“In America you can say anything you want--as long as it doesn't have any effect." Paul Goodman
Reality Winner has been released from prison. This is lovely. It would not be right to say that she’s free. Public Servant 45, Roger Stone, Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Steve Bannon, Marsha Blackburn, and Mitch McConnell are free. By that I mean this: These millionaires can hold press conferences, speak to journalists, film themselves doing and saying whatever they want, appear on Eric Metaxas’ show, post content on the Internet, and tell their stories freely in any context. Reality Winner, activist philosopher and decorated veteran, cannot. She remains muzzled following over four years in prison following her act of conscience. It would be good and proper for Joe Biden to publicly apologize to her and her family on behalf of our government, to pardon her, and to offer her the Congressional Medal of Honor. It would also be appropriate for her to testify before Congress.
If Reality’s story is new to you, I think you should start here with Samantha Bee’s docu-reenactment of the actions leading to her cruel and unusual punishment. It’s like a broken fire hydrant of candor and good humor.
Her story has been an education to me. Plausible deniability, I’ve come to sense, is a form of perceived power. From what I can tell, there isn’t an elected official (local, state, or federal) in these United States who’s felt comfortable publicly acknowledging her existence with two exceptions. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez once seemed to know who she was in an interview, and Justin Amash called on Public Servant 45 to release her.
To review, Reality's out of prison, but she isn't completely free until she can tell her own story on her own terms. Generalization is tyranny's oxygen supply. Specificity cuts it off. Stay safe, everyone.