.

The professional anarchist knows that the best way to advance their cause is to quiet those who might stand in their way until it is too late. Strike at basic rights and shut intelligent people up! This strategy drives seemingly intelligent people to do really ignorant things. Instead of looking for the root causes of the terrible murder rates in inner cities and stopping looting and rioting in its tracks, some mealy-mouthed and weak-kneed politicians resort to platitudes and dismantling monuments to dead soldiers in an effort to appease the vocal crowd.

The co-conspirators in the media, Hollywood, corporate America, the sporting world and high society all pitch in to do their best to stifle any expression of free political thought when that freedom of speech differs from what they believe or feel they need to act like they believe. This censorship of free thought and free speech has escaped the friendly confines of academia and now oozes like primordial slime down the corridors of American life. Good and decent people, large and small, have been destroyed by the public calling for their heads by the Robespierres of the Cancel movement. In a more quaint time, a man like Drew Brees or the recently disgraced opinions editor of the New York Times might be loaded up on an ox cart and taken to their just reward at the guillotine. All to the delight of the masses.

Many Americans, driven by fear of being pilloried by an army of vocal malcontents have resorted to the most heinous violation of the 1st Amendment that they could, self-censorship. When a person has an opinion to share but withholds that opinion out of a fear of reprisal such as loss of their job or personal assault, then that is the cruelest damage to our Constitution. We became a great nation because of freedom of expression.  

Without people freely speaking their minds in a variety of ways, through standing on a stump and speaking their minds, to publishing a pamphlet seeking redress, to preaching from the pulpit, there would be no United States, there would be no Emancipation of the Slaves, no Civil Rights Act, no Voting Rights Act, no Women’s Suffrage and no rights for the LGBT community. Free and unbridled speech, whether it is ugly or not, shows itself as a rainbow bumper sticker or yes, even as a Confederate flag, is absolutely vital to the future of our republic.

Most people forget that the architects of the French Revolution eventually all went to their deaths by the guillotine. The discontented and anarchist masses must be fed their daily dose of gore and destruction no matter where it must be found. Today, it may be the princes and potentates who face execution or canceling, but eventually it comes around to the Robespierres. Use your freedom and speak out before it is too late! 

Dunn is the former chairman of the Howard County Republican Party.