The REAL Way to Combat Toxic Politics?

If you follow me at all, you likely know that I’m not a fan of click-bait titles, which is why I’m prefacing this article with an explanation for what sounds like a click-bait title. Today’s topic is based on logical reasoning, but can’t be definitively stated as the magic solution to all our political problems today. The reality is that our modern societal systems are so complex that no one solution is enough to put things right again. However, I believe that this one concept may be a key part of turning back the tide of insanity we’re experiencing today.

In the past, inaction has caused serious problems as certain powers around the world decided they wanted to grab as much as they could. The most obvious example of this was Nazi Germany under Hitler and Neville Chamberlain’s refusal to stand up to an obvious threat. His lack of courage and inability to make a decision gave an evil man the opening to plunge the world into a devastating war. If our goal is to learn from history, it seems to make sense that we should tackle our problems head on to stop them from growing too big to quash.

However, times change and the solutions to our problems must inevitably change with them. What worked a century ago doesn’t necessarily work in today’s fractured and highly complex social structure. In the days of the World Wars, individual countries were unified under common principles, mostly because those people only ever experienced ideas inherent to their geography. In today’s vast information marketplace, this just simply isn’t the case. The myriad ideas floating amongst the “cloud” has created an environment where even next door neighbors might have radically differing ideas about how the world should be.

How do you confront major issues in such a landscape? You can certainly band together in common cause, attempting to subdue the opposing viewpoints with the power of numbers, but the crazy thing about our society today is that there are so many varied positions on even broad, general ideas that gathering enough people who completely agree on a topic is nearly impossible. Even our largest political institutions are highly partitioned into subgroups who each disagree on many of the most important sticking points. Use of force in the face of this kind of discourse seems fruitless. It certainly hasn’t worked in the last several decades.

If force isn’t a viable option, then the natural assumption is to take a look at the opposing method. Obviously, laying down and simply accepting the other side’s way of doing things doesn’t accomplish our goals. We don’t want to avoid a struggle; we want to find a method that stops the advance of the opposing ideology or, even better, advances our own. With the decentralization of ideas that we have today, what method can we turn to in order to at least stop the rising tide of progressivism?

The most logical idea that forms in my mind is an analogy to a non-violent way of dealing with a bully. For many children, fighting back just isn’t in the cards. The antagonist is simply too big to effectively combat, and any attempts to do so simply stoke the fire that fuels a bully’s entertainment. For a bully, the goal is personal satisfaction by negatively affecting the state of mind of the other person. There’s an effect that results from his causation, and that feeling of control gives him a sense of power. Power can be a highly addicting drug.

One way to combat this kind of behavior is to simply not give the bully what he wants. Sure, he can push you around or call you names or maybe even shove you into a locker, and while those experiences are certainly unpleasant, they don’t rise to the level of criminal behavior. In the end, the bully has to satisfy himself with what he can get away with, and usually that’s low level harassment. If the target chooses to simply ignore the harsh words or not resist and give the desired reaction to the physical abuse, the bully has only two options left: either escalate things until he gets the desired reaction, or give up and move on to someone else who might be better entertainment. He will eventually realize he’s wasting his time with his current tactics.

His most likely option will be to simply give up and move on. The risks of escalating things past a certain point become untenable for him, the consequences being far higher than anything he’s willing to risk. A bully has far less courage than his own puffed-up sense of self importance convinces him he has, and most will only go so far to satisfy their desires. At some point, they learn to accept that being a bully no longer fills that void they’re hoping to fill and they finally decide to turn their attention to more productive things.

The current political climate is much the same as this scenario. There are small but very vocal minority groups running around trying to bully the quiet majority of people who just want to live their lives. Much like the bullies of our youth, their methods are to try to force us to capitulate to what they want so they can have the satisfaction of having what they want at the expense of everyone else. They care little about how their methods might be hurting someone else; it’s all about satisfying their perceived needs. If you get run over in the process…well, the ends sometimes justify the means.

