My sweetieheart and I talk about many things. Lately, the state of the Union, the asshats in both Houses of Congress, and various other bits of stupidity (oft times masquerading as either something intelligent or “done with good intentions”) which pop up on the interweb.
The feeling I come away with, is one of increasing frustration. The control of ones daily life, daily actions, seems to be out of our hands.
70-100 years ago, you didn’t need:
- Insurance on your auto, your home, your health, or your person. Granted, having such items could be considered “good sense” as they offered some sort of protection against unforeseen actions/”acts of nature” taking place at some future point in time; but the state didn’t mandate you have same, “for your own good”, the choice was (rightly so) left up to the individual.
- You were not “required” to wear a helmet while operating a motorcycle (and in some cases now, a bike). Nor were you required to wear a seat belt while in a car or truck (as a driver or passenger).
- Ones home was ones castle (this included the yard and other buildings on your property as well). If your grass was “too long”, or the yard in general was not “conforming” to the neighborhood standard(s), mote then likely, you would be shunned by same. Perhaps even a bit of “physical persuasion” would be attempted, if said owner was not particularly well liked. But odds are, folks would consider “leaving well enough alone”, or “as long as they are not really bothering us, it’s their own business, we just won’t have anything to do with them if at all possible”. Now, the local lawn police will be at your door if the grass is an inch over the “accepted community standard”. Or your yard is “cluttered” with anything from too many toys, to too many autos in the drive. “Oh, and did we mention your flag is much too large?”
- IDs … for everything. You need a driver’s license to drive a motor vehicle. Most will accept this as a legitimate step in validating ones ability to safely operate a vehicle to such a level that everyone benefits from same in maintaining a level of safety. But when did they all “morph” into “photo IDs”? Over and above this, when did we need photo IDs for owning a firearm (they do here in Illinois), for buying alcohol/cigarettes, entering a bar? (Yes, I understand what this helps to eliminate, as far as selling/serving to minors, but this was an issue, to some extent long before there were photo IDs, and seemed to be handled just fine back then …. soooo?) Now and again, there has been talk about either a national ID, obstensively used for voting, but bet my bottom dollar it will be used for far more then that. “May I see your papers please?”
- Permits for everything under the sun (with more appearing with each passing day). No need to list them here, I am sure you can come up with your own list.
- Taxes (or some sort of “fee”) on just about everything and or action in ones life. Though these may not be a direct control on individual actions, they are a drain on individual resources, which could be better spent elsewhere at the very least the choice would be “ours” and not “theirs”.
Yes, there were taxes 70 years ago (or better). There were already permits, licenses, “community standards”, and “fees”. But the level of intrusion into ones everyday life was far, far less then it is today. Indeed, many of the above items where in their “infancy”, with the resulting “intrusion” hardly, if at all, noticeable. Many communities were still bereft of same, especially those further away from “the big city”. Sadly, this is no longer the case.
But the real question is not, “How did these get here??”, rather it is, “Why have we let it come to this, and what can we do about it?”
The “why” is easy enough. Chalk it up to human nature. Whether it is fear, greed, envy, pride, lust (for power/control), or any of the other darker aspects of our nature, they have all played a part in getting us to where we are now. It is really just that simple. Perhaps that is why it is so hard for the intellectual elite to get a handle on this, they make it far more complicated and convoluted than it really is.
As far as the “what can we do about it” part goes … To this old Sailor’s mind, there appears to be only a couple courses of action:
- Work within the system. Become knowledgeable about not only the Constitution, but about any individual running for office (incumbent, or “first timer”). Be aware of any legislation which could directly impact you on a daily basis, or that which is in direct conflict with your rights as enumerated by the Constitution. Seek to bring about change within the given guidelines our founding fathers set in place. However, if this fails (due to malfeasance on the part of the government or those acting as it’s agents) … all bets are off.
- Resign yourself to the unpleasant, but no less real, possibility that if the system is broken beyond repair, it is time to “reset” same. This will not be easy, cheap, or without risk to lives, liberty, or property. But when all other avenues fall short of the desired goal of a return to a right and proper Representative Republic, and the removal of “Mrs Grundy” (if you are a fan of Heinlein, you know to whom I am referring) from, at the very least, the federal level of government, then there is really no other measure of sufficient means of which to bring about the return of that which is only right and proper.
It is my personal belief we will see our final chance to “work within the system” come this November’s elections. Regardless of which party gains control, or which individuals get into (or return to) office, if business continues on as usual, well, all bits are off. The system will have proven itself to be well and truly broken.
Which leads us to the second choice above. (There is a third option. To go as lemmings, willingly jumping off the cliff of democracy, into the shallow waters of socialism, the tide taking you out into the sea of totalitarianism. I for one, refuse to go that route. It is a non-option.) All the kings solders and all the kings men will be no match for the uprising which is to come, if the system is perceived to have failed (let alone, if it is found to have really done so), heaven help us. If we are lucky perhaps all that will be needed is any number of States to secede from the Union, and start anew. This might work, but it might also bring about the same reaction we saw some hundred and fifty years ago. Open rebellion, to my mind will only bring the bloodshed to the fore sooner, rather than later. This too is a version which could happen, but I hope it is not the case. Still, when all other choices are removed from the hearts, hands, and minds of the free, what other real option is there.
But what say ya’ll?