Someone wrote and asked me:
Your article recently about the USA being worse than a banana republic was extra important in my opinion, because it begs the question: “at what point do we as trustees of our Constitutional system go beyond complaining and pontificating about our abuse by the perverters of our laws and processes?” At what point do we, like our intellectual progenitor Founders, literally vote with our feet and our damaged Second Amendment?
I replied: It’s my question too. At what point are the violations of the government against individuals, as well as the Constitution, ENOUGH?
Is there such a point? If so, why or why not?
In America, we’re accustomed to choices. It doesn’t occur to most of us that we might no longer have a choice about the kind of person we have in office, or the kind of stove we buy, or the kind of fuel we put into our car, or the types of websites or books we read, or whether we will take an experimental medical treatment, or whether we may own guns to protect ourselves.
Most of us take it for granted that we have rights. We might not know what rights really are, but we know we have them. But then whenever another right disappears, we just assume it can’t be happening, or that somebody will bring it back.
It’s this sort of naivete and ignorance that authoritarian people exploit. And in a way, you can’t blame them. It’s totally working. Each day there’s a new executive order or EPA policy or medical directive from HHS telling us what we may or may not do, and what is or isn’t true (debate no longer permitted). Yet most of us still think we’re free. It’s almost like the government is testing to see where our limits are … and discovering, by and large, that we have NONE. Many of us (maybe even a majority) deeply resent these intrusions. But we keep taking them, like a battered spouse.
The deeper issue here is a failure to take responsibility for our own freedom. America has been a free enough country, for long enough, that most now assume the legacy will be handed on again and again.
One of the wisest comments on this point came from one of America’s last decent Presidents, Ronald Reagan. Back in the 1980s, Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”
This is what even America’s freedom lovers don’t seem to grasp. The default is NOT freedom. The default is tyranny, even slavery. Most simply assume that freedom, one way or another, will remain in place because it’s so hard to get rid of. Nothing could be less the truth. That is not the history of the world, not at ANY time or ANY place. Only in America, for a time, did freedom hold true, from the Declaration of Independence through the eradication of slavery. The end of slavery appears to have been the peak — since then, it has been the growth of a welfare state, an entitlement state and now a fascist soft dictatorship where rich oligarchs propped up by the government tell us what we may or may not do; they buy up the farms, ultimately control the food, control the energy supply, and control the practice of medicine by political (not medical) standards.
Freedom is the easiest thing in the world to lose. It’s the hardest thing to get back, and it’s harder still to maintain.
Anyone who has lost 100 or 150 pounds knows that losing the weight is easy compared to keeping it off — for the rest of your life. The latter requires a lifestyle change. Keeping freedom is like that, only way, way, harder. The odds are almost completely and continuously against it. The world is full of tyrants, busybodies, pretentious do-gooders and sometimes downright evil people who always craft ways to erode or eliminate your freedom. They’re doing it for power. They feel no sense of power over their own lives and selves, or perhaps they lack a sense of purpose. As a distraction that turns into a psychopathology, they focus on other people instead of their own lives, and they use the force of government to impose themselves on others. Hitler and Stalin were glaring, horrifying examples. America is full of little Hitlers and Stalins today, and they seem to be gaining ground completely unencumbered and unchallenged.
Please understand: Freedom is man’s proper, even natural state. But it’s NOT the norm. It never will be. And Americans are poised to learn this the hard way, by waking up one day and realizing that — progressively — they have lost the freedom that matters most to them.
If more of us had a concept that there’s a limit to what we will take, that at some point we have to take matters into our own hands because it is, after all, our country, and not Joe Biden’s or Mark Zuckerberg’s or Bill Gates’ country, then we might have a chance. Right now, most appear to operate as if under sedation, assuming freedom isn’t going anywhere, and that it can’t. Why can’t it? Why, it just can’t. This is America. That’s that. It can’t happen here. No … not here.
This attitude is more dangerous and destructive than I can say.
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