I’m currently reading a book that contains a story about the Alien and Sedition Act of 1798. The Federalist Party was responsible for this piece of legislation that was signed by John Adams. It made it a crime to publish false, scandalous and malicious writings against the government or its officials. Several prominent newspaper editors, at the time, were sent to jail.
Jefferson denounced the Sedition Act as a violation of the 1st Amendment which protected the right of free speech. When Jefferson was elected he set the folks free who had been imprisoned by this harsh law. Some folks were about to be deported because of the law, but I don’t think this ever happened.
If we had such a law today, about 75% of our citizens would be in jail. Everyone is bad-mouthing poor Bush. Newsmen like Dan Rather and most everyone on the CNN staff would be on death row. A lot of our movies stars, who run over seas and coddle dictators and enemies of our country, would be deported. An ex-president might be included in this bunch.
When I was a kid we never thought of saying anything bad about Roosevelt of Truman. Even when Truman okayed the dropping of the atomic bomb, this was fine. Today he would be crucified. The badmouthing of presidents by the news media really took off with Lyndon Johnson and the Viet Nam War. I remember this really heated up after the Tet Offensive in the Viet Nam War. We won that onslaught by North Viet Nam, and with the bombing of Hanoi, it is now known that North Viet Nam was about to surrender.. The American public heard a different story and the news media turned the tide of the war in favor of North Viet Nam and brought down a president.
I am opposed to the Iraq War based on what I hear in the news. I am also most concerned about the economy and that the war is responsible for much of our current misery. I just wish I knew the real facts, but it will take years and history to reveal the truth. The overall problem may be much bigger than Bush and my conspiracy theory may prove to be right. As much as I loved Thomas Jefferson through the years, it is now evident that he was somewhat of a jerk and also bedded down one of his slaves. Boy, would the press have a big time with that one.
All I can do is sit on the porch and read my history books. I will just keep the TV off and maybe someday my grandkids will be able to understand what is happening today as they sit on the porch and read history. Just hope they can afford to have that luxury that I now enjoy.