Is it absolutely necessary that every dimwitted yokel in the entire nation has to have an opinion on Elian Gonzalez? Do all of the paltry pundits of America have to pontificate, do all the media have to put out reams of puling mush on this? It's been driving me nuts.
Give me a break, folks. In all of the various opinions I've heard concerning Elian Gonzalez, I continue to hear such phrases as "Elian should be allowed to grow up in a free country," "Elian's mother died bringing him to freedom," "land of the free," etc. And I have to ask, what free country are these people referring to?
Certainly they cannot mean America. America is not a free country. It may be a prosperous country, even rich in ways beyond our reckoning, but it is surely not free. Not for about a century and a half.
We have so many laws that no one can keep them straight. I probably break more than a few laws every day, and these are the ones I break inadvertently. We won't even discuss my scofflaw propensities. I don't even know what is against the law these days. How could I? How can anyone? This is what comes of having lawyers dominating every branch of the government, of course. Lawyers love laws, especially silly, long, vaguely-worded ones. They bring in the big bucks, those laws.
What pictures have we shown the world lately that would represent freedom? Waco burning? The INS gang breaking into a Miami home to kidnap Elian with a gun in his face?
Is this a picture from a free country? Just ask any unarmed citizen who's been shot by the machine-gun carrying militarized police. Sure America is a free country — if Nazi Germany was free, if Stalin's Russia was free, or say, Castro's Cuba. The only difference between those countries and this is we do not yet have huge pictures of the Dictator all over the place. If Algore becomes president, I suspect that may change.
It is hysterical that Bill Clinton could actually mention "the rule of law" with a straight face. That was very funny coming from him. Too bad the mainstream media is simply too dense to recognize such a fine example of irony. This same impeached perjuror is allowed to rule by Executive Order by the other two castrati branches of government, who could at least squeak, but don't. Like Castro, like Stalin — what our dictator Clinton says, goes. And it matters not that we have a Congress or a Supreme Court. Clinton rules. Period. For now, we are minimally more "free" in that we get to keep 50% of our labor and money. We're only half slaves, which is like half pregnant.
Cuba has a totalitarian communist government. America has a totalitarian fascist government, which my Webster's defines as "... regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible repression of opposition." Sounds to me like what America has become. The State is exalted above the individual here. We certainly have a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader. You can ask Bill Gates about severe economic regimentation, or anyone who has been denied their property rights by nonsensical boobs in the EPA. As for social regimentation, just take a gander at the Supreme Court and what it has been up to lately. You bet we have social regimentation. What else would you call 20 years of "political correctness?" Forcible repression of opposition? There are too many examples to mention. What happened in Maimi is the merest drop in the bucket of government thugs with automatic weapons breaking down doors and terrorizing unarmed citizens.
Do we have a free press? No — we have a State-controlled, if not State-owned, press. The mainstream media has proven itself time and time again to be the public relations branch of the government. That could not possibly be more clear than in this case of Elian Gonzalez. America is one of the most heavily propagandized countries on the planet. Otherwise, Americans might revert to their former honorable curmudgeonly selves.
What's all the fuss about Elian staying in America, or returning to Cuba? If you are still under the hypnotic delusion that America is a "free" country, then remember that the most fully enslaved are those who think they are free.
Are Americans free? Well, for now, free to emigrate, although it can be risky trying to take your money with you. I hear Costa Rica's nice. I might even consider Somalia, myself. Hell, Somalia doesn't even have a government — a sure selling point with me! See you in Mogadishu!
April 29, 2000
Patricia Neill is managing editor of a scholarly journal on the life and work of William Blake, the 18th-century artist and poet.
© 2000 by Patricia Neill