Sunday, February 3, 2008

Won't Get Fooled Again

We'll be fighting in the streets
With our children at our feet
And the morals when they worship will be gone
And the men who spurred us on
Sit in judgement of all wrong
They decide and the shotgun sings the song

I'll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around
Pick up my guitar and play
Just like yesterday
Then I'll get on my knees and pray
We don't get fooled again

The Who

Friday, Feburary 1 2007 - Indiana Statehouse

A crowd had gathered to attend a rally that had ostensibly been organized to promote the efforts to repeal property taxes. The sponsering organization, Advance America, and its founder, Eric Miller, have been among the leading voices in the tax repeal movement. But, Advance America, has, in my opinion, a darker, more sinister side. Under the guise of protecting "family values", Advance America has an agenda that would restrict personal liberty, subvert the Bill of Rights, and regulate some citizens of this state to second class status.

Even so, I was glad when they weighed in on the side of tax reform. It was, for me, a situation similar to that faced by Winston Churchill, a dedicated foe of Communism, when Hitler's Germany invaded the Soviet Union. Churchill at the time remarked on his new ally, "If Hitler invaded hell I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons. "

It has often been said, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend". This is not always true. Sometimes, the enemy of my enemy can be a useful ally, but if that ally has his own agenda that ultimately is incompatable with our own belief structure and values, then that alliance must be vigilently monitored. This is most vividly illustrated by another quote from Sir Winston. After the war, Stalin had reneged on his guarantees of free elections in the counties that became known as the Eastern Block, and Churchill described it in his customary elequent way, "From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic an iron curtain has descended across the Continent."

Thus, Friday's rally at the stathouse became one in which the emphesis was shifted from tax repeal to support for the amendment banning "Gay Marriage", which goes far beyond that in its scope. An attempt to protest the change of direction away from taxes was shouted down. With "friends" like these, it is doubtful that any real momentum on repeal is possible. Even reform is in jeopardy as the elected minions of Mr. Miller have introduced amendments to bills that would make them unpalitable and unpassable. The alliance crafted to fight an unfair tax is in danger of splitting apart much to the delight of those politicians who think that they know, more than we, what is best for us.

I call upon all men and women of men and women of good conscience must do what they feel is correct, even if it hurts us economically. To do anything else is cowardice. Remember:

First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Communist,
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up, because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up, because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak up for me.

Variation on a poem attributed to Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)
If the alliance is fractured, it is solely the responsibility of Advance America and it's leader Eric Miller for trying to bind these two issues together.


Anonymous said...

AMEN to you, sir! I too have been extremely uneasy with Mr. Miller's involvement. I simply could not believe he would seriously shift his focus away from his long-time agenda of bigotry. I fear that we who are sincerely fighting for the rights of ALL citizens have been hijacked, and we need to close ranks and make it clear that we will not be part of his agenda.

Melyssa said...

Thank you for writing this Ed. I was very disturbed by Friday's rally. I've watched Miller for a few years and my gut tells me he would sell out property tax repeal (and the activists working for it) in a heart beat, if it meant he could advance the marriage amendment agenda.

His self-righteous crowd stood and cheered for the marriage amendment. Their animation was less so for property tax repeal.

It seems likely Miller has hitched up and is attempting to hijack property tax anger to his judgement of gays.

Eclecticvibe said...

Thanks Ed! I heard some of the tax crowd actually booed when Miller started spewing the bigotry. I'm glad that people can separate the two issue, and I appreciate that you took the time to write about it.