Like most people in the United States today, I have many friends and relatives who do not share my political views. The funny thing, though, is that in this land of freedom and free speech, I have been the one who was supposed to keep quiet. You have been allowed to say any horrible thing you like.
Just one example: during this recent holiday season, we were driving home from a lovely dinner when one of my companions commented on the beautiful scenery: “It will recover in 10 or 20 thousand years when man is no longer around to spoil it.”
Let’s set aside the self-loathing in that statement. Let’s also set aside some very real questions about its accuracy. The fact is that it was a flagrant expression of her political views. And if I had made an equivalent statement reflecting my political views, I would have been roundly attacked. Regrettably, I remained silent on this occasion—as I have often done.
This and other similar incidents have caused me to reflect on my approach to confrontation and matters political. The bottom line: I’m not playing your game anymore.
I resent the fact that I am forced to become an “activist”. That word, to me, implies the long-haired, dope-smoking freaks that plagued the 60’s and 70’s and are still screwing up our polity. I also resent that I’m forced to defend democracy, liberty, and freedom while I’d prefer to be doing what any good capitalist prefers to spend time doing: earning my living, and trying to improve my life and that of my loved ones.
But you have forced me to do it. You have abridged my freedom with complete impunity: you have decided that I must buy and use “compact florescent” light bulbs (which I loathe), you have decided that I must recycle (which I don’t object to, but you don’t seem to be willing to pay me as much as the garbage-man.), and now you’re trying to decide what kind of health insurance I must buy. You have inserted your ideology into nearly every part of my life.
Parenthetically, you do all of this at the same time you’re calling me names: Sexist, racist, bigot, homophobe, greedy, and so on. You’re also doing it while claiming that it’s for my own good—as if I can’t decide what is and is not good for me.
Well, I’m not playing anymore. I’m going to use the same tactics against you that you’ve used against us for so long. I’ll be taking time off from my job to picket, to protest, and to stage sit-ins. Let’s see how you like it. (Oh wait, we did that—and now you’re spending a lot of time and ink attacking us as “tea baggers” and using still more slurs against us.)
There is a fundamental difference between us, though. You’ve spent the last half-century or so trying to tear down many of the fundamental features that made this country great. You have attacked and harmed our religions, our traditions, our patriotism, our capitalist tradition, and many other features that were uniquely American. You have tried, with considerable success, to replace it with European-style socialism, Marxism, utopianism, progressivism, and all of the “isms” that plague the world. We, on the other hand, are simply trying to preserve what we already have—at least to the extent that you have not already taken it away.
You may not like it, but the fact is that nearly all of the worst places in the world to live have leftist governments. From Cambodia, to the former Soviet Union, to much of Africa and South America, leftists have been killing people in the millions and enslaving the rest. But for some perverted reason, you wish to bring that ideology to power here.
By contrast, the United States, and to a lesser extent, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and a number of other countries have embraced a more free-market, libertarian, capitalist system. These countries, by and large, are more free, richer, and better to live in than the ones mentioned above.
The real problem in our world today is not an unequal distribution of wealth, but an unequal distribution of freedom and capitalism.
For that reason, I am now an activist. I will no longer sit silently and allow people to ridicule and dismiss my political views. I will no longer let the statist view go unchallenged. And I pledge “my life, my fortune, and my sacred honor” to trying to defend my country against you all. You, who are allegedly my friends and relatives. How very sad that I should have to do so. Or rather, how very sad that you have driven me to this.