Americans were so free for so long that they started taking it for granted. Compared to the totalitarian states of Eastern Europe and the Orient, the bureaucratic states of Western and Central Europe, and the generalissimo-led dictatorships of South America, America has always been a relatively free place. We didn’t have technocrats telling us how to run our lives, policemen with truncheons bashing our brains out for slights against the regime, our autocratic monarchs or dictators blindly leading us into disaster. Instead, for a brief, shining moment in history, we really were a nation by, of, and for the people. We were free.
But then we forgot just how unique that was, and began to conform with the European model rather than remain free.
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Well, to be more specific, the American people forgot. Our politicians, always ones to lust after power, forgot nothing. Rather, they’ve intentionally used our fear and forgetfulness to steal away our liberty.
Take 9/11. Because Clinton let al-Qaeda grow and the FBI and CIA were typically incompetent, a few barbarians were able to crash airliners into two skyscrapers.
Horrible, but not necessarily devastating. America would recover despite having two fewer office buildings on 9/12.
And what did we do? Punch them in the nose, destroy those responsible, and then move on?
Nope. That would have been too reasonable and effective. Instead, Bush informed us that the religion of terrorism is really the religion of peace and then proceeded to push through the PATRIOT Act, which lets the government spy on you, and ramped up TSA operations at the airport.
So now, 20 years and billions of dollars later, al-Qaeda is stronger than ever, we lost in both places Bush invaded, trillions of dollars and thousands of lives are down the drain, the government reads your text messages, and you and your kids get groped by some fat guy wearing a sweat-stained mall cop outfit every time you want to fly to grandma’s house. Not exactly the best-case scenario.
What went wrong?
Well, besides Bush being incompetent and Cheney needing to help out his Halliburton buds, we forgot that freedom is more important than safety. Had we remembered Benjamin Franklin’s advice and put liberty before safety, we would have wiped out al-Quaeda and then been done with it. We’d have both liberty and safety.
Instead, we put safety first and, predictably, ended up with neither. The government still spies on you and gropes you while al-Qaeda grows.
And, as if that weren’t bad enough, we’re falling for the same trap once again.
When we first heard about Covid, few people knew what to do. Fauci, despite funding the creation of the virus, was no help (predictably), so people panicked.
The bureaucrats, always hungry for power, took advantage of that. They showed us clips from China of bodies in the streets, stoked the panic porn furnace while making wild claims about the death rate in Italy, and then started pushing for lockdowns (following the CCP model, of course. The bureaucrats love that evil nation). “Fifteen days to slow the spread,” we were told. Putting safety above freedom, we went along with their tyrannical programs.
The result? Well, people are still dying of Covid and the fifteen days somehow still haven’t ended. As with 9/11, we now have neither freedom nor safety.
The lesson should be obvious. Safety isn’t what important. Freedom is. Liberty is.
America was a wonderful place because her citizens were free. They could do as they pleased, safety be damned, and they did those things well. They settled the west and built the railroads despite Indians, climate challenges, and scarce supplies. They went to the moon, made electricity practical for private use, invented the machine gun, and built the skyscrapers without safety harnesses. America, for a brief, shining moment, was a truly free nation full of free men.
But then we lost it. We let the technocrats take over while the politicians gobbled up ever more power. We, in moments of fear, prioritized safety over freedom. Now we have neither.
Reclaim your freedom by putting it first once again! Demand the same freedoms your ancestors had!
Photo by Sergey at Flickr.