Saturday, March 7, 2009


First they came for the Communists,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up,
because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me,
and by that time there was no one
left to speak up for me.

by Rev. Martin Niemoller, 1945

These immortal words were spoken in response to the Nazi regime of Adolf Hitler. It was intended as a warning that when atrocities were going on, being complacent because it did not specifically affect you was only a means of empowering those who would do evil. And that sooner or later, whatever evil was begetted upon others could easily be directed toward oneself. So why is it that over a half century later, we as a people can still sit back and say that what is happening in places like Montana is none of their concern?

Benjamin Franklin said something similar: "Let us all hang together, or surely we shall all hang separately." That lesson is over two centuries old, and still the lesson has not been learned.

We as a people must take a stand. We must say that we will not permit this kind of atrocity to continue. We as a people must stand together or we shall all surely fall. It is the lesson of history. Can one person afford to stand by and let others be victimized by a corrupt regime simply because they do not wish to get involved? Historically, the answer is no. But then again, what do modern Americans need to learn from history, eh?

The next time you complain about taxes or a new law or even a politician, ask yourself: does it matter? Liberties are eroded in small increments, not in overwhelmingly obvious ways. What starts today in Montana with deprivation of simple civil liberties will spread to other states and even to the federal government. It has already. The question is, at what point will anyone take a stand? When is the final straw broken, when is the final line crossed? Will it be today when we at least have a hope of turning back the tide, or will it be tomorrow when the opportunities of today are lost to us?

I am an enemy of the state because I stood up to these people. And I did it alone. And I will continue to stand up to these people until the day I die. But I cannot accomplish anything alone. I need unity, I need strength of numbers. In essence, I need you to care.

So I ask you - Can you care?

Ron Glick

Political Prisoner since 2004

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