...You know what's worse than violent disagreement? Violent agreement, when both parties are saying just almost exactly the same thing in different ways -- but so used to disagreement that each delivers rants and never quite hears one another.
Here's the thing: I believe all government is inherently flawed. Government has a built-in bias to perpetually increase its scope, authority and pervasiveness. The very best governments the minds of men have been able to devise only manage to slow this progress; I do not think it can be halted.
I would argue that the folks who write of sinister conspiracies are seeing patterns as one might see familiar shapes in clouds: that thunderhead might look like Mickey Mouse but let's be real, Disney didn't put it there. Nevertheless, the other fellows over there under the banner of "Progressive" are indeed progressing; not to some carefully-crafted socialist world state, not under any Master Plan and not alone: anyone out to "do good" using government for a tool, from "free" universal health care to "defending" marriage from same-sex couples is part of the problem. What business has government to meddle in such matters? None.
Barry Goldwater said it for me: "Any government powerful enough to give you whatever you want is also powerful enough to take it all away." The general version of Ugol's Law tells me that if such power exists, eventually it will be used. --Probably, in our clean, well-lit Western Civilized world, in a nice way, for our own good, with a touch so light and gentle...! But used, nevertheless.
And that's why it's so easy to wrapped around one's own axle over half-witted comparisons to Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia. Ain't gonna happen here that way, gang: never that fast, not that crudely-executed, and not that obviously. Sorry, those "mysterious fenced compounds" and the wilder rumors of unpunished battlefield atrocity are just agitprop.
Conversely, only a blind fool believes we -- the West, or our nation, or our State government or our friends and neighbors -- are so especially special that we could never ever possibly comprise the sort of totalitarian system of which history has seen so much; those so sure it could never happen here have no more wit than the Chicken Littles of the Left and Right claiming Der Tag is right around the corner. Sorry; there aren't any sharp corners left, wickedness is easy and evil banal, especially when it becomes widespread, even more so when the spread is gradual.
We are neither devils nor angels and neither is our government. While I am mostly convinced that liberty as the Founders saw it is a lost cause for Western Civ, I believe there is a lot left, centuries yet to go; and fighting a valiant rearguard action in defense of liberty is a matter of education, not "shooting the bastards."
Rome did not fall over a long weekend and our age has had a lot more history to learn from than did they. The ramparts you must man are the most difficult sort: metaphorical ones. Far less blood and thunder, far less thud and blunder and even the most heroic incur but little physical risk and garner little recognition. But if these battles are not fought -- or if they are engaged too foolishly, with the wrong weapons and on unfavorable terrain -- future generations will pay the price.
That's why I'm not "voting from the rooftops" and why I am voting in the more-traditional manner. And it's why I bother to blog.
YANKEE RADIO TOOL KIT, #106
4 weeks ago