A combination of a cohort of disaffected youth, communities that feel they have been left behind and a social and political culture where certain issues can’t be openly discussed because of so called ‘sensitivities’ is a potent recipe for trouble.
Anyone who paints themselves as an ‘outsider’ while broadcasting on platforms that reach millions is taking everyone else for a mug. They’re allowed to do this because they provide a safety valve for people to rally around, under the illusion that they’re actually part of something more oppositional.
“If you believe in freedom of speech, you believe in freedom of speech for views you don’t like. Goebbels was in favor of freedom of speech for views he liked. So was Stalin. If you’re in favor of freedom of speech, that means you’re in favor of freedom of speech precisely for views you despise. Otherwise, you’re not in favor of freedom of speech.”
“Where there’s no danger, there’s no courage.… Anyone can ‘endure’ security and well-being. The real challenges—the ones that force our endurance to grow from mere perseverance into true courage—arise in the face of hazard. So it is with moral courage, where danger is endured for the sake of an overarching commitment to conscience, principles, or core values.”
—Rushworth Kidder, Moral Courage
After being on the questioning end of Dissident Dialogues interviews for luminaries such as CJ Hopkins and Meredith Miller, I switched roles for this written interview conducted by Vanja Vinković on behalf of Croatian Weekly (Hrvatski Tjednik), an ad-free, print-only publication he describes as “the most-read newspaper in Croatia.”
For my two-year Substack anniversary, I am publishing an essay I started last summer to accompany a guest article by Paul Cudenec. It seemed a fitting anniversary piece because it covers connections, collaborations, community, and courage—four C’s that have defined my transformative experience at Substack.
WE DID IT. We pulverized the Overton Window. Even former mainstream straddlers are saying it aloud now: “Mistakes Were NOT Made.” Deftly filmed by Mark Lawrie and poignantly scored by my husband, Dr. Tess Lawrie’s knee-buckling reading of my poem has shattered the few remaining shards dangling in the window frame.
Why has the frustration and pain of being an activist got worse? I’ll try to explain. I used to be very tribal. Once I’d found a political home, I’d defend it and my comrades vigorously. Any nagging doubts I had were packed away in a box and hidden in a dark cupboard. That was until the point when it started to become clear that what I thought was a ‘for ever’ political home was changing and going off in a direction I couldn’t travel in.
I am elated to present this video of Dr. Tess Lawrie reading Mistakes Were NOT Made: An Anthem for Justice. My veteran Substack readers may recall it was Tess’s fearless confrontation of Andrew Hill that inspired me to launch my Profiles in Courage series. I also crowned Tess the Queen of Integrity (to Mike Yeadon’s King of Integrity) in my one-year anniversary post.
This is one of the more important pieces I have published. I have been given the honor of hosting a letter written by Jews around the world who unequivocally condemn the weaponization of “anti-semite” to character-assassinate people guilty of nothing but questioning approved narratives; exercising free speech; exposing corruption, lies, and harmful policies; and practicing independent, critical thinking.
“We have so hopelessly ceded our humanity that for the modest handouts of today we are ready to surrender up all principles, our soul, all the labors of our ancestors, all the prospects of our descendants—anything to avoid disrupting our meager existence. We have lost our strength, our pride, our passion. We do not even fear a common nuclear death, do not fear a third world war (perhaps we’ll hide away in some crevice), but fear only to take a civic stance! We hope only not to stray from the herd, not to set out on our own, and risk suddenly having to make do without the white bread, the hot water heater …”
—Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, Live Not by Lies