By DAN BEGLEY
In the spring of 2011 our family traveled to the United Kingdom to visit relatives living there, taking advantage of the opportunity to see as many ancient landmarks as possible. The trip was memorable and a few places really stood out, reminding me of how great my own country isfor many reasons.
Propaganda campaigns used by the ruling class on its own people are nothing new, and while visiting Scotland we learned much about how King Edward I deployed the technique when dealing with William Wallace. A great leader and a genius in tactical warfare, Wallace had caused embarrassment to the King in a humanitarian effort to free his native Scotland from English tyranny. The Scots hadn't had much success until Wallace came along, deep into the struggle. After a number of years, Wallace was eventually betrayed and arrested by the Crown, and for three weeks following the arrest he was paraded in chains through villages in the English countryside. He would likely have been unknown to villagers had they not been prepped for his arrival by the Kings' criers.
Comparable to today's media, these propaganda ministers preceded Wallace into every village, spreading lies to the citizenry and creating a target for violence. Wallace became known as a Satan-worshipping, baby-eating monster, not the liberty seeking freedom fighter he actually had been. After being declared the mortal enemy of the crown, people were obliged to show "support" for their King by mercilessly tormenting Wallace when he was brought to their village. For many days and nights, Wallace was pelted with rotten food, rocks and stones, and for good measure, animal and human feces. He was also clubbed and spit on by this organized mob.
The English believed they were doing it for the good of God and country as they had been deceptively convinced that Wallace was the most evil human on earth. Wallace was finally delivered to London for a spectacle trial and was convicted of treason after just 15 minutes. Wallace was then handed over to another frenzied mob of thousands gathered in front of Westminster Abbey. For hours he was dragged through the crowd where he was bludgeoned, kicked, and beaten to a pulp. The royal guard finally carried Wallace to the huge platform the king had built for the occasion where they put a rope around his neck and then hoisted him some 40 feet in the air. On the verge of death, the rope was cut and Wallace plunged to the platform, breaking both legs severely. He was then stripped and tied to a table, where his male body parts were peeled from him. As he was gushing bloodthe removed flesh was rammed into his mouth, breaking his teeth. Moments later he was disemboweled like a fish and his organs pulled out and raised up to his eyes to be shown to him. The last thing Wallace saw and smelled were his own body parts being thrown onto an open fire. After he died, the King had Wallace's head removed and dunked in a bucket of tar, then stuck on a tall pole as a trophy. The headless body was quartered and the parts were sent to each of the four corners of England as a warning to all subjects to refrain from treasonous acts, and a reminder that only the King can decide what constitutes treason.
The Wallace legacy is used here to illustrate a point. We have accomplished a great deal in the short history of this country. Most important, certainly, was the creation of the Constitution which provides for the preservation of our liberty, and protection from tyranny. When the ruling class, whether it is one man or many, obtains too much power, we are all in danger. In the past decade we have seen a consolidation of power in all branches of government that has been unprecedented.
Consider the following as proof: Up to 70% of Americans are against the Affordable Care Act, but it will be implemented anyway because a single Supreme Court Justice labeled the individual mandate a tax, "theorizing" that would make it constitutional. Not one of the eight other judges agreed with him. In addition, we have a Justice Department that is run amok, placing themselves above the law while being backed up by the White House. Don't overlook the weak, ineffective and gutless Congress, divided along party lines, concerned only with self-preservation.
Most, if not all, tyrannical regimes or governments capitalize on the help of "enablers" or helpers who work to give up control by the people, resulting in control of the people. We are there. Enablers, who believe that the health care bill is "right", either must not realize what has been sacrificed to enact it, or they don't care.
All Americans, regardless of party, are losing control of government. We have been divided and ultimately ignored. Our division is allowing politicians and bureaucrats to flourish because it is much easier for them to deceive us when we are focused on each other, and not on them.
For the group of people who rationalize they will be protected by helping tyrants gain power. freedom ends the same way for them. feeling the boots of those they helped on their necks, firmly pushing their faces into the mud.
King Edward I got his villagers focused on William Wallace, causing them to release the anger and frustration of oppression on someone other than those actually oppressing them. We need to avoid this fate and return the government to the people and move away from those who are stealing liberty. The continuous, deceptive re-interpretation of our Constitution has to cease.
We obviously can't depend on anyone but ourselves, nor can we fall prey to distractions. We don't have the luxury of time, as so much of it has been wasted already. Savor the Independence Day just past. We may not get many more.
Begley, of Loyalsock Township, works in Maryland, Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia with government contractors and is a longtime political observer.