The specter of Guy Fawkes

Today is Guy Fawkes Day, a holiday to celebrate the capture and execution of the men who attempted to blow up the British Parliament with 36 barrels of gunpowder in 1605. I’ve always had trouble figuring out if Guy was a hero to the British or a villain. Like so many historical figures it depends on whom you ask, but the answer is increasingly important in light of the current political climate in America.

Andrew MacRitchie, the Honorary British Consul for Oregon, told me how as a kid he celebrated Guy Fawkes Day in Glasgow, and how it was “Very much a children’s event.” I asked what people in Britain thought of Guy now. He told me that there was a certain amount of romanticizing in connection with Guy Fawkes in Britain. “There isn’t a clear understanding of what is celebrated,” he said. “The meaning has been somewhat lost, what we’re celebrating is a terrorist act, is this something that as a nation should be celebrated?”

Like all Catholics living in England in the 1600s, Guy and his conspirators were living in fear. The parliament and the king had passed laws actually outlawing their faith, and they were forced to go underground. Guy thought that the actions he and his fellows were taking were the only way to free his country from what he saw as oppression. So in this light were his actions defendable?

Let’s assume that your government becomes so tyrannical that you fear for your very freedom, and the freedom of those around you. Is it not your duty to take some sort of action that posterity may find extreme? Even criminal? Is it not your duty as a patriot, and as a citizen to give your all to bring that government down?

I have heard for four years how we had an illegal administration, how an election was stolen and yet liberals did nothing but complain. They put bumper stickers on their cars and paraded around calling people Nazis, but what did they actually do except bitch?

Nothing. Sure, they saw the fat man’s movie a dozen times each, but what did they do? What concrete action did they take to topple this “illegal” administration? Did they organize work stoppages? Did they fast? Or did they just march around banging drums pretending that the ’60s weren’t over?

I am not calling for any violent action like Guy Fawkes, I don’t condone terrorist actions or the harming of innocents, but as Guy Fawkes and the conspirators themselves said, “The innocent would suffer with the guilty, but this was a price to be paid!” What price are liberals willing to pay to set themselves free? If they truly live in a tyrannical society what is their responsibility?

Is the solution sitting quietly and whining? Or going and listening to speakers on our college campus that will whine and complain along with us? Maybe we could all go watch washed up actors talk about foreign affairs. That is not good enough, people.

Liberals are responsible for some kind of action, some kind of response. It need not be violent but making little “Bush Nazi” signs isn’t enough. They can impugn the president’s character all they want on this campus, and they’ll never be challenged. That kind of posing isn’t brave, and it also isn’t enough. They can live in the fairyland where Al Gore won in 2000, and some crazy tin foil hat conspiracy kept John Kerry out of the White House this time.

So, liberals, you’ve been called out. Now what are you going to do? Are you going to stand up like Guy Fawkes or just keep bitching? No, don’t answer, I already know what your big plans are — you want to move to Canada.

Jason Germany can be reached at [email protected]