Liberty or Tyranny 4/13/2020
This is an exploration, not a proclamation. And it’s a safe bet that a lot of us are doing it. Searching our souls in these perilous times.
Through the years I tend to understand myself better by deep conversations with another person and/or through deep journaling. I have stacks of notebooks. Although I advise against making Facebook or blogs your diary sometimes what is most personal is also most universal.
At this point, I’m enduring this pandemic and my government’s overreach like I endure bad weather. Government tyranny, unlike the weather, has self-awareness and a plan. It is as normal and natural as the change of seasons that the government will get out of the banks and crush you. More people have been killed by governments than war. It is only a blip in time that people ever have true freedom. The dominance of people is the norm. And the USA was unusual for a few years.
The soft tyranny has not yet been a physical threat to me though it has been for some. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that my current disposition makes me docile or that I will go quietly into the night with velvet chains. Just because I want peace and tranquility doesn’t make me a slave. Like bad weather, this overreach keeps me in the house because I don’t want to get rained on. I still hope and perhaps naively believe the sun will come out, that is, a semblance of freedom will dawn upon us again.
But is that not a problem, that I/we think freedom is natural, that freedom will just happen on its own? Freedom is a garden that must be tended, walled off and protected from natural chaos that tyranny utilizes to dominate. The price is vigilance. Freedom is not free. So, is my hope a fairytale? I don’t know. I’m not willing to die on this hill, this coronavirus hill …yet.
Like my mom’s flower garden that needs tending, her flowers still bloom. She is long gone from her garden but I am reminded of her every day when I see her flowers still blooming. So, I sit in a garden that I did not tend or protect very well but her flowers still bloom like freedom. Freedom, as life, is powerful. And I sit here in this nation and relish the beauty of someone else’s sacrifice and work.
But I can’t be too self-critical. I have fought in my own way. They say the pen is mightier than the sword. I have, at times, tirelessly fought intellectually here and other places with my “pen” on social media for 20 years. I have conclusively defeated many freedom-haters dressed in the sheep’s clothing of liberalism in online debates and I have rung the liberty bell with their intellectual noggins.
This planned-demic has shown in real life what extremes my government will go. They have stretched the boundaries exponentially.
I lose sleep while pondering things like not being allowed to gather at a church building on Easter Sunday, that in Kentucky your license plate will be noted and you’ll be quarantined 14 days, that drones in NYC are on loudspeakers telling people to “social distance”, that drones are monitoring hikers in the UK. People are being locked up for not practicing social distancing. They’re being thrown off subways for not wearing a mask.
I’m reading my bible a lot more lately. I’m still paying attention to the news but it drains me. I need that verse “Be still and know that I am God”. I’m not the least bit happy-go-lucky or Pollyanna about it nor am a Chicken Little. And I’m not going to sound the alarm for every speculative thought stream that courses through my mind like the boy who cried wolf.
I don’t want to waste my firepower. I’m keeping my powder dry right now, mostly. My intellectual guns are up. I hope that’s all we need right now. Because if I climb the roof on the town square and raise the “Don’t Tread On Me” flag and stand my ground, the first thing I think is I will lose everything: my job, my income …I won’t be able to pay my bills. My life won’t change a little bit, as it is now when I debate online but will be ruined. I’ll be in jail. I’ll be called crazy. I don’t want to pull that trigger yet. Is that the last resort? Or is that the second to the last resort …civil disobedience?
We are on a seemingly new road. It’s the same old road to tyranny – it’s for the common (collective) good they say. I’m not sure if there is a point before the horizon where I will hit the ditch at a roadblock, whip out my AR and physically fight. Or are our “AR-15s”/minds still firing intellectual bullets? Are we there yet? Are we close? Will we dodge this bullet aimed at our freedom? If we do nothing will it near-miss us like a comet streaks by the earth?
I admit that I don’t want my life interrupted. I want to go to work, I want to cycle on the trail and woods. I want to write my books and read. I want to learn. But is a semblance of freedom now a dream gone into the mist of memory? Or is it on hold?
Are we willing to say, “We Mutually Pledge To Each Other Our Lives, Our Fortunes, And Our Sacred Honor” at this point?
It may come to that and we’ve all been caught with our pants down.