I’m going to take a break from posts about the police and drug policy today, to briefly discuss the dangers of demonizing the “enemy” and how doing so weakens the Constitution.
Throughout American history, it’s been interesting to watch how the government manipulates the public towards hate during times of war. It’s a bit more natural and organic to have visceral feelings of hate against a country attacking or invading America (though this form of attack is rare in American history). However, even those feelings of hate must be stoked, prodded and framed by the government and the media. It helps the government, when going to war, to have a citizenry that’s fully bought into the war itself. The best way to convince the citizenry to back the war itself is to make the country America is at war with our mortal enemy.
Think about it. The American government would struggle mobilizing the American citizenry to go to war with England today, without some reasonable cause. England would have to attack us or the government would have to find some ideological justification for war and then continue to massage this cause into our minds.
Ideological wars are much more difficult to justify because the enemy is not so much a person or country, but an idea. It’s harder, then, to move a citizenry’s emotions towards hate and anger when the country being fought against poses no direct threat.
Vietnam and Korea are prime examples of this type of ideological warfare. Yet, governments love war. They want the war, so they must keep the citizenry invested by continually demonizing the enemy. War is the perfect jolt for a failing economy and the prime excuse for expanding government power. Truly ask yourself this question. Without all the wars America has been a part of over the centuries, where would our federal government be today?
Here’s the kicker. If the government is able to successfully turn the American citizenry against the opponent in the war, then the government is also able to turn the American citizenry against American citizens who share the same ethnicity as those who in the country America is at war with.
For instance, during WWII, hate and animosity against the Japanese was off the charts. The government likely had little to do to initially spark those the flames of hate because of the nature of the attacks on Pearl Harbor. But the government most definitely had to continually stoke those embers of all hate to keep the American public interested and invested.
With a little research you’ll discover that propagandizing and demonizing that the government and media did of the Japanese during this WWII is truly horrifying. I would put some of the graphics on here, but I think, for the integrity of this blog, I’ll give you the link rather than plaster the images on here. Take a look at this link… this is just one of many examples showing how the government vilified even American Japanese citizens during this time.
That hate mongering led to an American public, so blinded by hate and war, that they either demanded, or turned a blind eye to the government forcefully stripping 700,000 American citizens of their property, livelihood and homes and placed then into internment camps. Why? Because they were of Japanese descent. When they were released years later, almost none were found guilty of anything.
Shall I go through every war or major attack in American history? What of Americans of African descent throughout American history? What of Southerners or Northerners during the Civil War? What about Red Coats during the Revolutionary War? The Germans and Italians during WWII? The Native Americans during many wars throughout American history? How about Soviets or Communist sympathizers during the Cold War? Koreans during the Korean War? Anyone of Arab descent directly following 9/11 and Muslims in general for the years after? How about white people after Dylan Roof killed a group of innocent African American church goers? The “police” after footages of unarmed shootings are released? The un-vaccinated for threatening the livelihood of all mankind? Or most recently, the Russians for invading Ukraine. Should I keep going?
What do all of these groups have in common? Nothing really… other than being demonized and lumped into a whole. The worst atrocities known to man have almost always been done in the name of virtue, where the “good” are justified in eliminating the “bad”. It’s the same trope over and over and over. Identify the “bad guys”, demonize and dehumanize them to the point that stripping them of their rights, their life and their humanity is justified in the minds of the citizenry. This way, when government flexes its muscles against such an enemy, the citizenry applauds, feeling righteous in their genocide. It’s nauseating. The whole time, the citizenry never recognizes that they could be next. If the government can do vilify and justify eliminating one “group”, it can do it to anyone.
The issue is this: anytime government or the media tells us that we are justified in hating or vilifying any group of people, we know we’re going down the wrong path. It doesn’t matter who those people are, if government wants us to operate off of hate towards them, we’re being manipulated to give the government or some other group of people, power.
I say this as a word of warning to every American. Never jump on the hate “this country” bandwagon, especially if such a call is spearheaded by government itself. This new wave of anti-Russian fervor should terrify any lover of liberty and should immediately give us horrifying flashbacks of every historically similar situation in American history (I haven’t even mentioned world history). People are individuals and just because someone shares the same ethnicity, race, religion does not mean that they should be stripped of liberty.
The Constitution exists to protect us from such frivolous, irrational and emotional fits of rage. The Constitution is not arbitrary. The Constitution keeps government in check, regardless of how much they want not stoke to flames of irrational hatred in the citizenry to justify their unconstitutional behavior.
We must never fall for this ruse again. We must always first step back and look at the Constitution. It acknowledges that all men are bad and because of this, all power, whether in the people or government must be limited lest we repeat history, lest we repeat 1942 again and feel justified in doing so.
The Liberty Belle