OPINION – When I was a kid, I was fascinated to read about the Hungarian Freedom Fighters. At the time, all I knew about them was they were a small group of patriots who took on an evil empire…and were crushed. But their loss influenced my life in a big way. I learned the virtue of challenging oppressive authority. I learned that the honor in battling oppression was not in winning or losing but in the fight itself. Simply put, I learned that the struggle for freedom is honorable.
I still believe that to be true.
The American reaction to the CCP Pandemic is the greatest threat to Freedom in American history bar none – more than 9/11, more than Pearl Harbor, more than when the Soviets developed the Atomic Bomb. Authoritarians have more control over Americans today than at any time in history. Some believe that the CCP Pandemic may be one of the most contrived, avoidable economic destructions in world history.
Humans have suffered pandemics regularly for thousands of years. Most recently, the Hong Kong Flu Pandemic  killed 100,000 Americans and over 1,000,000 worldwide. Yet America did not close a single restaurant, lay off a single employee, or close a single public beach or park. Instead, people over 65 were advised to be careful and America trudged on.
Today the world’s most oppressive government, which literally controls over 1.5 billion people; likely produced the virus, help transmit it, and now blames America for spreading it. The Chinese Communist Party seeks worldwide dominance, regularly produces dangerous viruses in multiple labs throughout China, owns most of the means of vaccine production, and then sells it to the victims of their disease.
Sadly, most Americans meekly submitted when its leaders imposed Social Distancing, quarantine, and isolation. Without scientific evidence or data the government chose which businesses were essential. If your business was not included—you suffered permanent losses. Instead of embracing the rational Swedish model—minimal control, keeping most businesses open—Swedes escaped the ravages of the virus while Italy, Belgium, and England imposed draconian threats.
I submit we are at the biggest politico scientific crossroads of our time. Given an opening, politicians of all persuasions did exactly what our founding fathers predicted they would do if left unchecked: an unabashed power grab. The still-open question remains, what will Americans do in response? As a country founded on the ideals of limited government intervention, of checks and balances, of representative democracy in response to the oppression of a monarchy, do Americans actually stand for Freedom when it is put to the test for the first time in most American’s lives, of will we submit?
Maybe I’m an idealist, but I still have faith in the American fighting spirit. Americans evolved from freedom fighters and in that way have freedom fighting in their DNA. And when the time comes, we will fight. Freedom is our birthright—fought and died for by millions who came before us—and I believe Americans will not and simply cannot roll over and submit to oppression.
And just like every other revolution throughout history, it begins small, at our dining room tables, at our family gatherings, and in discussions with our closest confidants. What at first sounds like hyperbole eventually spills out into the public discourse, reported on slowly and half-heartedly by the media and portrayed as a sideshow for the more ‘reasonably minded’ to snicker at. At a point it gets big enough that politicians are forced to weigh in, condemning those who buck the convention and stand up against the oppression. From there, a turning point. The movement either gains enough momentum to enact real change, or it is squashed, fizzles out, and dies.
Today we find ourselves at that turning point. Protests are taking place in ever town across the country. Politicians are starting to weigh in, condemning and marginalizing those who speak up. Social media giants are attempting to censor agitators and keep the status quo intact while the ‘mainstream media’ attempts to humiliate groups who dare stand up for their right to support their family, pay their rent, and keep from starving. We are at a crossroads and American democracy as we know it stands in the balance. I am left to wonder how History textbooks will remember what we do now. Will my grandson grow up learning about the time a communist government almost took down the greatest democracy the world had ever seen or will he read about the time a once great democracy fell to the enticing tendrils of socialism at a time of crisis while a citizenry willingly submitted to an enemy they could not even see.
If the Hungarian Freedom Fighters taught me anything, it is that we will not be judged as harshly for the outcome of the fight now before us as we will for the fight itself. What did the Hungarians know that Americans will soon learn? Freedom is in the fight.
Shawn Steele, Republican National Committeeman (CA