Thursday, October 27, 2016


My Norway audience has disappeared as suddenly as it emerged.  For about 2 years, I have been receiving more "hits" from people in Norway than all other countries combined, including the United States.  Had the trend continued, in another year or so, views from Norway would have exceeded views from America for the life of my blog.  However, beginning about 2 weeks ago, those page views stopped.  For now, thanks to those who checked into my posts from Norway these past few years.  Feel free to stop by again.

As we near the end of this tortuously long, painful to the ear and soul, presidential election, there is a hint of anarchy in the air.  Of course, this anarchy was not just created by the emergence of Donald Trump.  Survivalists have long been a staple of the American belief in individualism.  One might even say that people leaving the relative safety of established society to find new homes and forge new ways of life, led to the founding of America via those who left Europe for the New World in the 17th and 18th centuries, continued through the westward expansion of our country by the pioneers of the 19th century, and then accentuated by the mass migrations to America in the early 20th century.

One might say without much debate, that America represents the ideal that anyone can create a new identity, a new reality for themselves and their family.  Yet, even with that ideal, there are those who reject societal norms and seek their freedom in ways outside the standards that most of us consider the essence of America.  The American Dream of a nice house with a picket fence, a loving spouse and two adorable children, a job for life followed by one's golden years surrounded by family and friends, is not everyone's dream.

The election of the first African American President, along with the continued influence of government on the lives of Americans, especially in the areas of gun control, immigration and health care, galvanized many survivalists to move from a "leave me alone" attitude to one more akin to "we must reclaim our freedoms".  Ironically, many of the early survivalists were consider environmental nuts who eschewed modern progress in favor of a life in tune with nature.  They fought to keep meadows from becoming malls, and to keep the natural beauty of America's landscape from being pulverized in the name of profit and consumerism.  Now, it seems that those who prefer to live apart from society, form militias, stock up on guns as well as water, and seem almost giddy with the idea that the breakdown of society is coming.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants."  

It is a favorite quote of those who advocate anarchy in the name of true freedom, the words of Thomas Jefferson.  Of course, like most quotes from our founders, Jefferson's words are not always analyzed in the context of when he said them, and about what event.  Whether you fall on the side that Jefferson was advocating a little rebellion now and again to keep our leaders focused on their true job as public servants, or believe that Jefferson understood questioning our leaders but that armed insurrection against the government was treason, and that the founders' creation of the three branches of government to provide checks and balances was the best way to provide leadership that remained true to the spirit of the American experiment in democracy, the tree of liberty grows in many ways and requires many forms of nourishment.

Vigilantism is easy to glorify when we see the righteous defeat evil in movies.  Everything is black and white there, we know from the start who is the good guy and who is not.  And, even though the actions of the vigilante more often than not falls outside the law, we celebrate their victory over the forces of evil knowing that had the law be able to prosecute the offenders, they would have done so with justice befitting the crimes.  Of course, we only like it when its perspective matches our own.

But, while vigilantism is local in its effect, anarchy penetrates society as a whole.  Anarchy sets neighbor against neighbor, family against family.  Even to this day, defenders of the South in their rebellion against the government of the United States thought their treason a defense against an intrusive government trampling the rights of those in the South.  You see it in the Confederate flag waving in some state capitals to this day.

I see people with "support the police" signs on their lawns.  Do they not realize that the police, local, state and federal, will be the force called to suppress armed rebellions?  That those very same men and women will be the targets in the cross hairs of the guns when anarchy rules the day?  Will they then be supported of the police or will they be the ones aiming the guns?

Anarchy is an ugly response to unhappiness with the leaders of a country which elects its public servants through open elections.  We are not a third world country where military coups occur every generation.  We are not a country governed by a strong armed dictator who kills his opponents.  We are not a country with predetermined elections where everyone votes for the same person.

Anarchy can bring an economic collapse, disruptions of the monetary system as well as the distribution of food and medicine.  Anarchy will not bring the changes we need to improve our democracy, but more likely bring a consolidation of power for those already in place, marshal law, and a crackdown on anyone who questions the government let alone has stockpiles of guns and ammunition.  Anarchy will expose America to foreign intrusions, economic as well as military.

Our democracy is certainly in trouble.  Too much influence is wielded by those with the money to buy favors and alter laws and policies.  While many voters have demonstrated great passion during this election cycle, too many others are complacent about their right to vote, and will choose not to make a choice, informed or otherwise, claiming their vote doesn't matter.

The survival of our democracy is not dependent on denying the integrity of our elections, vigilantism or anarchy, but is certainly in critical need of an educated electorate who understands how our democracy works, how the huge diversity of ideas and solutions must be melded into a comprehensive package that does the most good for the most people, and how compromise works to advance the goals of all parties when each achieves a portion of their goals while acknowledging that the other side also needs to feel the same way, and has a legitimate right to do so.

Anarchy is bad for America, and therefore is not the option a true patriot would espouse.


No comments:

Post a Comment