Saturday, May 27, 2006

Speaking Truth to Power. A Memorial Day Essay

"Fearlessness has a new name -- and it's Jean Sara Rohe."

So begins Arrianna Huffington in one of her many glowing tributes to the New York's New School graduate who managed to sideswipe (not really ambush) Senator John McCain who had been invited to give the Commencement Address for the 2006 Graduating Class. LINK TO ARRIANNA'S POST: CLICK HERE.

The entire Huffington Post roster of Hollywood glitterati has fallen head over heals in love with Jean Sara. She is, beyond doubt, a modern day Joan of Arc, both a prophet and a fearless leader.

It's as if Jean Sara had handily won the liberal politicos version of American Idol. And it only took one performance on stage.

If you would like to read Jean Sara Rohe's commencement speech and her reasons for making the speech, just read her guest blog entry in The Huffington Post. LINK: CLICK HERE

I am not going to comment on Jean Sara's remarks or her reasoning for making them. That isn't my point and I believe you can read her remarks and "decide for yourself."

But what I find absolutely astonishing and worthy of comment is the recent gushing of praise from the press, professional commentators and bloggers that Jean Sara and others should be lionized for bravery for speaking out publicly to an elected official in the United States.

Stephen Colbert has been similarly praised for his recent White House Correspondent's Dinner appearance. And of course, the bravest of all is Cindy Sheehan.

Today's catch phrase is "Speaking Truth to Power."

Huffington writes, "With the Senator, and likely 2008 presidential candidate, seated just a few feet away (shades of Stephen Colbert taking on Bush), Rohe said, 'The senator does not reflect the ideals upon which this university was founded,' drawing cheers from the crowd."

"Can you imagine the courage that took? Not just to speak truth to power, but to do so in such a personal and public way?"

Actually, Arrianna, it took almost no courage at all. Not an ounce.

Jean Sara spoke to a very friendly audience and told them exactly what they wanted to hear. Her speech was met with "cheers from the crowd."

It might have taken an ounce of bravery to support McCain and support the Iraq war in front of that audience. The students would have booed her and turn their backs on her and tried to silence her. There would have been editorials against her in the student newspapers. Petitions would have been filed to keep her from exercising her rights to free speech. She would have been ostracized, a pariah on her own campus.

In other words, she might have been treated like John McCain.

And, likewise, it took no courage for Stephen Colbert to fulfill his appointed duties as the main speaker at the correspondent's dinner. Nor did that stint require any talent or humor, but I digress.

And what little courage it might have taken for Cindy Sheehan to begin her quest, it took almost none to continue it as she was surrounded by supporters, then sheltered and finally manipulated into becoming a spokesperson for the bizarre anti-corporate anti-Semitic conspiracy wing of the liberal movement.

No, it takes no courage at all to "speak truth to power" here in the United States. Jean Sara will go on to a great job, a better job because she did speak out. She has already become a left wing folk hero.

Stephen Colbert took no risks in turning his keynote speech into a diatribe against the President. There was absolutely no risk that he would disappear in the dark of night. A jail term was never a risk. Torture was out of the question.

Cindy Sheehan held a massive protest rally outside the President's Ranch in Texas for six full weeks. The only risk she took was the risk of sunburn.

Frankly it takes a hell of a lot more courage for Ann Coulter to speak at any of the Universities that idolize Jean Sara Rohe. Ann faces real physical risk. With courage and humor I might add.

This isn't Iran. It's certainly not Saddam's Iraq. This isn't North Korea. Or communist China. It's not the Sudan. Or Darfur. Or Saudi Arabia. Bravery is speaking truth to power in one of those places.

Compare the bravery of USA's Jean Sara Rohe to China's Hao Wu.

Hao had a blog called Beijing or Bust in which he wrote under the pseudonym of Beijing Loafer. He was also the North-East Asia editor of the website Global Voices, to which he contributed under the name of Tian Yi.

Hao was arrested on 22 February while preparing a report on China's underground protestant churches. According to the Chinese authorities, Hao is currently under "house arrest." He cannot receive visits or telephone his family. He has been denied access to a lawyer. The Chinese government is also still refusing to tell him or anyone why he has been arrested. LINK: CLICK HERE

But the good news for Hao is that he is not alone. Telling truth to power virtually always results in a jail term on China. At least for the lucky truth tellers. The rest disappear forever.

This Memorial Day we pay tribute to those who have gone before us. We will honor those who fought for our right to speak "Truth to Power" in complete safety, without fear, without the need for bravery. Thank goodness we have those rights.

So let's pay tribute to Jean Sara Rohe for she is a living example of the freedom, respect and honor with which the United States treats it's protestors. Through Jean Sara we can see that our veterans and all those who came before us built a great nation where we can all speak truth to power.


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Wizard Radio has a big Memorial Day Special, all day, May 29, 2006. Wizard Radio can be heard on any Interent connection, world wide. There will be several Memorial Day tributes to our soldiers and all those who can before us in building this great nation. Patriotic music and Americana will be woven into a most enjoyable tapestry of eclectic music that is the trademark of Wizard Radio. From Jimmy Buffett to The Beach Boys to New Orleans style jazz, Wizard Radio brings you the perfect soundtrack for the kickoff to summer. I hope you'll join us. TO LISTEN TO WIZARD RADIO : CLICK HERE

2 comments:

Wandering Scrybe said...

"I almost wanted to warn the guy that I was about to make him look like an idiot..." [http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jean-rohe/why-i-spoke-up_b_21358.html}

It's when people resort to personal attacks that politics cease to work. She's not really taking a stance against McCain's ideals, or anyone's ideals. She's just trying to make herself look smart. Has politics really degraded so much that both parties and the press have to latch onto pseudo intellectuals? And I say "pseudo" because, again, she isn't setting out to debate ideals as philosophers do, but to crush individuals in muck-raker fashion. There are no heros in inter-personal wars, so characters like this girl are made up to be heros to fill the void.

the WIZARD, fkap said...

vindication, You make a really excellent point, one that I haven't read elsewhere.

Thanks for the post....


the Wizard.............