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Ben Stein: Confederate Flag Sales Ban First Step to Tyranny

By    |   Thursday, 25 Jun 2015 04:46 PM

The push to stop the Confederate flag from being sold in retail stores and online shopping sites is a chilling reminder of how totalitarian societies begin, Ben Stein, the actor, author and onetime speechwriter for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, tells Newsmax TV.

"I don't understand why private people shouldn't be allowed to buy it," Stein said Thursday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" as he weighed in on major retailers like Amazon and Walmart pulling the flag and products that incorporate it from their shelves.

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"Amazon no longer sells anything with a Confederate flag ... In a kind of Orwellian twist overnight they disappeared ... What harm is it to anyone for one individual person to have a flag as his blanket or his quilt or a throw pillow? What harm does that do?"

Stein's nod to George Orwell was a reference to the British author's novel, "Nineteen Eighty-Four," in which a futuristic society that persecutes individualism and independent thinking and is ruled by a scowling dictator named "Big Brother."

In the past week, lawmakers have called for removal of the Confederate flag, considered a symbol of slavery, from the South Carolina state capitol. The pressure came after the murders of nine African-Americans by Dylann Root, a white racist who posed for pictures with the flag.

In recent days, brick-and-mortar stores and online shops have stopped selling reproductions of the flag. And some people want a ban on the flag being flown on private property.

Stein, a Newsmax contributor who writes the Dreemz column for Newsmax Magazine, said the outcry has been carried to the extreme. He said he was jolted to learn that computer and cellphone giant Apple has banished apps that incorporate the flag such as Civil War games from its App Store.

"That's just plain crazy. This is how totalitarian dictatorships start is with tormenting people about supposedly righteous causes," Stein said.

"I'm not so much surprised with Apple because they're always playing the politically correct game, unless there's money on the table. Then they play the money game.

"But Amazon counts itself as the world's largest bookstore, the place where you can buy anything ... May I also add, they still will sell you cheerfully posters of Hitler, not condemning posters, but Nazi Party reproductions of Nazi Party portraits of Hitler in a soulful, heroic pose."

And Hitler isn't the only offending character whose images can be purchased on Amazon, Stein added.

"They'll also sell you portraits and posters of Stalin, Mao Zedong and Che Guevara, all mass murderers, especially Stalin. What's going on here?" Stein said.

"They won't sell an image of a flag under which many Americans' ancestors fought and they will sell images of Adolf Hitler? I don't understand it."

Stein is also flummoxed by calls to remove the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., because Founding Father and third U.S. President Thomas Jefferson was a slave owner.

"Thomas Jefferson is the author not entirely, but in large part of the Declaration of Independence. How can they even consider taking down his monument?" he said.

Stein noted that the nation's first president, George Washington, as well as Confederate Army commander Robert E. Lee, have also come under fire since both owned slaves.

"Are they going to change the name of Washington and Lee University? I know there's already a movement afoot to do that," Stein said to Steve Malzberg.

"My wife went to Washington and Lee High School in Arlington. Are they going to take that down? I mean the political correctness — once it starts, it doesn't stop."

Stein — author of "How To Really Ruin Your Financial Life and Portfolio," published by Wiley — has appeared in such films as "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Honeymoon in Vegas" and "Ghostbusters II."

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The push to stop the Confederate flag from being sold in retail stores and online shopping sites is a chilling reminder of how totalitarian societies begin, Ben Stein, the actor, author and onetime speechwriter for Presidents Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford, tells Newsmax TV.
ben stein, confederate, flag, sales, ban
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2015-46-25
Thursday, 25 Jun 2015 04:46 PM
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