God Sees The Freepers
by William Rivers Pitt
"The blood of Jesus Christ can cover a multitude of sins, it seems to me."
- Denis Diderot
June 9, 2001 (APJP) -- There was a striking moment during the interregnum last November/December that has stayed with me ever since.
This article has also been published by Online Journal.
You can chat about God Sees the Freepers at DemocraticUnderground.com (registration required).
Inside Politics was running 24 hours a day on CNN, you will recall. I was watching one evening, several days into the theft, and there was Judy Woodruff interviewing conservative columnist Bob Novak. The question of the hour was whether or not Al Gore should just quit and go home.
On this night, Novak was pointing to a public poll that had been running on the CNN.com web site. You know these polls: log on to a news site and give your opinion on whatever happens to be the headline of the day. The poll Novak referred to asked the question: "Should Al Gore concede?"
The results showed that some 89% of the American population who found their way onto CNN.com voted "Yes" to this question. The count of those who voted numbered in the tens of thousands.
Novak flapped this poll all around the studio as indisputable proof that a large majority of the American people saw Gore as a thief and a usurper and a sore loser who should just go away.
I never forgot that night, and never lost the sneaking suspicion that something shady had occurred. Somehow, someone had flooded that poll with "Yes" votes to skew the result. I had no proof, and the theme song to X-Files was sounding in my head -- I was mortally sure that something was rotten in Denmark.
Now, after all these months, I have figured out what happened that night.
That CNN.com poll was 'Freeped'.
What does it mean when something gets 'Freeped'? Aim your browser to http://www.FreeRepublic.com, join the "conversations" in the "forums," and you will find out.
FreeRepublic.com is a website which describes its cause thusly: "We're working to roll back decades of governmental largesse, to root out political fraud and corruption, and to champion causes which further conservatism in America."
This seems innocent enough. I am a particular fan of governmental largesse, but respect coherent arguments against it. I believe my work against the illegitimacy of Bush proves my dedication to rooting out political fraud and corruption. And while I am no conservative, I have met many conservatives whom I admire for their intellect, ability to articulate a message, and integrity in the truest definition of that word: "Steadfast adherence to a strict moral or ethical code."
My grandfather was a conservative of great integrity from the old school, and I never once found cause to look down on him, even when we disagreed on a principle. My grandfather was the ideal conservative, in my opinion.
A part of me is glad he died before I could tell him about the Freepers.
A Freeper is a member of FreeRepublic.com. Freepers speak to each other on the forums of this website, "discussing" all varieties of topic. Purportedly, they support the ideals espoused above.
But in actuality, there is a yawning moral chasm between word and deed.
Take the CNN.com poll I discussed above, for example.
A common Freeper tactic is to post on the FreeRepublic forums a notice that a poll exists somewhere which asks a question dear to the conservative heart, such as: "Should the Congress pass more gun control legislation?" or "Is Bill Clinton the illegitimate spawn of Satan and Baal?" The URL to this poll is provided, and the Freeper legions swarm to vote... say, "no" on the first and "yes" on the second. There are a lot of Freepers, and many of them will vote multiple times. This obviously skews the result.
This is how a poll is 'Freeped.'
Novak and CNN used the 'Freeped' CNN.com poll to convince the public that 89% of them wanted Al Gore to quit before the votes were counted. This helped to push the rising tidewater that allowed the Supreme Court to get away with stealing the election.
Is this not political corruption? Does such a disruption skew information that is provided to the public via the media? Does this not pervert the truth?
Of course, there are liberals out there who organize the same kind of coordinated mugging of public internet polls. It can be argued that such things are no more than political gamesmanship.
But dig a little deeper into the Freeper phenomenon, and you will find a darkness where true morality dare not show its face.
As we all know, Jenna Bush was recently busted for attempting to purchase booze at a restaurant named Chuy's in Austin, Texas. The manager of the establishment, named Mia Lawrence, called 911 when she saw what was happening.
The Freepers took this personally, believing the Jenna fiasco to be part of some liberal conspiracy to humiliate Bush and the daughters. They called for a 'Freeping' of Chuy's restaurant.
Salon.com recently wrote a story about the Freeper reaction to the Chuy's situation, which in turn quoted Pamela Parker's recent article in American Politics Journal. I quote it in part below:
"The attacks against Mia Lawrence, the bar manager, are being orchestrated on the Internet. Her address, date of birth, drivers license and registration information, physical description, and even birth information about her infant child have been posted on Freerepublic.com, along with calls for punitive actions. Freerepublic.com Web site's sysop pulled some of the information as it was called to his attention -- to his credit -- but the info has circulated and been posted to other Internet forums to spread the 'Get Lawrence' frenzy."
I felt a chill in my spine when I first read these words. The manager, Mia Lawrence, was in all likelihood seeking to save her restaurant from breaking Texas' punitive underage drinking laws, signed by one Governor George W. Bush, which would have cost Chuy's its liquor license.
She earned for her trouble a legion of stalkers who speak openly of loving guns. Her personal information, along with maps providing driving directions to her home, were posted on FreeRepublic. I am confident in my prediction that she has not slept since dialing 911.
I did some research regarding this topic on FreeRepublic. Entering the word "Chuy" into the search engine provided, I found the following Freeper commentary:
"The manager, (aka 'Mia the Liberal DemonRat'), tried to cause as much trouble for the Bush twins and their dad as possible and now might get it returned back on her own head in spades!!! This is sweet!" - Truth_Eagle
"Hell! Surround Chuy's with tanks and set the place on fire while fully occupied." - olustee
"Let's turn that TEXMEX joint into a BARBECUE!" - makoman
I read comments, since removed by the moderators of FreeRepublic, which suggested that someone should go into Chuy's and smear acid on the tables.
