Thomas Jefferson once said, “The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground.” His statement is profound and clearly characterizes our slide toward ever increasing levels of government control as a natural progression in the cycle of a maturing country. Need proof? Just think back at all the things we could routinely do years ago that would get us arrested these days. I remember well taking my shotgun to school so I could go hunting right afterward. Try that now and see what happens. I also remember being able to buy 22 ammo as a 10 year old at the corner store. Do you think my 10 year old grandson could do that today—does your corner store even sell ammo anymore?
Why is this? I think one reason oft times overlooked is related somewhat to our own success. As people raise their standard of living, they are increasingly more willing to allow others to takeover much of that which earlier generations routinely accepted as individual responsibilities. After awhile, people’s lives and mindset become much less independently oriented than in previous generations. And make no mistake about it; there are always those who will jump at the opportunity to provide services for you—at a price.
People always want others to handle things for them they don’t want to bother with. Since governments and political systems reflect human attitudes and behavior, examples at the individual level are applicable and often more easily understood—the principles of this progression toward wanting others to handle things therefore apply both to individuals and government. When applied to individuals, it leads to laziness. When applied to government, it leads to socialism or fascism.
As people accumulate more disposable income, they want to hire others to do things for them leaving additional free time to pursue “more important activities.” They don’t want to be bothered with the mundane. In my own case, I use to cut our grass every Saturday. I now have someone cut the grass and take care of my lawn because I don’t want to be bothered with it. I would rather pay someone so I can do other things on Saturdays that are of more interest to me—like cowboy shooting.
I also have someone take my trash away, repair my house and truck when something breaks, maintain the road in front of my house, and service my well water system. All services that in the 1700’s were the responsibility of the homeowner—but these services come with a price. In this case, the cost is not only money but the service provider determines the schedule. I must adjust my life to fit their schedule if I want them to perform the services. I surrender some small bit of self-determination in trade for others taking care of what I don’t want to bother with.
Same view toward government—let the government handle
more and more of our needs so we won’t have to worry about it—from
constitutionally directed national defense, to the unconstitutional education of
your children, to being the dictator of how you are to handle your retirement
funds, to establishing rules governing the amount of water in your new toilet.
But this too comes with a price and the cost when government gets
involved is not only tax money, but freedom as well.
The difference between hiring others to provide services
for me and asking the government to provide services is that I could fire all
those personal service providers and perform the functions myself if I chose,
but there is no firing the government. What
I give up for every government service is yet another small piece of
freedom—and those freedoms are surrendered not bartered.
“I will provide for you but here are the conditions imposed” is
the gist of government’s deal. You must abide by their multitude of government
rules and regulations all designed to enhance government’s power and control
over the people.
How does government sell this to Americans?
One method we’ve all seen that government uses to impose itself in our
life is to fabricate a crisis designed to scare the daylights out of folks;
propose a solution “only government can provide”; sell it hard and vilify
those in opposition until a short-sighted public finally screams for government
to “do something” then the politicians magnanimously step up to the
plate and abide by the will of the American people—attaching strings in
the process of course. Example: America’s
education crisis. Nowhere in
our Constitution does it outline a role for the federal government to do
anything about education, yet Washington offers itself up as the messiah of our
education system with tax dollars in hand.
Americans bought the story and are now screaming for and expecting
Washington to handle it—regardless of the strings attached pertaining to a
curriculum influenced by Washington or the historically demonstrated waste,
fraud and ineptitude at the federal level.
Government schools are now indoctrinating children in this big government view of life and imposing their distorted version of normalcy, morality and history on our young and impressionable children. In a generation or two, we will have citizens convinced that gigantic government is wonderful; the founders were corrupt and demented white oppressors, submission is preferred to resistance even in the face of life threatening enemies (foreign or domestic), the warrior spirit is to be avoided at all costs even within our military and that guns have no use or redeeming qualities at all—in the hands of the general public that is.
Government attracts people unto itself that are all too
eager to take over given half a chance. Power
is addictive and the more a politician gets, the more he wants and the longer he
wants to keep it. A corollary to
this is that the more politicians offer to do for people, the more most people
are willing to let them do and the more they are willing to let them do, the
more government is expected to do and will do.
It is a cycle that consumes personal freedom and liberty as the fuel
required to keep its engine of progressive control running.
After a few generations this system creates an environment of ever
increasing dependency and the expectation that a government run life is normal
and is the only way to get things done.
The history of nations is a cycle of phases—from oppression, to rebellion, to struggling young nation, to strong independent country, to growing and strong central government and back to oppression once again. America is no different. We are now and have been for years at the strong central government phase of the cycle and rapidly heading for serious and increasing oppression. It will be a while before we see the wheel return to the rebellion phase giving birth to a new and struggling young nation again whose people really understand and cherish true freedom.
Daniel Webster put it in 1837, "I
apprehend no danger to our country from a foreign foe - Our destruction, should
it come at all, will be from another quarter. From the inattention of the people
to the concerns of their government, from their carelessness and negligence, I
must confess that I do apprehend some danger. I fear that they may place too
implicit a confidence in their public servants, and fail properly to scrutinize
their conduct; that in this way they may be made the dupes of designing men, and
become the instruments of their own undoing. Make them intelligent, and they
will be vigilant; give them the means of detecting the wrong, and they will
apply the remedy."
Just the view from my saddle…
Contact Colonel Dan: firstname.lastname@example.org
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