In reality, these groups only have the power that we allow them to have. Sure, they can run around pushing and prodding and harassing, but the only way they can get the results they want is if we give in to them. Perhaps the best way to combat these crazy times we live in isn’t to fight back with all our might; maybe the best way is to just see them for what they are and ignore them. If enough people stop taking them seriously, the likely result is they’ll realize their energy is being wasted and maybe they’ll turn their attention to more productive pursuits.

Obviously this isn’t a cure all solution. There are many situations and variables to be considered, not the least of which is the current trend of violent behavior that seems to have become acceptable in our society. What I’m really saying here is that, while we can’t really commit to completely ignoring political insanity until it goes away, the mental thought process should be there in our minds while we continue to navigate these treacherous waters. If we can adopt this anti-bully mentality and face the world in a calm and collected frame of mind, perhaps we’ll find that these political bullies run off to find something more fun to do.

What do you think about political bullying? Can we turn back the tide of insanity in which we currently live? What methods can we use to combat this sort of negative behavior on such a major level? Sometimes the solutions to our problems are very complex, while other times they can be quite simple. Many times we overthink things to the point that the obvious answer simply eludes us. Maybe the resolution is right there in front of us.

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The Politics of UFO’s

For decades now we’ve heard about unidentified flying objects. From Area 51 to the modern video capture of strange craft roaming our skies, sighting have been frequent and shocking to those who were lucky or unlucky enough to experience a close encounter. Few things are as awe inspiring or terrifying as the idea that there are highly advanced civilizations roaming the stars looking for whatever it is that highly advanced civilizations look for. Science fiction has given us a few ideas, from altruism to malicious intent, but who really knows for sure?

These days, we’re experiencing a rather strange set of circumstances in the form of a government which has long been very secretive or denying of such things radically changing their tune and all but admitting that extraterrestrials are actually a real thing. It seems weird that after so much time trying to keep it all under wraps that all of a sudden and with no warning beginning to admit to many things we never believed they would. For many, it is a time of hope that our paradigm may be shifting from the way things used to be.

Like most things, however, taking a look at the bigger picture tends to alter the way we perceive the details. When you don’t simply take things at face value and start asking the all important question of “why?”, the motives of such things become highly suspect. If you’re a bit more skeptical than the average person, it becomes all but impossible not to ask the question “why now?” What is it about this point in time that makes it reasonable to throw off decades of conspiracy and cover ups and reveal to the world that the biggest secret we’ve all suspected was true actually is?

There could be many reasons for such things, and if you tend toward assuming that people are generally good and our government has the best interests of the people in mind, you might assume that it’s simply because our technology has reached a point that hiding it simply isn’t viable anymore. With so many recording devices out there and so many people competent in using them, recorded sightings are becoming more and more frequent and it is inevitable that irrefutable evidence will surface at some point. Perhaps the time has come where the government just can’t keep a lid on it anymore.

Of course, that answer is highly unlikely if you’re a bit more educated on the topic. If you know anything about our current understanding of physics, as well as the probabilities that there are even other species which exist in our galaxy, you’ll begin to seriously doubt the validity of any of this. I won’t go into too much detail here, but if you want a crash course in what is popularly known as the “Fermi Paradox“, check out the video by the YouTube channel “Science and Futurism with Isaac Arthur”. The video is quite long, but you’ll learn more about space exploration in that hour of viewing time than you can in many other places.

If we have a basic understanding that not only is physics unlikely to allow us the ability to transport faster than light, and the odds of another human level civilization being quite small, then it becomes much harder to be accepting of this new wave government transparency on the subject. If you accept the idea that the odds of aliens even being feasible in our area of the universe are next to nothing, then a new idea starts to emerge from all the things that are happening today: something fishy is going on here.

