There is an old expression, “History has a bad habit of repeating itself.” My father never talked a great deal about politics’. But I do remember one time he came in the door and I asked him what was up and he said that he had just come from voting. So curious I said to him, “Who did you vote for Dad?” and he smiled and replied, “The lesser of two evils son, the lesser of the two.”
At the time I did not quite understand, now years later, his words resound in my mind.
Having just finished two conventions, listening to the all the cliché’s and fast fixes for the country, the old tired empty platitudes, the vocal exercise of freedom. I am thoroughly convinced that what freedoms we do have left, are few, if any. We listened to speeches about the liberties bequeathed by our founders. But in all reality, we are not as free as we would like to think in this country anymore.
The Patriot Act, eight long years of the Bush Administration has fixed all that.
We can think of ourselves as free, but only relative to the rest of the world. In terms of the founders’ vision of freedom, we’re little more than serfs. Let’s face it, we all work for the government now, and there isn’t a raise in sight and relief is nothing more than a catch word. Now some of you are sitting there reading this and you are saying to yourself, “What is he talking about, I am free.”
So I suppose I should ask a question or two at this point?
Are you in charge of the amount of money you set aside for retirement and at what age you’ll retire? No, the government mandates that you join in its retirement program. If you insist on being left alone and don’t obey, you’ll go to jail or otherwise suffer at the hands of the government. What’s more, when government changes Social Security rules, unlike a private retirement plan, you can not sue for breach of contract.
It is after all, virtually impossible to sue the U.S. Government.
Suppose you want to save money. Your money and privacy is subject to a web of regulatory offices, including the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve System, and the Securities Exchange Commission. Still not convinced? Okay let us say that you make deposits or withdrawals of $5,000 or more, your friends at the bank, are required to report this to the government.
If you attempt to stop government’s prying eyes by making deposits and withdrawals just below the reporting threshold, you face fines and possible imprisonment for “structuring.”
Moving swiftly along, isn’t this fun boys & girls?
If you own land, but you don’t control it. We built a pond, but we did not own the water behind the dam. Not until we paid the Oklahoma Water Resource Board a $25 fee to “own the water behind our dam.” You might have had similar problems; you may have purchased land as an investment, only to find that when you retire and are ready to build or sell it, you can’t.
It might have been designated a wetland (swamp) by environmental authorities or declared a habitat for an endangered bird, rat or insect, whose rights the government deems more important than yours. These sort of things, unwanted, unnecessary government intrusion, happen every day in this country.
People who have tried to build or remodel a home discover quickly that they are under the thumbs of a veritable army of bureaucrats, ranging from local inspectors, who can tell them what kind of windows they can and cannot have, to the federal government which prescribes what kind of toilets and shower heads are legal and which are illegal.
Preposterous you say? The government just this year instituted a policy of what kind of light bulbs are necessary for you and I to use. Who ever gave them the power over us to “relegate light bulbs?”
You get a vote on that?
At one time, a man’s home was his castle. Today it is the bureaucrats’ plaything. Far too many of us have gotten used to being pushed around and are willing to accept it if it is washed down with pious rhetoric about safety, compassion or the environment.
How quickly we have forfeited or given up our rights on nothing but “Political Spin.”
Citizens of modern democracies are facing despotism of a different character these days, which is somewhat milder and more widespread. Today’s democracy tends to degrade men rather than to torture them. Our leaders these days tend to be less of the tyrannical nature and more akin to a school master or learned colleague. So with this kind of “leadership or herding” the citizen is more likely to be in a state of perpetual childhood” with the government in total control.
This is done by supplying the things that society needs security and necessities, assuming responsibility for societies concerns, managing societies work and more. The government assumes this paternal role gladly and works for their (societies) happiness but we pay a steep price, they are the sole agent and judge of all of it.
In the end, democracy gives an aura of legitimacy to acts that would otherwise be deemed tyranny. That is precisely why the framers gave us the constitution, a document that sought to protect us against the abuses of majorities. That is what our Bill of Rights is all about, those congressional shalt-nots.
It’s just too bad that Congress, acting on the will of the majority have abrogated those protections. We have currently in power, an administration that took those same protections and thru them out the proverbial window years ago.
Now days, there is not a nickels worth of difference between Democrats and Republicans. If you put a nickel on the table, a Democrat will steal it from you and a Republican will kill you for it. In the end, it is easy to be “Politically Correct” especially if you are living in a gated community.
No one is as hopelessly enslaved as the person who thinks he is free.