I try to keep this blog financial. But I was doing some reading this morning and felt I had to share several passages with my followers:
"Propaganda Machine Demanded 100% Americanism"
"Congress passed the Sedition Act, which made it illegal - punishment was 20 years in jail - to utter, print write or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous or abusive language about the government of the United States"
"[Supreme Court]...wrote the opinion calling the Sedition Act constitutional, arguing that the first amendment did not protect speech if the words used... create a clear and present danger."
"In Indiana a jury deliberated two minutes and acquitted a man for murdering an immigrant who yelled, "To Hell with the United States."
"In West Virginia, police forced 118 immigrants to kiss the American flag."
Salt Lake City Tribune asserted, "Free speech has been carried to the point where it is an absolute menace".
Washington Post wrote, "Silence the incendiary advocates of force... Bring the law's hand down... Do it NOW!"
"In Washington state, the local American Legion dragged a man from jail. They beat him, cut off his testicles, then cut off his penis. He begged, For God's sake men, shoot me. Don't let me suffer like this. They hung him from a bridge first, then shot him. The coroner judged it suicide: he jumped off with a rope around his neck and then shot himself full of holes."
Reading this (from an outstanding book (published in 1997), "Rising Tide") I was stunned at the parallels between USA under Woodrow Wilson and current day. It did not last too long, but did hit a fever pitch and got blessing from newspapers, Congress, Supreme Court. It is amazing how Freedom of Speech was quickly taken away.
My point is that we should not take anything for granted. Fear can cause some very extreme group think where principles go out the window pretty quickly.