It’s interesting to consider what the consequences of the revelation of an otherworldly civilization would likely be on the world at large. With a new external factor to worry about, many people would be willing to look past the differences we experience today in favor of focusing on a potential new threat in the form of technologically superior beings capable of doing terrible things to we puny human beings. Fear is a powerful motivator, and regardless of the way in which an alien species might choose to reveal itself, whether through power or peace, a significant portion of the world will view any new power in our sphere as a threat.

There is significant precedence in our history of people banding together in common cause. One of the best ways to convince people to put their personal viewpoints and agendas aside is to shift the focus to something that is a danger to all. There is no question that aliens from another world would have the technology required to completely wipe humanity from the face of the earth, whatever their reasons might be. As beings still ruled mostly by our primitive instincts, it is nearly impossible for us not to worry over that distinct possibility.

This then, might be the real reason why UFO’s have suddenly become such a prominent and “legitimate” part of our discussion today. In a world where our technology has reached the point where we can create seemingly real events out of thin air through the magic of computers, the idea that perhaps people seeking to overcome ideological adversaries might be creating a massive hoax isn’t really all that far-fetched. We watch examples of it every time we watch a modern science fiction film. The ability is there.

With as isolated as most of us have become over the last couple of years, it has become very difficult to truly verify things anymore. How can we really check up on the truth of things when everything is still so locked down? What steps are being taken by the people in power to manipulate the average person into believing whatever they want us to believe? The unfortunate truth is that people have become so self-absorbed that nobody questions anything anymore, and the people who want control have engineered things to make us that way. Truth is no longer valuable to us anymore; convenience and comfort are, and truth is more often than not neither of those.

Simply put, there is a high degree of likelihood that this is yet another scam by highly manipulative people seeking to corral the masses into accepting the control of people who believe they know better than you do what is good for you. They have become experts at telling us what we want to hear to gain our cooperation, and it is certainly within their ability to do all the things mentioned above. Until you actually see an alien walking out of a highly advanced spacecraft in person with your own two eyes, it is highly advisable to view anything coming from “official sources” with a high degree of skepticism.

What do you think about UFO’s? Is all of this real, or is there something else going on? Why the sudden change from secrecy to transparency? As we discussed, there could be many reasons for this, but usually the simplest answer is the true one. The question is that with a topic so complex as this one, which answer is actually the simplest? A bit of exploration on the topic on your own is highly advised, but perhaps this is a good starting point.

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Is Secession in the United States a Good Idea?

In a word…no. Of course, there’s a lot more to consider than just a gut instinct and I wouldn’t be much of a blogger if I just put something out there without at least putting forth some kind of logical context for the opinion. However, sometimes you have to lead with your answer rather than lead up to it when it’s something that you strongly believe because leading with an affirmative statement demonstrates the gravity with which you view the issue. So my definitive, unequivocal statement regarding states or regions breaking away from the existing country is that it is not a good idea.

There are several reasons for this, but perhaps the most important reason is that it’s incredibly lazy, and that’s just not the American way. When in our history have we ever found it acceptable to just walk away from a problem just because it was difficult? We didn’t land men on the moon by discovering that it was too hard and then just giving up on the whole idea. Vast resources were thrown at the problem and we kept at it until we figured it out. Americans might be many things, but at heart we aren’t cowards.

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you’re aware that I’m not a fan of the federal government. There has been massive overreach by a corrupt political system that is bent on folding the American public to their collective will. The system is absolutely broken and many times it feels like there is just no way to fix it. This mentality is exactly why the system continues to proliferate; no one believes they can do anything about it, so no one does. As the saying goes, darkness can only exist in the absence of light.

America is an idea. It is founded on the concept that freedom is something worth fighting for, and even if you’re not fighting for it for yourself, you’re fighting for it for someone else. One of the things that people don’t understand is that you can’t truly understand what light does for you if you’ve never experienced it. If you lived your whole life in a dark cave and have never seen a gorgeous sunset or beautiful flowers, then of course you have no reason to yearn for the outside. It isn’t until you are exposed to it that you have a chance to truly appreciate it.

