“That these are our grievances which we have thus laid before his majesty, with that freedom of language and sentiment which becomes a free people claiming their rights as derived from the laws of nature, and not as the gift of their chief magistrate.” – Thomas Jefferson
We are a nation that values freedom; I think that is safe to say. We are a nation that values liberty; I think that is also safe to say. We are a nation that fought to pull ourselves out from under the thumb of a tyrannical government. Above all, we are a nation that values individuals.
According to Infowars:
“Conservative watchdog group Judicial Watch recently obtained a Department of Defense training manual which lists people who embrace ‘individual liberties’ and honor ‘states’ rights,’ among other characteristics, as potential ‘extremists’ who are likely to be members of ‘hate groups.'”
This training guide elaborates in interesting ways:
“In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples…Nowadays, instead of dressing in sheets or publicly espousing hate messages, many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states’ rights, and how to make the world a better place…”
In a scarily obvious attempt to paint Conservatives as “extremists,” this training guide tries to link Conservatism with the KKK, as well as other hate groups. This is a classic example of guilt by association. By mentioning the KKK in the same sentence as those who promote states’ rights and individual liberties, the writer immediately links the three, when there is no actual basis for the link.
In addition, while states’ rights and individual liberties are concepts upon which America was built, the writer assigns them only and specifically to “extremists.” This is intentional. With the rise of the grass-roots Conservative movement, the ideas of individual liberties and states’ rights have come to the forefront of our national conversation. This Conservative movement began in reaction to an increasingly oppressive government.
Now, more than ever before, you will hear Conservatives talk of these ideas because we feel the need to do so. And because the proclamations of individual liberties and states’ rights are now so publicly associated with the Tea Party and the new Conservative movement, the writer knows that associating them with anything negative will make all Conservatives look like monsters.
The training manual also directly compares the American Revolution to the South’s attempt to secede from the Union. Again, by tying the revolution—something closely linked to the Tea Party and the new Conservative movement—to the negativity of the Civil War, the writer is targeting Conservatism and painting it as extreme.
The fact that this is an actual training manual terrifies me, but what’s worse is how quickly many Americans would eat this up without a second thought—despite its glaringly obvious agenda.
Watch out, folks. Uncle Sam ain’t what he used to be.