Sunday, January 27, 2013

Can Our Government Be Evil?

Anyone who writes often, whether a blog, news reporter, or author of some sort, knows that there are times when the words just won't come and others when ideas just pop into your head and you must put them to paper (so to speak). The words are coming to me right now.

In another thread on my "issues" page a friend questioned whether or not our government would do something as evil as "staging a school shooting" to advance an agenda. I completely understand his feelings on this, as I used to be where he is. There was a time when I just could not fathom the possibility of such evil being committed by my government. I mean this is the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA for crying out loud! Those sort of things only happen in third world countries that are run by tinpot dictators, not here in the greatest country on Earth.

But, as a historian I had to begin to admit to certain realities. The first reality is that evil does exist. Now if you want to argue the biblical, theological origins and how to deal with it from that perspective you certainly may do so, but please, not here. This is not about religion and its role in such things. Save that for another thread. This is simply to acknowledge that evil does exist and each of us has seen examples of it played out in our lives and in our nation. So, is it then reasonable to believe that OUR government, which, by the way, is staffed with human-beings who are capable of evil, would do evil things?

Are we, as Americans, exempt from those shortcomings? Are we, and those serving in various levels of our government, not capable of the same evil that history has shown others capable of? Is there something in our water, air, food, climate, etc., that prevents the sort of evil that has been visited upon other cultures/countries from being seen here? Can we point to examples of our own government doing evil things to its own citizens? Anyone ever heard of the Tuskegee Experiment? If not Google it, look it up. Did our government commit evil atrocities against the Indian population back in the 19th and early 20th centuries? I could go on, but do you get the point yet?

If evil is among us and evil can be found in various levels of government, as the government is comprised of human-beings, then why is it so hard to believe that our government is capable of doing evil things? Things that you and I would never do, things that we find reprehensible and repugnant, but things that history has shown people are quite capable of doing. Is it possible that our government would "stage" a school shooting or other atrocity in order to advance an agenda? Do you have trouble grasping that possibility? I am sure we all do to some degree. I know I used to, but I am not as gullible as I used to be.

As difficult as it may be for you to contemplate that such evil could be perpetrated upon Americans by our own government I merely suggest that we not close our eyes, ears, and minds to the possibility. I, for one, simply do not believe the media complex and our government when they come out with their "version of things." Especially when that version seems to change on a daily basis. So, if you want to continue to believe that your government is not capable of such things I understand. It is a difficult thing to consider. I simply ask that you apply some skepticism to what you see and hear from the news media and your government. Don't take everything they tell you at face value. History teaches us lessons and one of those lessons is that governments have, can, and do lie to their people. The United States of America is no exception.