To be fair, a fellow Freeper posted the following dissent:
"Every thread that had Mia's addy posted on it got pulled. Every one. It's NOT OK. Printing a map to the house, and having the addy on the map, is arguably worse." - CyberLiberty
CyberLiberty is proof positive that not all Freepers are violent psychopaths. Still, there were far more posts in the vein of olustee's than of CyberEagle's.]
By all means, seek out the site and investigate for yourself.
I am forced to wonder exactly how posting the name, address and physical description of a restaurant manager from Austin, as well as the description of her infant child, furthers the conservative cause in America.
I am reminded of the words of art critic and author, Harold Rosenberg: "The values to which the conservative appeals are inevitably caricatured by the individuals designated to put them into practice."
Clearly, the purported targeting of the daughter of the President is mortally offensive to the average Freeper. I decided to do a search using the words "Chelsea Clinton." I found the following:
(question asked) "I really do wonder what perversions Chelsea participates in." (response) "THAT is something I would rather NOT wonder about. Animals, plants, the elderly...echh. The girl is a walking STD." - AntiChris
"If people didnt [sic] know that hillary was an ugly assed dyke - they must have been blind - she just put up with old dumb ass so she could run the white house - just look at the bizarre bunch she put in office - the female version of frankenstein - which is janet reno - and this could go on and on - halfbright looks just like broomhilda - weirdest looking bunch ever to defile any government - and all courtesy of mr hillary - and then she supported all the fags in hollywood and along with her fat assed dyke buddy rosie - they all look like something from a sideshow at a circus - everyone of them has the coyote rating." - candyman34
In these two short entries, the daughter of a President is accused of carnal knowledge of animals and plants. She is accused of being a spreader of STDs. Senator Hillary Clinton is called a "dyke." The very notion of balance or fair play is conspicuously absent here. The hatred is palpable.
Hatred... which brings me to yet another favorite Freeper topic.
A singular characteristic of the average Freeper is an abiding love and respect for Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Many Freepers use Christ as the shield with which they defend their views. Sometimes, they use him as their sword.
If I remember my Sunday School classes, Jesus said in the Book of John, chapter 15 verse 12, " This is my commandment, that ye love one another."
I entered the word "homosexual" into the FreeRepublic search engine, and found the following. Keep the Bible quote I provided in mind as you read:
"The spread of infectious diseases... oral and anal cancer... death from HIV infections...Just some of the ways GOD gets even with the queers and faggots." - upchuck
"In another time, and in another place, they burned people like this..." - East Bay Patriot
"I will tell you that the Lord God has at least 7000 righteous in the USA that have not bowed their knee to baal = and these flames of fire are going to rise up soon and speak the Living Word of a Holy God to these frog-demon-freaks and ban them from our land. I will NOT let this country be over-run by Communist/Socialist/Globalist/ Abortionist/Feminist Sodomites." - jdhmichigan
"DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT shake hands with any homosexuals." - Mr. K.
I have been a Christian all my life. My understanding of the teachings of Jesus directs me to love my enemies, and accept everyone -- Christian, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist -- as a child of God. Jesus was the son of God, but was also a revolutionary seeking freedom from Roman persecution. Therefore, as a Christian and a freedom-loving American, I respect and love those who do not bend a knee to any religion. Jesus died so all of us could live, and the American Revolution was fought so that all people in this nation could live as they wish. These two events are connected intimately.
I do not pretend, as a card-carrying heterosexual, to understand how one man can look with lust upon another man. But after being friends with, and after sharing apartment space with, a number of homosexual men and women, I know in my heart that such things exist for a reason and are not wrong. God loves everyone equally, as He sees the smallest sparrow fall. I love everyone, too. Perhaps, like gay men and women, I was born that way.
I have never espoused the burning at the stake of any human being, be they gay or conservative. I know of no 'liberal' who has espoused such action. How such a statement falls within the yardsticks of Christianity or true conservatism is a mystery which I may never solve.
I do know this, however: were Jesus to log on to FreeRepublic and read the perversion His message has undergone in 2,000 years, He would beg to be crucified again, so as to be spared exposure to such hatred.
I suppose it is easy for the average Freeper to post such virulent messages on a public forum.
After all, they dare not use their real names. Names like Truth_Eagle, upchuck and AntiChris are shields behind which cowards hide. It is easy to speak when no one can see your face. A veteran of many email flame wars, I know well how brave a person can be when shielded by the anonymity of a computer keyboard. Those who sexually stalk teenage girls in internet chat rooms use similar tactics.
It is very effective.
My screen name, on each and every board I post to, is WilliamPitt. I am easy to find. I do not hide, and I never will.
The glaring fact of the cowardice of the average Freeper should not in any way diminish the effectiveness of their actions. They pervert public polls. They call and email congressional representatives en masse, thus creating the illusion of massive public pressure that twists the actions of elected officials who seek only respond to the legitimate concerns of constituents. They bombard media outlets with prurient stories to discredit respectable Democratic officeholders. They are the bedrock base of the entity we know as the GOP. They are powerful.
Keep these things in mind when you find yourself shocked by the results of a poll on MSNBC, or when a Senator refuses to support reasonable gun control laws, or when the press decides to spend two years covering a consensual sex act between adults.
Robert Kennedy described Richard Nixon as being a symbol of "the dark side of the American Dream."
Were he alive today, he would described FreeRepublic in the same terms.
William Rivers Pitt is a lifelong resident of Boston, Massachusetts. He is the columnist for LittleGeorgeBush.com, and has contributed to OnlineJournal.com, BuzzFlash.com, BushWatch.com, DemocraticUnderground.com, LiberalSlant.com and LegitGov.com. He is a teacher of high school English Literature, History and Journalism.
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