In a rather angry post I wrote this morning, I made the offhand comment that, in less weakkneed times, Michael Moore would be jailed for sedition.
Thanks to reader GB who took me to school on the Sedition Act. After refreshing myself on what it actually says, I realized I had "overspoken". I would of course never advocate jailing someone for being merely critical of the government. Thanks to GB for the clarification.
However, I do believe the government is within its rights to arrest and try those who aid the enemy in a time of war. Exhibit A, Ezra Pound.
For those who don't know, Pound was a respected American poet in the first half of the Twentieth Century who hated capitalism; he felt it created a culture inhospitable to poetry. He moved to Italy in 1925, and eventually went the way of the wackos:
In 1933 he met Mussolini, who praised his poetry. Pound became an active supporter of fascism, promoting it on radio broadcasts to England and the United States during World War II (1939-1945). In anticapitalist and anti-Semitic speeches, Pound denounced those he held responsible for the West's decline - in particular, Jewish bankers.Pound's influential friends (T.S. Eliot, Robert Frost, Ernest Hemingway, and others) lobbied Washington for his release, and eventually got it in 1958.
Now, what is treason, exactly? The US Constitution, Section 3, Clause 1 states:
Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort.While Michael Moore has certainly done some pro bono PR work for Saddam (and aided the propaganda ministries of some of our foes, such as Hezbollah, Castro, and France), he could never be convicted of treason (there have been fewer than 40 prosecutions in US history, something I just learned). But wouldn't a lot of us enjoy seeing Michael Moore get the Ezra Pound jitters in federal court for a few months?
I had planned on making some further comparisons between Pound and Moore, concerning their mutual phobia of capitalism* and their belief that war is a profiteering conspiracy. However, in doing the research, I soon tired of sifting through transcripts of Pound's vile broadcasts, and gave up.
Also, I would not want comparisons between the two men to lead anyone to infer any anti-Semitism on the part of Moore (at least not until I have evidence of it). Unlike him, I have scruples about drawing connections where none exist and impugning people's humanity just to make a political point. However, if you would like to infer from these comparisons that Moore is insane, be my guest.
And besides, we could never forget the one glaring difference between the two men: Pound had talent.
* Except when counting book royalties or box office receipts.
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