“Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it.” -Thomas Paine, Sept. 11, 1777
“You know, Dad, I never thought I’d live to see this much corruption in my lifetime,” I told my father the Saturday after July 22, 2016. It was a beautiful Saturday morning and the sun was shining. My father and I were both standing in the kitchen drinking our sugarless black coffee. I waited earnestly for a response. He took one more sip from his porcelain cup and finally replied with the words, “neither did I.”
How about that? My fifty-five-year-old father, a baby boomer, a kid of the sixties, a witness of the moon landing, the fall of the Berlin Wall and ten U.S. presidencies – he too never thought he would live to see so much corruption in his lifetime. Of course we all knew that it existed, but we never thought it would ever be at such an extreme level as it is now.
We only see these levels of corruption thanks to hacker groups like WikiLeaks that released more than 19,252 emails and 8,034 attachments from the top of the U.S. Democratic National Committee (DNC) on July 22, 2016.
This then sparked a chain reaction, as WikiLeaks and the famed hacker Guccifer continued to leak more information. The latest revelations from WikiLeaks include the release of emails belonging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, which first began on Oct. 7 with the release of 2,050 of more than 50,000 emails. As of Nov. 6, more than 44,000 have been released.
From these emails, all of America should have learned about the DNC’s collusion with the media, and Twitter, Google and Facebook’s censorship and manipulation of trending topics to favor the DNC. America should have heard about the rigging of the Democratic Primary by Debbie Wasserman Schultz, DNC chairman, to push aside Bernie Sanders in favor of Hillary Clinton. America should know about Hillary Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speeches, wherein she exposed the difference between her private and public positions on policy by telling private audiences that she was for “a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders.” America should know of the Department of Justice’s communication with the Clinton campaign during their investigation of her use of a private email server, and of the pay for play that occurred between the State Department and plutocrat donors to the Clinton Foundation. And America should know that the militant Islamic State group ISIS and the Clinton Foundation are both funded by Qatar and Saudi Arabia, the latter of which funded the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.
But none of these issues were covered to the extent that they should have been. It is as if we are living in a banana republic where the government can do whatever they want in front of our very eyes.
We are living in a time where hackers, like those involved in WikiLeaks, serve as the people’s journalists while the mainstream media inhibits and censors information from the public. The mainstream media is no longer the “fourth estate;” the purpose of the fourth estate or the free press was to monitor and check any wrongdoing in which the government participates. Today, journalistic integrity is pushed to the side in order to favor the elite.
I never thought that I would live to see so much corruption and collusion in my lifetime, but of course I was wrong. When you live in a country like the United States where the “blessings of freedom” are professed from a very young age, you never think that anything like this could ever be possible. But, clearly, it can be. And, because of this, freedom itself, even in this day and age, goes through its own “fatigues” and obstacles to survive.