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Paul Hayden

Don't Think That It Can't Happen Here

August 17, 2009

Many Americans believe that we will never succumb to the tyranny that has plagued the rest of the world throughout most of human history. Far too many of us today think, "It can't happen here." At the risk of appearing to don my tin foil hat and join the black helicopter crowd, there are certain undeniable facts that keep rearing their ugly heads. And as John Adams once said, "Facts are stubborn things."

Fact: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has likened town hall protesters to Nazis. They have also been called "an angry mob."

Fact: One of those angry mobsters was a Michigan man who confronted his congressman, John Dingell, about his concerns that the health care bill will deny his disabled son the care he needs. Later, in the middle of the night, someone showed up at this man's house and threatened him. ACORN? Union thugs?

Fact: Barack Obama, President of the United States, has said that those same mobsters need to "get out of the way and not do so much talking" while he "cleans up the mess they left me."

Fact: The White House is asking supporters to snitch on their neighbors by e-mailing any information about people who oppose the Democrat health care plan. (If you would like to save your neighbor the trouble and turn yourself in, the address is flag@whitehouse.gov.)

Fact: And, saving the worst for last, the U.S. Army is now running an ad at this site that reads as follows: "Internment/Resettlement (I/R) Specialists in the Army are primarily responsible for day-to-day operations in a military confinement facility or detention/internment facility. I/R Specialists provide rehabilitative, health, welfare, and security to U.S. military prisoners within a confinement or correctional facility; conduct inspections; prepare written reports; and coordinate activities of prisoners/internees and staff personnel."

The ad goes on to spell out the duties of an I/R Specialist, with one particularly chilling sentence leaping off the page: "Provide command and control, staff planning, administration/logistical services, and custody/control for the operation of detention facility or the operation of a displaced civilian (DC) resettlement facility." (Emphasis mine.)

During the dark days of Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany, Lutheran Pastor and Theologian Martin Niemoller wrote these now-famous words: "First they came for the Communists, but I was not a Communist, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Socialists and Trade Unionists, but I was not one of them, so I did not speak out. Then they came for the Jews, but I was not Jewish, so I did not speak out. And when they came for me, there was no one left to speak out for me."

Fast forward three-quarters of a century: First they nationalized the banks, and though I was not a banker, I spoke out, but no one listened. Then they nationalized the automobile companies, and though I did not work for them, I spoke out. Some people listened, but others took advantage of "cash for clunkers." Then they nationalized the health care system, and though I did not work in health care, I spoke out loud and clear. And if they come to place me in an internment/resettlement camp for speaking out, will there be anyone to speak out for me?

If the storm clouds of civil war began to darken Barack Obama's America, do you think for a moment he would not implement martial law? In one of the most shameful chapters in American history since slavery, Franklin Roosevelt imprisoned American citizens during World War II because they were of Japanese descent. Don't ever think it can't happen here.

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Copyright ©2009 Doug Patton

Doug Patton describes himself as a recovering political speechwriter who agrees with himself more often than not. His weekly columns are syndicated by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Readers are encouraged to email him at dpatton@cagle.comand/or to follow him on Twitter at @Doug_Patton.