Hey! Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Md.! Keep your political bombast off my Voltaire.
As the head of the congressional lynch mob hoping to pin the inexcusable violation of the U.S. Capitol on Donald Trump, Congressman Raskin hijacked the words of Voltaire, the great French philosopher, writer, and historian.
Yet in more than a small ration of bitter irony, it is important to appreciate that the Frenchman was a staunch advocate of freedom of speech.
So on one hand Raskin invoked Voltaire in an attempt to weaponized Trump’s remarks to supporters that he will "fight on" to protect America’s future, regardless of voter fraud, while on the other hand Raskin ignored the very core of Voltaire’s personal philosophy: "I may not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it."
So Raskin would have us believe that freedom of speech is alive and well as long as it conforms to his particular version of reality.
It's not only a slippery slope but a dangerous one as well. No rational American would ever endorse the assault on our Capitol but Raskin decided to cynically use it to advance a partisan agenda that harms democracy and puts all of us at risk.
There is another French writer/philosopher who needs to be invoked on the floor of the Senate — Emile Zola.
When the French military establishment needed a scapegoat for the theft of state secrets to the Prussians in the 1890s they chose an artillery captain of Jewish heritage who could be easily libeled by an anti-Semitic establishment — Alfred Dreyfus.
It was Zola who waged a vigorous campaign to prove the lie, forcing France to take sides.
It was one of the most courageous acts committed in the name of justice.
He wrote, "Truth is on the march; nothing can stop it now . . . . I swear that Dreyfus is innocent. May all that melt away, may my works perish if Dreyfus be not innocent!
"He is innocent. All seems against me — the two Chambers, the civil authority, the military authority, the most widely-circulated journals, the public opinion which they have poisoned.
"And I have for me only an ideal of truth and justice. But I am quite calm; I shall conquer. I was determined that my country should not remain the victim of lies and injustice. I may be condemned here. The day will come when France will thank me for having helped to save her honor."
As the shameful farce of this most recent impeachment is now recorded in our nation’s history books, it would be wise to remember the words and actions of two Frenchmen whose commitment to freedom of speech and truth continue to light globally.
Just not in the U.S. Senate.
Lawrence Kadish is a nation wide developer and investor in commercial and industrial real estate. In the arena of foreign policy Mr. Kadish is on the Board of Governors of Gatestone Institute, has served as a senior advisor to Americans for Victory Over Terrorism (AVOT), and is a founding chairman of the Committee for Security and Peace in the Middle East. Mr. Kadish has also been a sponsor of strategic analysis of terrorism that cautioned on the eve of September 11th that radical Islamic fundamentalism was threatening our nation. He has served as a prior delegate to National Republican Conventions. He is founder and president of the Museum of American Armor, recognized as a dynamic tribute to our American veterans and a compelling education center. Read Lawrence Kadish's Reports — More Here.
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