A Chill Wind Is Blowing Through This Nation

Originally Published at The Minority Report

While I feel certain that actor Tim Robbins is equally as dissatisfied with the erosion of personal liberties under the Obama Administration as he was under the Bush Administration, he has not been afforded the opportunity to express those concerns before a national audience. That is an oversight that must be rectified. Here are his words — exactly as, I am sure, he would deliver them if he were given the chance.

National Press Club — Washington, DC — April 15, 2003

“A chill wind is blowing in this nation. A message is being sent through the White House and its allies… If you oppose this administration, there can and will be ramifications.

And in the midst of all this madness, where is the political opposition?… We need leaders, not pragmatists that cower before the spin zones of former entertainment journalists. We need leaders who can understand the Constitution…

The journalists in this country can battle back at those who would rewrite our Constitution… You have, whether you like it or not, an awesome responsibility and an awesome power: the fate of discourse, the health of this republic is in your hands, whether you write on the left or the right. This is your time, and the destiny you have chosen.

We lay the continuance of our democracy on your desks, and count on your pens to be mightier. Millions are watching and waiting in mute frustration and hope – hoping for someone to defend the spirit and letter of our Constitution, and to defy the intimidation that is visited upon us daily…

Our ability to disagree, and our inherent right to question our leaders and criticize their actions define who we are. To allow those rights to be taken away out of fear, to punish people for their beliefs, to limit access in the news media to differing opinions is to acknowledge our democracy’s defeat…”

You tell them, Tim!

Hillary Clinton said it best…

“I am sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and you disagree with this administration, somehow you’re not patriotic, and we should stand up and say, ‘WE ARE AMERICANS AND WE HAVE A RIGHT TO DEBATE AND DISAGREE WITH ANY ADMINISTRATION!’”