This week, America goes on a binge. We will consume literally tons of hamburgers, hot dogs, ribs and potato salad. We will guzzle an ocean of beer. Barbecue grills will burn acres of charcoal and rivers of propane. The night sky will light up like the day from multiple billions of fireworks and sparklers as we celebrate the biggest midsummer party of them all.
Indeed, all America lets our collective hair down on July 4th as we celebrate our Independence Day, but I can’t help but wonder if the party has become only that, a gigantic party for partying’s sake.
It appears to my aging eyes and ears, that we have slowly traded the freedom so costly purchased, for something much less; the illusion of safety. I have watched us trade liberty for laws and autonomy for regulation until not much liberty remains.
Each time we cry out for this law or that regulation we sacrifice a segment of our freedom and sell a piece of our soul. We have moved beyond jeopardizing our freedom. We have lost it. We are controlled and regulated at every turn. We have become slaves of an engorged Government bureaucracy. Bush’s Patriot Act and Obama’s Affordable Care Act were the final nails in the coffin of liberty.
Step by step, inch by inch, brick by brick, we have lost our freedom, in part because we have not been paying attention, and in part because we’d rather not bear the individual or corporate responsibility that is the price of freedom. “The Government should….” has become the mantra of Liberty lost. We have become the drugged, drunken, oblivious masses who populate Panem’s Capitol and wildly cheer President Snow’s introduction of ‘The Hunger Games’. We have exchanged freedom for opulence and decadence. We have been wooed to ‘Pleasure Island’ with Pinocchio and the other children. Soon the gates will close, and we will be enslaved as surely as were the boys who became assess in that morality tale.
We have schools, run by Government, funded by taxes, where children don’t learn and parents have no say. Our young have access to pornography in many school libraries, but Christian literature is banned. Children may wear attire that celebrates Che Guevara, but are sent home for wearing an American flag on their tee shirts. We squabble over what should be included in Government provided school lunches and send home lunches provided by parents for not being up to Government expectations. Is this the freedom our forefathers bled for?
Tens of millions live in communities where we cannot paint our own homes without the permission of the Association. We can’t build a swing set or plant a garden. In some cases we cannot fly the American flag. So much for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We traded those things for the illusion of the perfect neighborhood. Welcome to Stepford.
Privacy is dead. We sacrificed that on the altar of technology. Every word we speak, every image we take or view, every keystroke, is captured and stored. In many cities, every step we take and mile we drive is monitored. Our utilities usage is charted, and with the advent of ‘smart meters’ may be regulated and controlled, but because for the moment, we can set our thermostats as we like them, we blithely continue our games, unaware we are sprouting tails and long ears.
We go to the supermarket and fill our carts with prepackaged poison, because it’s cheap and tasty, and assume the Government should make sure it’s safe. After all, we shouldn’t have to do that ourselves. Then, when a handful realize we’ve been duped, a cry of, “Mandatory labeling” goes up from the crowd. That is not how freedom works.
We want to ingest, inhale, imbibe whatever, whenever, however we want, then expect someone else to pay for our excesses. We wish to do whatever, whenever, with whomever, and have someone else pay for the consequences. Oh, the arrogance. George Washington weeps from his resting place.
Lately we have handed over the keys to our own health care. We are not able to choose our own doctors and they are not free to treat us. We can all get ‘insurance’ now, but we have traded that for someone else dictating the treatment, the cost, the longevity and the depth of our care. Be careful what you wish for. The borrower is slave to the lender and soon the trap will be sprung.
Our political elite, smirk as they tighten their grip, even as we party; knowing we are so inebriated that there will be no real opposition to them as they take the final vestiges of our liberty. We may grumble, but we have lost our ability to stand, to walk, to fight, so we complain, then take another hit on free stuff. Marx was wrong. Entitlements are the opiates of the masses.
But it is not too late. We have travelled far down the road to serfdom and the way back is slippery and treacherous, but we can still rise and take back what has been taken, what we surrendered in our foolishness. We are from good stock. We have a heritage of liberty. And, for now, we still have the Constitution of the United States as both a defensive and offensive weapon.
We can still rise to Liberty’s song and be the nation we were called to be. Rouse yourselves, America. Awake. Shake free of the bonds that envelope you. Fear not. Remember from where you have fallen and take back your birthright. Those ‘Republocrats’ presume upon your slumber. But we are beginning to stir. We can vote them out. We can insist on term limits. We can choose leaders instead of elitist autocrats. We can begin again. We can raise a new generation that cherishes liberty and passes it on. The cost will be high, the work long and arduous, but the Promised Land is worth the wilderness. The future is in OUR hands. Let Freedom Ring!