To anyone who is an observer of the American political system, it’s no secret that discourse can become nasty and personal and is known to dehumanize and demonize adversaries. Typically, individuals who are elected to serve in government and who have historically participated in such nasty behavior are ultimately rendered trivial in the grand scheme of American politics.
However, in 2009 and again in 2012, a new and dangerous political phenomenon emerged with the publication of two Department of Homeland Security(DHS) terrorism reports that are essentially psychological profiles of individual Americans who the DHS considers susceptible to potential recruitment by terrorists. The criteria the DHS based their findings on are frightening, because very mainstream value systems and political beliefs are labeled threatening.
A few of the traits of citizens deemed to be potentially terrorist by the DHS are:
- Citizens that believe in the Second Amendment and the right to own guns.
- Citizens who disagree with the Obama Administration’s immigration policy.
- Returning military veterans, as they are already trained with combat skills.
- Citizens who are nationalists. For example, disagreeing with NAFTA or the WTO would be considered nationalistic.
- Citizens who are suspicious of centralized federal authority. Recall that our Constitution was designed to prevent highly centralized government. The separation of powers is designed to limit the power of the executive branch of our government.
- Groups of people who are reverent of individual liberty are to be considered as potential terrorist recruits. Wasn’t our society founded upon a reverence of individual liberty? Certainly, it was.
It is evident that the DHS is demonizing individuals who merely disagree with the Obama Administration. To bring this dangerous precedent to everyone‘s attention, several concerned citizens—including myself—have organized a meeting to be held on August 14 at the VFW Hall in Winnsboro.
We realize that this is not a problem that can be simply blamed on a political party—Democratic or Republican. Human nature is the same in Democrats as it is in Republicans. Either party could use these same tactics against their political adversaries and if a bad precedent is allowed to stand, it will soon be implemented by both political parties.
The first objective of the meeting will simply be to communicate this matter to our neighbors. Secondly, we will propose a peaceful, yet bold plan of action to bring an end to the government’s new practice of demonizing regular Americans for no good reason.
This is an issue concerning all American citizens and all are invited to attend on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at the VFW Hall on Loop Road in Winnsboro, starting 6 p.m.
Lane Wolleson, a family man with three children raging in ages 9 to 14, is Vice President of Sales at SDT Industries, Inc. in Winnsboro.