For the past six years the evangelical fascists attempting a somewhat ‘bloodless’ coup d’état to force a Christian theocracy on America have, with the Papal-5 on the Supreme Court, made the 1st Amendment their fascist religious tyranny weapon of choice . However, there is much more to the 1st Amendment than a distorted means of “cramming” Christianity’s fascist underpinnings down all Americans’ throats. Likely, the Constitution’s Framers never imagined a plainly worded amendment could be so blatantly distorted, or abused, to deny Americans their rights, but this is 21st Century America and in conservative circles not only is fascism very much in vogue, it has become Republican politicians’ raison d’être.
Literate, semi-educated, Americans may be aware that the 1st Amendment not only deals with religion, and is supposed to guarantee the right of Americans to be free from religious tyranny, it also plainly says that the government is forbidden from making a “law abridging the freedom of speech…or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” It is such a simple declaration of Americans’ rights, but in 2011 a fascist Republican governor in Wisconsin, one Koch puppet named Scott Walker, concluded that the First Amendment did not exist except for religious tyranny. In Walker’s mind, Wisconsin residents did not warrant 1st Amendment protections of “freedom of speech,” or the “right peaceably to assemble,” or “to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”
Denying those basic rights is the mark of a fascist dictator. When that fascist punished peaceable protestors assembling to seek redress of their grievances, using their 1st Amendment “freedom of speech,” by having them seized, arrested, and incarcerated, it was a violation of the Constitution according to a Wisconsin Judge. Now, it appears that the fascist’s actions denying Wisconsin residents their 1st Amendment rights is going to cost Wisconsin taxpayers upwards of one million dollars in damages and attorney fees; all because Scott Walker could not countenance the outrage of tens-of-thousands of Wisconsinites protesting his assault on school teachers livelihood.
Maybe some Americans recall that four years ago when Scott Walker sought to eliminate Wisconsin public workers’ right to bargain collectively, Wisconsin residents peaceably protested and sought redress of their grievances. Walker’s response, typical of a fascist unaccustomed to being challenged, was to have many protestors arrested and fined for exercising their 1st Amendment rights; something Dane County Judge Frank Remington ruled was unconstitutional and order Wisconsin to pay damages and attorney fees for the first six protestors with the wherewithal to take Walker to court “for redress of grievances.”
Apparently when the Wisconsin Capitol police arrested the protestors it was for failing to have a permit to hold a sign on state property. The lawyer representing the six protestors challenged the legality of the code, and the lawfulness of the arrests” at the state finally admitted that the bizarre rule was the issue; a rule that Judge Remington said was, like the arrests, patently unconstitutional and violated the protestors’ civil rights. That fascist violation cost Wisconsin taxpayers $45,000 and according to the lawyer representing the six, “it is just the tip of the iceberg.”
The lawyer, Jeff Scott Olson, said that anyone arrested under that administrative rule could file a claim, including the Solidarity Singers who were arrested and cited for singing without a permit; a rule an appeals court in January ruled was also unconstitutional. Olson estimated that hundreds of protestors are likely eligible for taxpayer-funded awards as a result of the court rulings that Scott Walker’s fascism was unconstitutional. As Olson noted, “Wisconsin taxpayers are paying the bill for the bad tactics of the people they chose to be their leaders. There’s a better way to deal with mass civil disobedience and mass protests than to arrest and cite hundreds of people under unconstitutional rules.” If conservatives had their way, being unconstitutionally arrested, cited, and fined would be the least of the protestors’ problems. In fact, a conservative think tank believes that Scott Walker and the Republican Wisconsin legislature are the victims and should be compensated by the protestors because apparently exercising First Amendment rights is reserved for teabaggers and evangelical fanatics.
In an article on a conservative belief tank, the McIver Institute, website, a conservative bemoaned Judge Remington’s ruling and demeaned the protestors for daring to claim that “their liberty was threatened when they were wrongfully arrested.” The McIver Institute Director of Communications, Nick Novak, was angry that the six protestors claimed being arrested caused them embarrassment, created difficulties finding a job, and fostered a negative stigma in their personal records that will follow them for the rest of their lives. The real victims who deserved reparations, according to the belief tank advocating the Kochs’ free markets, individual freedom, personal responsibility and limited government, were “multiple Republican legislators that were harassed in the halls of the capitol and the governor who was routinely compared to Adolf Hitler.”
There is an idiom attributed to Whitcomb Riley, “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck.” The idiom means that something, in this case fascist Scott Walker, is probably exactly what he seemed to be and the protestors accurately trusted their assessment of Walker’s actions being exactly like Adolf Hitler for his attempt to abolish unions and ordering the arrest of protestors exercising their Constitutionally-protected freedom to assemble peaceably to seek redress of their grievance against a Koch puppet acting like Hitler; actions that have already cost Wisconsin taxpayers $45,000 with another $1 million on the near horizon. One thought the people of Wisconsin would reconsider their electoral support of a Koch fascist like Scott Walker after his assault on public employees and protestors, but obviously they like the idea their hard-earned tax dollars going to compensate the victims of a fascist like Walker.
Audio engineer and instructor for SAE. Writes op/ed commentary supporting Secular Humanist causes, and exposing suppression of women, the poor, and minorities. An advocate for freedom of religion and particularly, freedom of NO religion.
Born in the South, raised in the Mid-West and California for a well-rounded view of America; it doesn’t look good.
Former minister, lifelong musician, Mahayana Zen-Buddhist.