Perspectives: Why I’m okay with being called an extremist

OPINION – They weren’t really extremists. But only those who know their story understand why.

Sophie came of age in 1930’s Germany. Like all youth her age, she joined the national youth organization. Her schooling was to serve the purposes of the Fatherland.

Sophie was training to become a nurse. Her brother Hans was an army officer training to be a physician.

They loved their country.

But one day a friend, who served as a nurse in a local hospital, told them what had happened to the children she attended.

The children were mentally disabled. One day they were loaded onto buses and taken away.

When the children asked where they were going, they were told, “To heaven.” And they sang as the bus took them away to their deaths.

Sophie, her brother, and a core group of friends founded the White Rose Society to speak out against these atrocities. They knew full well that their dissent would place them in danger. The narrow range of allowable debate was ruthlessly enforced.

In great secrecy, they distributed leaflets urging their fellow Germans to recognize the great evil being done in their names.

They called upon as many as would listen to resist the tyranny tightening upon their nation like a python. They pleaded for their countrymen to stop supporting what had become a murderous regime.

They became the national conscience that too many Germans had chosen to ignore until it was too late to speak freely. They were caught, denounced as traitors, tried, and executed within days.

“Somebody had to make a start,” Sophie said at the trial.

She knew that other Germans believed as the White Rose did that something in their nation was terribly wrong. They simply didn’t dare to speak up.

I wonder which side of history we would have stood on then. I wonder which side of history we’ll stand on today.

Our government is not liquidating undesirable segments of the populace, but it continues taking ominous steps toward total control.

Perpetual war, warrantless surveillance, indefinite detention, kill lists, and a growing police state confirm this trend.

Speaking out is not yet considered treason, but it still carries a cost that few wish to pay. Those who notice things they’re not supposed to see are labeled as conspiracy theorists. Those who call for resistance to tyrannical laws are smeared as seditionists.

Will Americans wake up while there’s still time? I pray that they do.

I’ve grown used to being called an extremist and accused of hating my country. Like Mike Vanderboegh, I’d rather be despised by the despicable than admired by the admirable.

I write to provide intellectual and moral ammunition for those whose moral compasses remain true — for those who comprehend and dare to stand for correct principles.

I write for the benefit of those who do not wish to see America make the same kind of mistakes that 1930s Germany did.

I write for those who love their country enough to speak out before it is no longer safe to do so.

I write for those who understand that freedom matters.

Sophie Scholl and other members of the White Rose exemplified the courage needed in our day.

They were executed as traitors. But Germans today recognize that the White Rose was the best that remained of their society during those dark years. The sacrifice of the White Rose was not a worthless gesture.

Their example is proof that our best efforts to preserve liberty are never in vain.

Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives talk show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: bryanh@stgnews.com

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.

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11 Comments

  • Smigman April 29, 2013 at 11:49 am

    You link to a Paul Craig Roberts article that uses “data” from a story in The Onion!! And you want your readers to take you seriously? You have some valid points to make, but relying on sources like Mr. Roberts does nothing but tarnish your own bid for respectability and undermines your arguments.

    • Bryan Hyde Bryan Hyde April 29, 2013 at 12:58 pm

      Better check your sarcasm meter. The Pew Research poll which the Onion was satirizing is a real poll. 3 out of ten Americans surveyed by Pew say they do support what our government does–no matter what. Roberts is not staking his premise on a single piece of satire. Can you refute the points he makes? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  • Big Don April 29, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    Good article, Bryan, and very thought provoking.

  • philiplo April 29, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    “I write to provide intellectual and moral ammunition for those whose moral compasses remain true — for those who comprehend and dare to stand for correct principles.”
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    That’s some scary-a## stuff right there. Beware those who claim to have the “true” moral compass, or who say theirs are the only “correct principles.” It’s especially ominous when they isolate themselves as the true authority by saying those who disagree just don’t “comprehend.”
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    ” Those who notice things they’re not supposed to see are labeled as conspiracy theorists.”
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    Says the conspiracy theorist.

    • William April 29, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      Phil: It sounds like you might have something to say in that statement. Would you please translate it into English, so I can decide if I believe it?

    • Bryan Hyde Bryan Hyde April 29, 2013 at 5:26 pm

      So, whose moral compass was off, the White Rose Society or rest of the Germans? Are you capable of discerning who was right or wrong in that situation, or would that be too “scary” to make a judgement call? Thanks for proving my point about the labeling.

      • philiplo April 30, 2013 at 8:53 am

        My concern was for your statement about “those whose moral compasses remain true.”
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        Morality is a slippery little bugger. Who gets to decide what’s moral in a given situation, and what are the “correct principles?” You? Me? The Pope? Geraldo? What’s scary is someone who says they know the truth – the absolute truth, as if there were any such thing – and only by following their lead will we be free/saved.

        • Bryan Hyde Bryan Hyde April 30, 2013 at 10:56 am

          In the case of Sophie Scholl, her belief in God motivated her to speak out against the practice of eugenics by her government’s leaders. Maybe I’m oversimplifying this, but is it right or wrong to murder mentally disabled children or not? The Nazis felt it was moral because it furthered their quest for a “pure” race of people. They made it clear that it was their way or nothing. I can only speak for myself, but I’m confident I could distinguish between right and wrong simply by applying the Golden rule.

  • Chris April 29, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    I agree that the “war on terror” has been the excuse for a shocking restriction of civil liberties, but this is nothing new in this country. A brief look at American history would reveal many similar instances of government oppression of various groups of Americans during our many wars. John Adams, James Polk, Lincoln, Woodrow Wilson, and FDR, just to name a few, were all guilty of equally egregious tramplings of citizens’ rights. In every case, the violations were made in the name of patriotism.

  • RPMcMurphy April 29, 2013 at 7:57 pm

    Whether or not you are an admirer of Goldwater, on this he had it about right

    “Let me remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me also remind you that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue”
    Barry Goldwater, acceptance speech as Republican candidate for President, 1964

  • Fred April 30, 2013 at 5:41 am

    Orly Taitz has been fighting for justice against a tyrannical govt. and has been blocked at every step by a corrupt court system:

    http://www.orlytaitzesq.com/

    Bryan is so right.

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