Monday, February 20, 2006

Essential Liberty, Temporary Safety

A few weeks ago, some lefties showed up at a protest rally with a banner misquoting Benjamin Franklin on the subject of liberty and safety. Of course, some of the folks on the right took umbrage, and, in fact, posted the corrected quotation on their blogs, mostly taking issue with the twisting of a perfectly good idea for a weak political agenda. Be that as it may, I'd like to revive that little quotation from the good Mister Franklin, today, just for the weak-kneed media:

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

When you self-censor, or surrender to censorship, because you don't want to make waves -- even though that which you are refusing to publish is valid and newsworthy -- then Mister Franklin has you pegged. You may as well close your doors and go home. You are no longer deserving of that freedom of the press you so highly tout, since you chose to toss it aside in favor of a temporary safety against fanatics. You gave them all the power, and now you are only safe for as long as they decide they want you to be.

Truth may cause you some personal risk, from those who would suppress it. But truth has a way of setting you free, of keeping you safe, in a way that the jihad protection racket will never have to offer. If you are willing to stand up for the right to speak your mind, there will likely be others to come to your rescue... which brings us to the other old saying:

A coward dies a thousand deaths, a brave man only one.

Stick up for your own freedom, or fear every shadow.

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