Letter: Stand up for freedom at home and abroad

Graphic by Lori Deaton

My grandfather emigrated from Lithuania (Russian-controlled) to the United States in 1916. He came here because he did not want to be drafted into the czar’s army and sent as a Jew to the front lines as cannon fodder. He loved this country, America, and he enlisted in the United States Army and was sent to the munitions factories to build poison gas bombs to be dropped on the Germans. There, he got a whiff of mustard gas in service to democracy.

As did my other grandfather, who, at the same time, was in France fighting for our country and got a whiff of mustard gas from a bomb dropped upon the battlefield at Fismes. He had other close calls while, in President Wilson’s words, he and the men fighting to “make the world safe for democracy” marched through the Hindenburg Line and on to victory.

… I wonder what these veterans of World War I would feel about the geopolitical landscape, 100 years hence. They would probably be very confused.

The Russians tried to influence our presidential campaign and many think they succeeded. The president seems to be covering up the investigation. The Russians are trying to help make it look like nothing happened. The people of the United States are held in abeyance to the proceedings in Congress and the special investigator.

Republicans are holding party lines when, quite frankly, they need to be holding international lines and lines of moral decency. For it is immoral to gain power through any possible means. This is what a Faustian bargain looks like.

Ronald Reagan famously said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.” Our generation now finds itself at a vaguely familiar crossroads: in one direction, tyranny, the other, freedom. It is our time to honor those men and women who have fought and died for our country and stand up for freedom, at home and abroad.

— Robert Michel


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One thought on “Letter: Stand up for freedom at home and abroad

  1. The Real World

    Very nice letter, Robert. I am in full agreement about taking a strong stand for freedom. Perhaps, we would not agree as to how freedom is defined or achieved as I couldn’t quite tell from the latter part of your letter.

    No doubt, your ancestors and mine would be confused (and disgusted) by the politics of today. We barely survived the last President and his many manufactured issues and we barely survived the one before him for the same reason but different issues (and the one before him couldn’t control his greed and base inclinations). Not enough Americans have yet figured out that, in the larger scheme, our two primary political parties are just two sides of the same coin and serving the same, unelected masters. More are waking up to this reality but, until most do, it will just be more of this predictable, exhausting, ineffective rigmarole.

    Much of the problem rests squarely at the feet of American citizens; a large number of whom refuse to think for themselves, instead allowing the TV and other media outlets to completely provide them with their “thinking” (i.e. emotional manipulation). I’m embarrassed for them! And given the numerous story retractions and apologies from several legacy media companies — how in the heck does anyone believe anything they publish?? Not to mention the constant stream of manipulated polls put forth in the last election from these same companies. So, if anyone is still acquiring “news” from those sources, shame on them, they are part of the problem.

    Merriam-Webster defines: freedom
    a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action
    b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : independence
    c : the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous

    Whereas, I consider the new President to be a question mark, I feel it exceedingly clear that both Clinton and Sanders would have continued to strip our freedoms so as to allocate ever more power to massive, bureaucratic entities thousands of miles away from most Americans. Having said that, the majority-Republican Congress better get its’ act together and pass some solid, relevant law. They are currently the goose with the golden egg and if they waste that unique opportunity, I can’t see how that won’t bode very poorly for our future freedoms.

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