Thursday, May 21, 2020

Americans Now Fear Risk More Than Tyranny

            The times, they are a-changin,’ as Bob Dylan once said. There are numerous troubling trends in American society today, nearly all of which have a central theme: we have lost our lust for freedom and are content to have government take care of us. Here are just a few examples:

1)      A new study by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) found that 75% of institutions of higher learning in America censor comments on their social media pages, a clear violation of the First Amendment. Moreover, nearly 9 of 10 block users, using content filters that include “matters of local and national concern, campus controversies, criticism of colleges’ corporate partners or sports teams, and even the weather,”  according to a summary report of the study. Well, we certainly don’t want to put up with criticism of our field hockey squad, and no one wants to be subjected to reports of bad weather, so it’s understandable. But seriously, what the hell are they afraid of?

2)      Beginning May 1st, San Diego required all residents to wear face masks when they step outside their homes and are within six feet of non-household members. This despite the fact that California has been relatively untouched by the COVID-19 pandemic and that even the states that were hit hard are starting to loosen up restrictions. San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher stated: “We believe this is going to be a part of life in the new normal. Now is the time, the voluntary compliance is over and now it is time for strict compliance throughout all communities.” Why? “Until such time when we have a vaccine or a widely available therapeutic drug, there are going to be parts of life that are going to change. Getting in the habit of having a face covering when you leave your house—that’s going to be part of the change.” How convenient for Muslims. And burglars.

3)      According to NewBostonPost, a recent poll shows that the number of young Americans who consider themselves to be “patriotic” has fallen dramatically just since 2002, from 89% to 63%. Of course, far more of those identifying as Republican professed to be proud of their country than did those identifying as Democrats or independents. Harvard freshman Katie Heintz, who worked on the poll, noted that Republicans were “far more likely to associate patriotism with positive attributes” such as “loyalty” and “responsibility,” while Democrats associate it with “things like racism, xenophobia, and ignorance.” Ironically, many of the young Democratic-Socialists couldn’t spell ignorance if they were spotted the “ignor” and the “ance.”

We have survived numerous other pandemics and crises without deliberately destroying our economies and making everyone hide under their bed. The Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918-1919 was a true pandemic. As was the Asian Flu (sound familiar) outbreak of 1957, which took the lives of approximately 113,000 Americans, the percentage equivalent of 180,000 today. Another massive flu outbreak occurred in 1968…and again in 2009, with H1N1. Yet, no shelter-at-home orders were given, funerals weren’t broken up, weddings prohibited and lone paddleboarders arrested. Stores and restaurants weren’t closed, nor were other “non-essential” businesses shut down. People could buy seeds and find toilet paper. So, why? Why has the reaction to this pandemic, this crisis, been so stunningly different? Why are so many shaking their heads and wondering what has changed? Why does everything surrounding it seem so surreal and vaguely disturbing, over and above the illness and death itself?
One reason is the alacrity and gusto with which governments— federal, state and local—have seized upon the crisis to control their citizens behavior. But there is another reason, one which makes possible the one just mentioned. An extraordinarily large percentage of people—especially younger people— now admit to having no religion. The percentage of professed Christians in the United States has dropped precipitously in the past several decades. Consequently, people are more afraid. In losing their religion and Judeo-Christian values, they have lost the comfort that belief in God can bring. Since so many now don’t believe in Heaven or an afterlife, they fear death, even though they do not love life.
The American Revolution ushered in an unprecedented era of prosperity and freedom, lasting well over 200 years, one that greatly benefitted not only the United States, but large portions of the globe. The Revolution was based on the concept of natural rights and the principle of limited government, of, by and for the people. Those concepts are now all but forgotten, the Revolution finally over.
The American Devolution has begun.

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