I was speaking to a customer at my office last week about our nation’s growing culture wars. He is as conservative as anyone and fairly well read. He comes by to pick up supplies every once in a while and invariably our conversation turns to politics.
That day, we discussed everything from incandescent light bulbs to Obamacare. He began to turn the conversation into a complainathon.
He bemoaned the bond buying scheme by the Federal Reserve, saying that the $85 billion a month money flood can’t possibly be sustained. It was then that I told him the great news – that the Fed was paring back to a mere $75 billion a month.
It was as if a great weight was lifted off him. Not really. His reaction was, “Whoop-de-do”! Well said.
He lamented the condition of our country and asked, “If this keeps up, is there anywhere to escape to”? Where could he go to escape the coming oppression? He fears a crash that will send the country into a tailspin toward third-world status.
We didn’t get a chance to continue the conversation, but it did get me thinking. Is there a place to escape the coming oppression?
The answer is no, not really.
Like this high-information customer, it’s easy to concentrate on the negative.
After I jettisoned my customer imposed depression over our country’s probable dire circumstance, I thought some more.
This is the only truly free society ever devised by humankind. We are history’s one and only truly representative republic. We are the planet’s only inhabitants not to suffer oppression and in the one instance some of us did – slavery – we actually fixed it.
Now many, including me at times, have complained of our oppressive government. We hear complaints that the government is forcing us into alternative fuels, government healthcare, buying the dopey curlicue light bulbs.
This is not oppression. No one is going to be sent to a gulag, line you up against a wall and execute you or bury you up to your neck and stone you to death if you don’t comply.
Many of us conservatives, me included, throw the “oppression” term around rather liberally. But we know nothing of oppression, just as we know nothing of poverty.
Travel outside this country, listen to interviews, or simply read first-hand accounts of life in the Soviet Union, Cuba, or Communist China under Mao’s Great Leap Forward. Read about life in a country like Myanmar (Burma); then you’ll know of poverty. Speak to a refugee from the Sudan and you’ll know oppression. It’s as close as any American citizen will most likely ever come to living it.
Are we losing our God-given freedoms in this country? Heck yeah we are!
As Ronaldus Magnus (Ronald Reagan) said, “We are indeed, and we are today, the last best hope of man on earth.”
If we lose our freedoms – what made this country great – what sets us apart – there will simply be, as the Martha and the Vandellas song says, “nowhere to run to, baby. Nowhere to hide.”
We should continue to fight, without compromise, to retain what we have and regain what we’ve lost. For as bad as we think it is here, and as much as we think we’ve lost, there are no greener pastures.