This column is not about man-made global warming, Lady Gaga or other cultural fictions. If you receive as many email threads as I do, you know there are a myriad of issues confronting our nation…many of them could be categorized as “critical.” As you glance at your “control panel of life,” you see an array of “Hot Buttons” demanding your attention. Your fertile fragile mind goes into critical-issue overload as you consider where to direct your limited resources and energy. Fire the Fed. Eliminate EPA. Arrest the AFT. Cull the Congress. Surround the Statehouse. These are just a few of the burning firestorms that compete for your attention.
All of our problems associated with a too-large, out-of-control government condenses to one overriding issue…individual liberty. Everything that government does to us, for us or permits to negatively affect us, to some degree, undermines our freedom and our abilities to choose for ourselves. We can engage on all these fronts or affronts simultaneously if we had the resources and the committed activists. We do not. Not only will we encounter the full force and power of a government in preservation mode, but we will also have to defeat the legions of progressive drones that benefit from government (our) benefits. Liberty is the underlying and unifying principle that addresses every government, social and cultural abomination.
Government’s focus for legislation, regulation or rulemaking is targeted towards groups. Some are viewed favorably and others are considered undesirable by government analysts. No one person conforms to every aspect of every group to which she belongs, therefore it seems likely that one can exhibit tendencies that are government approved while also seeming to endorse some of the unfavorable attitudes, beliefs or practices. Following through, everyone is potentially an opponent of the government or a resister if your profile identifies you as sympathetic to an outlier group. Every individual (or at least most of us) can, at some point, be defined as a “threat” of some sort. Although government prefers to regulate for groups, it will not hesitate to prosecute or harass individuals. Despite their lacking minds, hearts and souls, governments do recognize the value of individuals…particularly those who defy them.
Travel with me into the dusty bins of your conscious memory. Before you became alarmed and active in the effort to place a leash on government weren’t you dimly aware of the “crackpots” and “cranks” who were prophetically issuing warnings of government abuses? Were you aware of the contrarian who attended all the school board or council meetings complaining about everything? Do you recall how our elite masters marginalized the disputants…first by ignoring them, then with knowing looks with the other audience members, and finally by not allowing them to approach the microphone? Add to the council and the school board the expanded power of the state or national government, and the mere denial of the opportunity for dissent morphs into active squelching or intimidation.
Governments at all levels recognize the power of an individual who will not be denied. That is why they go to such extremes to deny the soapbox or the megaphone to dissenters. For example, do you wish to have a rally on the local village square to protest some local outrage? Do you need a license? Must you hire “security.”? Free speech for those who object….is expensive. But Charlie, you say, “we cannot have all those crazy loons shouting their half-baked conspiracy theories in front of our children. “ My response is that the “marketplace of ideas” is a right to work shop, not a closed one. So far, we have no national union regulating speech particularly the dissenting kind. All those “Hot Buttons” that you’ve identified must, at some point, be addressed by the people. If we do not enjoy the full fruits of our personal freedom, those issues will NEVER be fully addressed openly and honestly. Government will control the agenda, and you or I will not be on it. Individual liberty is the only worthwhile tool for handling the Hot Stuff. Liberty is like a muscle…..exercise it….now.
As an aside that illustrates the premise of this column: Rod Blagojevich was charged and tried for doing what multitudes of politicians do every day. They didn’t like him or his style. Justifiably so, but he should have hundreds or thousands of loving cell mates from the political world.