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"The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." - John Philpot Curran


The Impending Implosion of Free Republic

When I ran across the following in a post from the founder of FreeRepublic.com, I thought about titling this blog entry "Jim Robinson Finally Grows a Pair":
    And now the stage is being set to place the loss of our rights onto warp speed. The Republican party seems hell bent on nominating a man who will not defend our most basic rights to life and liberty.

    I say that after all that has transpired, after so many of our rights and liberties have been taken away recently, in many cases by Republicans, and after we seem to have lost all control over budgeting and spending, and losses of local control and private property rights and even national defense, national security and national sovereignty, and now they want to take away our most basic right to life and liberty?

    Then what else besides our dignity do we have to lose? If this is not a betrayal of trust then I don't know what is.

    I guess the last line of defense will have to be, "I will not sell my soul to the highest bidder or for the lust for power or even for security. I place my trust in God."

    (Click here for the full post.)
But I quickly realized that this is more than the epiphany of a misguided demagogue; it might very well be Free Republic's swan song.

Let's go back a few years.

Prior to the 2000 presidential election, Jim Robinson was not shy about his disapproval of George W. Bush:
    Bush loves China and he's very forgiving of Clinton. He desperately wants the press to lay off GW, so he's promoting for a kinder, more compassionate campaign and a less critical press. If anyone thinks that Father (and powerful supporters) won't have an influence on Son, you're crazy. Don't you ever wonder how and why the politically inexperienced, bad boy, G W Bush, got himself born again, rehabilitated and groomed to become governor of Texas? Not to mention front-runner in the Presidential race? What experience did/does he have for either position? A Bush presidency will be very dangerous for America. (Emphasis mine.)

    - posted October 23, 1999
However, after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and the subsequent U.S. invasion of Iraq, Free Republic officially embraced the Bush Doctrine of preemptive war:
    Free Republic has been rallying in support of our President and the war effort since shortly after the terrorist attack on America on September 11, 2001. Later, as the inevitable war against Iraq drew closer, more and more of the "useful idiots" of the left began crawling out of the woodwork organizing so-called "anti-war" protests. FReepers are working to ensure that these communist organized (See: INTERNATIONAL A.N.S.W.E.R.) demonstrations do not go unanswered. Patriotic Americans are countering these misguided terrorist supporting leftist groups wherever and whenever they show up. Join or form a Free Republic Chapter, grab your signs, unfurl the flag, and prepare to support your country!
Thus, the "Premier Conservative News Forum" became nothing more than a mouthpiece for the pro-big government Republican Party, and Robinson and his posse of loyal administrators began banning forum members who refused to toe the party line.

You can understand, then, why I don't see his latest post as encouraging. Robinson helped perpetuate the Bush agenda. He helped promote the policies that have curbed our freedoms. He actively silenced those who were critical of the president and his illegal war.

So, Jim, while it's nice to see you starting to come to your senses, I'm afraid it's too little, too late. The damage has already been done, and you and your devoted followers were an integral part of it.

How will this sudden ideological shift on the part of the site's creator affect the future of Free Republic? It was the ardent Bush supporters--the ones who are now falling in behind Rudy Giuliani--who made the forum what it is today. Robinson's change of heart can only mean more in-fighting, back-stabbing, and petty bickering. In short, Free Republic will become more of a laughing stock than it already is.

Well, Free Republic, it was fun while it lasted. Nice knowing you.



Blogger pullit said...

Someone posted an article showing the catholic church was still using indulgences, one catholic replied "catholic bashing commencing in" I replied that if someone disagrees with you it's "bashing" and to another who claimed indulgences were reasonable if you better understood it as another method of only supporting someone who agrees with you and that salvation is not for free. Guess what, I got banned from freerepublic for it. The reason?: "Okay". Now that's some deep and moral logic there lol.

So much for free, it's become the pope's tool.

3/6/07, 11:29 AM  

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