Imagine a nation where the president of that country recruits thousands of supporters who are willing to inform on anyone who opposes his plans. What would such a nation be like?
Perhaps you are envisioning a backwards third world nation that is ruled by a totalitarian dictator dressed up in a funny looking military uniform.
But that it not what we are talking about.
We are talking about the United States of America.
On the official website of the White House, the Obama administration is asking supporters to inform them of anything they see or hear that is "fishy" - even if it is in casual conversation with their own family and friends:
"There is a lot of disinformation about health insurance reform out there, spanning from control of personal finances to end of life care. These rumors often travel just below the surface via chain emails or through casual conversation. Since we can’t keep track of all of them here at the White House, we’re asking for your help. If you get an email or see something on the web about health insurance reform that seems fishy, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org."
Since when did it become okay for the White House to ask people to "inform" on others?
Is this the United States of America or is this Nazi Germany?
Senator John Cornyn of Texas was so disturbed when he heard about this that he actually sent a letter to Obama. Cornyn correctly recognized that this type of "flagging" of individual citizens sets a very dangerous precedent:
"By requesting that citizens send 'fishy' emails to the White House, it is inevitable that the names, email addresses, IP addresses, and private speech of U.S. citizens will be reported to the White House."
But Cornyn was is not the only member of Congress that is extremely concerned.
"If you get an e-mail from your neighbor and it doesn't sound right, send it to the White House?" Fox News quotes Senator John Barasso from Wyoming as saying. "People, I think all across America are going to say is this 1984? What is happening here? Is big brother watching?"
The sad thing is it appears that these concerns are more than warranted. Already some Democratic activists have been more than eager to "flag" even their own family and friends.
Just consider the following quotes from the Democratic Underground website.....
"Just sent one from my whackadoo cousin"
"Forwarded her msg to the flag email address while I copied her on it....BURN!"
"I turned in my sister. That felt good."
Here are some more quotes from another location on that same Democratic website.....
"Enough of the talk...we need to get busy and start putting together a databank of healthcare opponents."
"I sent in two flags and found two others to send in flags as well."
"The more reports sent to the White House the better!"
The United States was supposed to be the one nation where this kind of thing could never happen.
America was supposed to be the home of the good guys - the ones fighting the tyranny of Nazi Germany and the U.S.S.R.
But if we start informing on one another and helping our leaders compile "enemies lists", then what does that say about us?
The hour is late my friends.