Thursday, April 23, 2015

A Rebel is Someone Who Says No

Maybe I think things through too much. I know that when we see memes like this that we are supposed to simply get a visceral, immediate reaction (anger, laugh, cry, etc.) and leave it at that, but I tend to look deeper and see other messages that are in there. Is it just me?

I want you to look at this picture. Remember when this happened? I do. I remember the coverage it got on ALL the news channels and newspapers and magazines, etc. I remember how proud we, as Americans, were of those Chinese who knowingly took their lives into their own hands by daring to stand up to the communist government of China. The cheering, the "atta boys," the hope we had for their success. All this they did in an effort to achieve the kind of freedom/liberty that we used to have here in the United States. These men and women were "breaking the law." The government told them how they were to behave, but the people wished to send a message and therefore they had to "break the law" to hopefully move their government in the direction of freedom. Remember?

Now then, compare the American attitude toward the Chinese people at that time to the attitude of far too many of the American people today toward their fellow Americans. If you "break" unjust laws you are a criminal deserving of a beat-down and prison. If you question the need for tanks for police departments or question the need for heavily armed SWAT teams to raid a farm selling unpasteurized milk you are labeled a cop-hater. If you challenge any of the government's "explanations" for recent and not too far past events you are called a crazy conspiracy nut. If you demand that your country stop getting involved in other nations affairs or starting new wars you are labeled unpatriotic and told to "get the hell out of this country." You've seen it, you've heard it.

I long for the day when ALL my fellow Americans understand what true freedom/liberty is and work toward that goal with the same zeal and passion that they showed for the Chinese people at Tienanmen Square. I hope for the day when skepticism and asking questions and not swallowing the government's "stories" whole are considered part and parcel of what being a good American is supposed to be. Hey, a guy can dream can't he?

What would that look like?

What I mean by "freedom/liberty" includes, but is not limited to:

Individual liberty/rights - Each person, regardless of who they are or what they look like or how they worship, is entitled to the same rights as any other human. No group/collective rights, but INDIVIDUAL rights, as the individual is sovereign.

I would like to see us return to a time when the police were not a source of revenue, but actually protected and served.

I would like to see kids once again be able to set up a lemonade stand without a government permit and without fearing arrest.

I would like to see people be able to put whatever they want in their bodies, as long as they harm no others, without fear of being caged like an animal.

I would like for farmers to be able to sell and people to be able to buy unpasteurized milk without worrying about a fully armed SWAT team raiding the farm and destroying property.

I would like to see the U.S. government adhere to the Constitution, as our Founders envisioned and wrote it and mind its own damn business. Stop meddling in other nation's affairs and looking for reasons to get us involved in never-ending wars.

I realize that much of what was supposed to happen, because of our Constitution, has been ignored from very early on, but that is not because the Constitution is faulty, it is because the men who run for office and serve seek power and influence that is not theirs to take. And this is due to the fact that far too many Americans keep voting for such men/women, because they hope to "get something out of it." I wish to see an American public that understands that with individual liberty comes individual responsibility.

Some of these things I hope for we once enjoyed, while others, if they happened at all, did so early on in the growth of our nation, until people learned how to "game the system." I want John Doe to be able to do whatever makes John happy, as long as he harms no one and violates no one else's rights in doing so.

I want people to be able to feed the hungry without having to get permission from the government and without having to worry about going to jail for it.

I want people to be able to protect themselves from those who would do them harm, even if the people doing the harm are wearing badges and uniforms, when their rights and safety are being violated. I want people to know that anyone, ANYONE, who violates their human/civil rights will be held accountable under the same laws that we are all expected to obey.

These are just a few of the things that I would like to see happen. As I said, some of them we used to enjoy, some may never have happened in our lifetime, but were envisioned by our Founders, who expected the people to be good moral people and respect individual rights and understand the consequences of violating them.