I haven’t blogged or commented in a very very long time. Part of it is the pressures of daily life, of trying to start a new business, of worrying about finances without a regular income, and raising children. Part of it is not having much to say just now.
But earlier today, I received an email from a dear friend who was extremely depressed about the current situation and the trajectory of the country. She asked for some encouragement, some signs of hope. I wanted simply to share that letter with all of you. Forgive me my presumption that perhaps these words might offer some solace and some hope to my friend, and to my Redstate friends and comrades.
I’ll be honest — it’s been hard here as well. There really hasn’t been much reason for hope in the survival of freedom. It’s as if all of the dire prophecies of Atlas Shrugged are coming true.
But it is the darkest before the dawn. In a way, I feel glad that we as a nation have the opportunity for choice. Until now, I believe that native-born Americans really have not had a reason to choose freedom. The hysteria from the Left about theocracy and Bushitler police states was mere froth at the mouth rhetoric. The average American, easily duped by the media and the PC police, went along with the talking heads, only to discover that card check is being pushed through, that the Feds have apparently discovered the power to run car companies, and that the government can in fact tell you what you can make at your job. Repression — however soft and kind yet nonetheless repression — is coming.
Americans, born into blessed freedom that they so take for granted, have no understanding of what it’s like to live in a society where one criticizes the government in whispers and only to the closest of confidants. Americans have no idea what it’s like to live in a country where the Government chooses which company will succeed and which company will fail. Americans have no clue what social control really feels like, because they have always taken for granted the idea that no one can tell them how to live their lives. I do, because Korea under Park Chung-hee and Chun Doo-hwan was just such a place, and even as a small child, I knew instinctively that I and my family were but subjects of the government elites.
Our generation — the Gen-X in particular — will need to make a choice. Either freedom is important to us, along with all of the ugliness, pain, and nastiness that freedom brings with it, or it is not and we will go along with the visions of the anointed and become well-cared-for sheep.
I know where I stand in that, and I’d like to think that more and more Americans are slowly — oh so slowly — but surely waking up to what it feels like not to be free men and women.
It’s hard to have faith. But if it were easy, would it be faith? It’s hard to hold on to freedom. But if it were easy, would we cherish it?
You’ve asked for reasons for hope. I give you three. They may be meager, but they’re what I have.
One, we have been through this before. The Wilsonian era was far worse, perhaps, than even the Age of Obama. I urge you to read Liberal Fascism by Jonah Goldberg if you haven’t already. In a way, it’s comforting to know that we have, as a nation, lived through a fascist era before and still came out with more freedom than any other nation on earth. True, we were harmed by the Progressive Era, and perhaps one day, we will undo some of that damage, but we did come to our senses as a country.
Two, I still believe in the innate character of the average American. Not of the elites, who believe themselves to be the Anointed, immune from repression and persecution… until they fall from power, or find themselves in the looters’ sights. But the average American, who just want to be left alone to raise their families, do those things the elites find so repugnant (like going to NASCAR and watching American Idol reruns), I think retains a deep streak of independence and common sense. Even in Obama’s America — maybe especially in Obama’s America — people don’t relax when they see a police car on the highway behind them; they silently want the cop to pass them by and leave them alone. I think most Americans remain silent, the proverbial Silent Majority, watching with growing unease with which the Left now in power is screwing them. It only takes a spark to light that fire.
Third, even amongst the elites, I think there’s a growing sense of buyer’s remorse. I am enjoying incredible schadenfreude that Wall Street, which has so heavily and so heartily supported Obama and the Democrats these past few years, is the very first to be put on the sacrificial altar of equality, economic justice, and “stabilization”. I see the eagerness with which institutions like Goldman Sachs, whose employees had contributed to Democrats 3-to-1 over Republicans, try to pay back TARP funds as quickly as possible in an effort to escape being told by the federales how they can run their business and how much they can pay their people. Perhaps they have learned their lesson?
We can’t relax, of course, and we must continue to strive to be happy warriors. But there is reason for hope.
The Left will overreach. They simply cannot help themselves. Since their goal is not happiness or peace or growing the economy or any such practical worldliness, but the actualization of a vision, of an ideal, of a dream… they cannot help but overreach. Plus, the Obama Administration is quite simply one of the least competent, least able, and least representative administrations in history, coupled to one of the most corrupt and most radical Democratic parties in history.
I say, let us be happy. What have we to be depressed about? Either we win and restore the rule of law, love of freedom, and a return to proven principles of social organization, or we lose, suffer what we must, and have the satisfaction of having fought the good fight. This world, after all, is not the end.
I’m a terrible, terrible Christian. Perhaps unworthy of the claim. But put to the test like this, I have to fall back on that simplistic faith. Even this is meant for a reason — even if that reason is simply to give those of us who care about freedom, about country, about what America means, to have something against which to struggle. Let’s say that all of our struggle is in vain, and my children will have to listen to stories of when Daddy was young and could post things like this on a blog and not have to worry about getting a visit from government officials, or have to worry about getting called into the boss’s office for a quiet chat. Even then, I know that I can stand before the Judge and say I was not asleep, I did not succumb to temptation of servitude, and that I was on the side of Liberty.