Commentary: Has the world turned upside down these days?

By Hylton Phillips-Page

“The World Turned Upside Down” was a ballad played by the British as they surrendered to the Americans at Yorktown. It made no sense to them that these upstart Colonials fighting for freedom and liberty could defeat the most powerful army in the world.

Hylton Phillips-Page

Life in the current revolution seems eerily similar. Little seems to make much sense anymore.

The American Revolution and the events that followed ushered in an era of freedom and liberty that laid the groundwork for unbridled prosperity. The elimination of slavery was the one issue that could have prevented the union from forming. Its resolution was deferred to a future date, at the cost of over 600,000 lives. President Abraham Lincoln frequently made the point that the union was built to put slavery on the course to its ultimate extinction.

On leaving office after serving two terms as president, George Washington was lauded around the world as the greatest leader of his time. Today’s revolutionaries want to strike his name from our history because of his slaveholding past, even though he would have preferred the elimination of slavery at the country’s inception.

Most of the media have joined the revolution, and they report events in a way that questions our belief in what we’re actually seeing. Below are some examples:

• Sections of many cities across the country have been destroyed by rioters and looters, and we’re told the “protests” are largely peaceful.

• The “protests” in Portland have been in progress for two months, seemingly with the goal of burning down the federal courthouse and all in it. Federal agents have been deployed to prevent its destruction, while local police stand down on orders from their mayor. Politicians and the media insist federal agents are the aggressors in this situation.

• We are told by protesters, politicians and the media that defunding the police will lead to safer communities. The facts suggest otherwise.

• The federal government has offered help to bring the rioting and destruction to an end, yet the mayors in these cities, supported by the media, view it as a badge of honor to reject the help. These cities will take years to recover, negatively impacting their own citizens.

Today’s revolutionaries want to eliminate many of the freedoms that made this country the most prosperous and free in the world, replacing it with something that looks more like communist China or Russia. The revolutionaries, of course, feel their outcome will be different. Below are a few examples of your evaporating freedoms:

• The classification of “hate speech” in skilled and unscrupulous hands can be used to silence just about anyone. I would much prefer to live under the doctrine of “I may disapprove of what you say but will defend to the death your right to say it.” More speech is preferable to less.

• Cancel culture infringes on our right to hold a difference of opinion and voice it. It is one of the most destructive parts of the new revolution, intended to silence speech and destroy you personally.

• A new Cato national survey finds that 62% of Americans view the political climate as preventing them from saying who they support because others might find it offensive. This is antithetical to living life in a democracy and is reminiscent of the self-censorship found in communist nations.

Our freedoms have been secured more than two centuries and have survived multiple wars (both hot and cold) that could have ended this great experiment with liberty. It’s amazing to me that we are now prepared to sacrifice our freedoms to the mob, all without them having to fire a shot. Mob rule did not end well in the French Revolution, and I suspect it won’t end well for us either.

Hylton Phillips-Page lives in Rehoboth Beach.