Niemoller Reminds Us: The Price of Apathy

MH900431684First they came for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.

This is just one version of the “First they came” poem by Martin Niemoller, a German pastor who originally supported the Nazis, but then turned against them over the concept of the state being superior to the churches. Although he later became a Communist sympathizer in the postwar years, he does make a valid point regarding political apathy.

Political apathy continues to this day. Many people decide to stay home on Election Day, and some don’t even bother to register to vote. The reasons for not voting or not registering to vote vary, but indifference to politics can have severe consequences, such as enabling a dictatorship to come into place.

While working a booth for the local Tea Party, my fellow Tea Party members and I would ask people if they were registered to vote. Some said they weren’t, and when asked if they wanted to register, they weren’t interested. Meanwhile, there are probably those who feel that since the election is over, there is no point in paying attention to politics (at least until the next election).

Another case in point regarding apathy would be the Islamist threat. From the Islamization of Europe to the Muslim Brotherhood in control of Egypt to the continued genocide in Sudan (and the newly established South Sudan), the Muslims are bent on world domination. The Obama Administration doesn’t care about the threat of terrorism (labeling it “man-caused disaster”). Obama condemns Israel while sending F-16s to Egypt. And given his disregard for the Constitution, he wouldn’t seem to mind if Sharia Law became the law of the land.

Of course, if America does become an Islamist state, then Niemoller’s poem will apply to us, only it will probably go like this:

First they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew.
Then they came for the gays, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t gay.
Then they came for the Christians, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Christian.
Then they came for the Hindus, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Hindu.
Then they came for the Buddhists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Buddhist.
Then they came for the Sikhs, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Sikh.
Then they came for the following: Shinto, Confuciast, Taoist, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t any of them.
Then they came for the following: atheists, pagans, animists, agnostics, Satanists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t any of them.
Finally, they came for me, and by then there was no one left to speak up.

Such is the price.

306221_2689883786358_644379024_n[1]Andrew Linn is a member of the Owensboro Tea Party and a former Field Representative for the Media Research Center. An ex-Democrat, he became a Republican one week after the 2008 Presidential Election. He has an M.A. in history from the University of Louisville, where he became a member of the Phi Alpha Theta historical honors society. He has also contributed to examiner.com and Right Impulse Media.

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