Carlyle Fielding Stewart III

Writings on Democracy, Social Justice, and Religion

“Dissent Protects Democracy”

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I feel proud to be an American especially today. I am thankful for the history and legacy of freedom in this country and also very proud to be African-American. I am thankful that our people have helped once again to win the day for America by speaking truth and galvanizing the most powerful resources in this country and world to stand up and save American Constitutional Democracy from perishing at the hands of tyrants and megalomaniacal power elite to  prevent our us from permanent descent into a fool’s paradise.

The greatest living democracy in the history of civilization was on the brink of total annihilation by totalitarian forces,  insidious neo-liberalism, Orwellian Double Speak, by minority voter suppression and vote confiscation, rising poverty and food deprivation, the quiet but often brazen desecration of the rule of law, and the deregulation of our most cherished institutional norms which have helped give America a cohesive center of core values, policies and beliefs, and an irrepressible spirit which largely has held the nation in tow against the storms and stress of internal change and external challenge which have threatened its very existence since its inception.

It is the history and power of dissent which has protected American Democracy over the years, and as Ralph Young states in his great book Dissent the History of An American Idea: “Political dissent is a critique of governance. As the United States grew from a fledgling nation into a world power, political dissenters expressed dissatisfaction about the way those who were in charge governed, and usually ( but not always) they provided a plan or recipe for redressing what they perceived as wrong. Most often they they used the nation’s founding documents as the authority to legitimize their protests.”

The freedom to say “no” to all threats to freedom foreign and domestic has been the linchpin of this nation’s identity and survival. The capacity to call into question the elevation and apotheosis of the power and sanctity of super powerful men and women over the rule of law, and the rank abasement of the rights of the people as legitimate moral, ethical forces to petition their grievances and oppressions have not been completely and thoroughly refuted or defeated.

It is has not only been the freedom to dissent from tyranny that has been a hallmark of the American spirit and character, but has also been an unwavering passion of Indigenous Americans and African Americans, whites and now other groups some of whom have finally awakened and joined with the people who had already waging battle in the struggle for freedom, justice and equality for all, which created monumental zeal and momentum this last presidential ending in the political defeat of Donald J. Trump.

And when Trump and his political oafs and lickspittles decided to trample afoot and tear asunder the hard won rights and freedoms of African Americans in particular in such a vulgarian, bombast, slip-shod and slap-stick manner, exacerbated by his ignominious support of white racists and white nationalists along with the continuing murder of black men and women at the hands of white racist police officers, and the subsequent negation of procedural justice, the threats to freedom and the attendant forces of dehumanization now in a larger sense symbolized an attack on the good will and well being of all freedom loving, justice seeking Americans.

It has thus been the cherished right to protest, resist and dissent from all forms of tyranny; a sacred right of Americans which has helped win the day by saving American Representative Democracy. But rest assured, while the forces of despotism have been temporarily defeated, they have not completely gone away, for there is an agenda still here which seeks to live to fight for another day and may still be on a mission to destroy government of the people, by the people and for the people forever. Only next time the personal frailties and deficiencies of that individual or persons leading this charge will not be as politically divisive and destructive but more unifying and compassionate.

Let us then take note, beware and keep to the good work of building our nation” back better” so it truly lives fully up to being the great nation it now is and the greater nation that can soon to become.



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