Rights? What Rights?

By Linda A. Prussen-Razzano

Featured Rightgrrl April 1999
March 19, 1999

The Founding Fathers were expressly concerned about protecting the individual against abuses by the government. Under English law, those things commonly referred to as "rights" were instead "privileges," which could be withdrawn under Royal decree. In order to secure these "rights," the Founding Fathers specifically designated them as such, and enumerated them clearly in the Amendments to the Constitution.

But then again, our Founding Fathers lived in a time when words meant things. Parsing of words, per se, was left to the charlatans.

Let us revisit the First Amendment, the language of which is expressive, and the intent of which remains unclouded despite the passing of time:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion; or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of the speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

According to this Amendment, we, as everyday folks, should understand our rights as follows:

  1. We have the right to religious expression, even in the presence of those who don't believe our views.
  2. We have the right to speak our minds, even when our views or thoughts are unpopular.
  3. We have the right to print news in an unbiased and truthful manner, even when it's unflattering to the government.
  4. We have a right to assemble in a peaceful manner, for whatever reason we choose.
  5. We have a right to call on government for change, especially if they are doing something that offends our will or violates our rights.
Now let me share with you a true story of how our President has directly violated the rights of several citizens.

On March 12, 1999, President Clinton went to Texarkana, Texas, my home state, to attend several fundraisers for Representative Max Sandlin. Folks from the popular political web site, FreeRepublic.com, outraged by his political machinations and the recent allegations of rape, planned to stage a peaceful protest. They would exercise the right to free speech by calling for his resignation; they would exercise the right to peacefully assemble by being in full view on the public right-of-way outside the hotel; they would petition for redress of grievances (certainly, the tainted blood scandal and illegal transfer of launch technology to Communist China, to name a few, are grievances); and they would encourage freedom of the press by revealing that not everyone on the evening's broadcast adored the President or thought he had a high job-approval rating.

These protestors, however, were not allowed to be present when the cameras rolled. They were reluctantly escorted by apologetic local police, under orders from the SS (Secret Service), to the back of the hotel and kept behind a chain-link fence topped with barbwire. When the Clinton entourage pulled into view of the rolling cameras, only several adoring Clinton fans were present.

One protestor, who wanted to document this mistreatment and violation of their rights, came out from behind the barbwire to take a photograph. He was immediately seized by the SS and questioned.

Protestors had also been invited to gather on private property across from Truman Arnold's ranch, Clinton's next destination on the fund-raising trail. Despite being invited by the property owner, despite their intended placement on private property, they were stopped before reaching the land by the local sheriff's office and reportedly told, "We cannot guarantee your safety." It was alleged that government snipers would, if provoked, shoot people who were perceived as a threat to the President.

Having attended and spoken at a protest in December hosted by the local Texas Free Republic chapter, having personally met several members, and joined with many fellow "Freepers" to support pro-life advocate Dr. Alan Keyes' campaign, the only perceived "threat" these people posted was the exposure of THE TRUTH.

Who is responsible for this vicious, anti-American policy of silencing Clinton detractors? Recent reports suggest none other than alleged perjurer, Sidney Blumenthal, Clinton's henchman and mouthpiece of the "Monica's-A-Deranged-Stalker" smear campaign.

Does this have Clinton's sticky prints on it, too? From a man who uses and abuses those around him, lies repeatedly to any and all, does whatever is absolutely necessary to remain politically solvent, has a proven track-record of ignoring the rights of the unborn, has presumably hired goons to dig up dirt and shake down witnesses against him…the answer is clear.

People should have recognized the danger in allowing R.I.C.O. laws to be used against pro-life protestors. They should have screamed, raged, and thrown everyone involved out on their political keester during the next election cycle.

Aktion! Free Republic…in a time when the SS can be used like Hilter's Schutzstaffel; when peaceful protestors, exercising their First Amendment rights, are herded to stand, in a manner eerily reminiscent of the Konzentrations-Lager, behind fences topped with barbwire; in a time when expressing patriotic sentiment can be viewed as a "threat" to the most despicable President ever to inhabit the White House; I fear the days of your freedoms, and the freedoms of all of us, are now numbered.

Related Stories at Capital Hill Blue and Washington Times

This article copyright © 1999 by Linda A. Prussen-Razzano and may not be reproduced in any form without the express written consent of its author. All rights reserved.