I couldn't help but read in the recent assassination of Russian dissident Boris Nemtsov (a former first deputy prime minister under Boris Yeltsin), a chilling glimpse of what might come to pass in our own country.
I'm a voracious reader of history and it's long struck me that the more you read of the past, you realize the same patterns tend to repeat themselves. For example, in the run-up to the American Revolutionary War, the British could not fathom the idea that the Founding Fathers could negotiate with them on an equal basis. It seems that even in the eighteenth century there were those who believed that to recognize both sides of an issue was an example of "false balance."
In much the same way, the white minority in South Africa, labeled Nelson Mandela a "terrorist" for many years until they finally listened to the better angels of their nature and started to negotiate a peaceful transition of power. Today the Chinese level similar accusations against the Dalai Lama and his struggle for Tibetan rights. Am I the only one to see in these situations the creation of an "enemy" who cannot be allowed to peacefully state their case?
If there's something unique about the American character it's our tolerance and even welcoming of dissenting views. Our Founding Fathers realized that simply because people disagreed, it did not make them an enemy. Indeed, I have long been impressed how even though John Adams disagreed on many important philosophical points with Thomas Jefferson, he still wanted Jefferson in his cabinet because he was impressed with Jefferson's intelligence and character. If the thinkers of the Enlightenment gave anything to the American Revolution it was the idea that as human beings alive on this planet none of us has divine understanding or wisdom. We do the best we can with our limited knowledge. No man is God. In as much as possible of human life there must be a space for people to make their own decisions, no matter how much we may disagree with them.
The Founding Fathers would have been appalled at the suggestion that children be taken away from their parents to perform a medical procedure upon them with which their parents disagreed. They would be appalled at the suggestion that the home addresses of people who disagree with vaccinations be published. And probably most of all, they would violently disagree with a creation so vile as the so-called Vaccine Court, which takes away long-cherished rights from the American public and hands them over to the pharmaceutical industry and the government which supports them.
Think of the vileness of a system which allows an industry to keep documents relating to the safety of vaccines which are injected into children hidden from the public. Think of the vileness of a system which does not allow "precedent" so that those claiming injury can point to compensated vaccine-injury cases involving autism, like that of Hannah Poling and others. Think of the vileness of a media which enforces a near-blackout on important issues, like Italian court cases finding that the MMR vaccine leads to autism in some children, or refusing to cover the story of Dr. William Thompson, a CDC scientist who has claimed that for the better part of thirteen years the CDC has covered up evidence linking this same vaccine to autism?
I couldn't help but read the recent statement by Russian opposition politician, Gennady Gudkov, "If we can stop the campaign of hate that's being directed at the opposition, then we have a chance to change Russia" and think of our own movement. I can't claim to be an expert in Russia, but it seems that tyrants usually play out of the same rule-book.
Deny that your opponents have valid claims. Deny them access to the press. Vilify them, and if that doesn't work, try and shame them. Can any reasonable person watching what has been unfolding over the past few months in the vaccine issue honestly claim that this is not what has happened?
And when all of that doesn't work, what do the tyrants do? They shoot those who will not bow down before them. I am very scared. I'm starting not to recognize my own country. I pray, and I encourage you to pray as well, that the good American people who have been quiet for so long in this struggle, will finally wake-up and put an end to these injustices.
Kent Heckenlively is a Founding Contributing Editor to Age of Autism and co-author with Dr. Judy Mikovits of Plague: One Scientist's Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Autism, and Other Diseases. Visit his website at Plague The Book. You can order the book HERE.