"There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate, they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.” - George Orwell 1984
The idea of the Thought Police originated in Orwell’s 1948 novel, 1984, where the government – in a dystopian future – prohibits certain types of speech.
I know there are those in America who believe that we should have hate speech laws prohibiting making hurtful statements concerning minorities and segments of the population, giving them special protection under the law.
Is it right to prosecute a person for what they think and give voice to? Is that not what hate speech laws would amount to?
While I dislike the hurtful statements as much as anybody, I vehemently disagree with passing any law that outlaws any speech except slander or yelling fire in a crowded theater. Once we start down that road, there are no stop signs between here and totalitarianism.
Does anybody believe that power hungry politicians would not use such legislation to their advantage and would seek to expand and proliferate it to snatch away more and more of our freedom of speech?
Is this not what every dictator does? They stifle free speech and instill fear to the point that ideas that do not coincide with the government's are met with suppression and force and eventually the midnight knock on the door.
In a dictatorship, fear is the coin of the realm, and a fearful population is nothing more than a herd of sheep moved in any direction at the whim of he who holds the whip. And they will conform to almost any doctrine just to keep themselves and their families out of the gulag.
I know there are many of you reading this who think it’s preposterous to even suggest that this could happen in America. Well a few short years ago those same people would have thought it preposterous to think that America would pass laws instituting hate crimes.
Why do some people deserve more consideration and protection under the law than others?
Should murder and abuse against ordinary citizens not be just as rigorously pursued and punished as for those covered under the hate crime laws and vice versa?
How can you define a hate crime?
Is someone who kills a gay person or an African American guiltier of murder than someone who kills a straight person or a white person?
And is someone who insults minorities – as disgusting and sickening as it may be – held to a different standard than one who insults majorities?
And what about abortionists and those who support abortion?
They are responsible for more suffering and death in one year than all the so-called hate crimes that have been committed in the last century. And it's always the same group – unborn babies – who they say are less than human and have no rights whatsoever. Could that not be construed as hate speech by those of us who believe a fetus is a human being?
And what about the hateful statements made against Christians and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Could that not constitute hate speech?
There is no end, no stopping place and no sanity once we head down this path, just a steady erosion of our freedoms.
This is a dangerous direction. So far, cooler heads have prevailed, and we have steered clear of this shipwreck.
But there are those who would like nothing better than saddling America with this unnecessary burden, and in a nation where much of the population equates racism with criticizing the politics of a black president, the prospect is pretty scary.
What do you think?
Pray for our troops and the peace of Jerusalem.
God Bless America
Charlie Daniels is a legendary American singer, song writer, guitarist, and fiddler famous for his contributions to country and southern rock music. Daniels has been active as a singer since the early 1950s. He was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry on January 24, 2008.