The same is true of freedom. Much of the world still lives mired in authoritarian regimes that care more about control than about the well being of their citizens. There have always been people who either believe they know better than you do or just thrive on feeling in control of others. If you’ve never experienced the freedom that comes from living in a place where no one has the authority to tell you what to do, it’s difficult to even imagine it. America has fought wars in attempts to bring even the tiniest glimmer of freedom to the darkest parts of the world.

Forgive the tangent, but the idea of fighting for freedom is a critical component of why it is a terrible idea for the United States to begin breaking up into small factions. The reality is that those factions with more conservative ideals will continue to live in the best traditions of what our country has always been, while those who consider themselves more progressive will continue to implement policies and laws that oppress their citizens. The misery and human cost will continue to mount until something has to give.

If we truly believe in standing up for the innocent, there will come a time in the future where we will have no choice but to force these regions to free their people. This will lead to exactly the kind of war that nobody wants. Some of us might wish to have a “peaceful divorce” from the people we disagree with, but the reality is that one side or another will eventually grow strong enough to want to force their ideology on the other. Violence will be the inevitable result.

The better option is to continue fighting in our current system, as futile as that might seem. The true path to a return to American exceptionalism isn’t walling each other off or trying to force everyone to behave the way we wish they would. It is bringing people together by convincing them to follow a better way. It is by fighting oppression with any means necessary and teaching people to value others as much as they value themselves. You can’t do that when you build walls between us.

For America to remain the dominant nation in the world, we have to get over our petty bickering and start really talking to each other. To do this will require some hard choices, not the least of which is digging into the current system and purging the poisonous vipers from our midst. It is only when we decide we’re finally not going to take it anymore that we can “drain the swamp”, because the stagnant water will just keep rushing back in as long as we keep using buckets when we should be using industrial pumps.

So to answer the question again: no, there should not be any secession in the United States. It is only through working together that we can keep America as the shining jewel of liberty in a world that so desperately seems to want to return to the darkness. If we can’t stand up to our own problems, how can we demand it from the rest of the world? The path forward is not cowardice, but steadfast devotion to American ideology. We should never allow ourselves to stray from it.

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The Dangers of Indiscriminate Immigration

https://anchor.fm/gunthrek/embed/episodes/The-Dangers-of-Indiscriminate-Immigration-e153777

If you follow the news at all, you’ve likely heard the debate regarding our federal government’s policies regarding immigration across our southern border. If not, the situation is fairly clear: there really isn’t a southern border anymore. Sure, they put on a show of having guards out there, but it’s been shown over and over that federal resources are actually being used to take those who come into our country illegally and move them to various places deep in the interior. It isn’t small numbers, either. Many thousands of illegal immigrants have pushed across our boundaries since the new administration took office.

For many, this sounds like a great thing. We’re giving new opportunities to those who otherwise wouldn’t have them. In theory it makes a lot of sense; open the borders so we can help as many people as possible. This has been the war cry of progressive thinking for quite a long time now, and it works because it pulls at the heartstrings. How can we claim to be a generous nation when we fence everyone else out? Doesn’t that make us a nation of hypocrits? Unfortunately, too many of us fall for this emotional trap and we don’t realize the secondary consequences of this kind of reckless policy. We’re told that we are a nation of immigrants, so why are we so resistant to allowing more people in?

Our nation was absolutely founded by immigrants, but many times we forget that there is a long and sordid history with their expansion across the continent. They uprooted the people who already lived here, destroyed their way of life and replaced it with a European centered way of thinking. Gone are the cultures of old, replaced by a new way that in many ways was a step backward. When we look at the traditions and views of the Native Americans who inhabited these lands for many centuries before we arrived, it can be difficult to weigh the consequences of our arrival. Many see it as extremely negative, and I can’t say I completely disagree.

Just as the previous residents were ousted from their homeland and supplanted by a radical new way of thinking, our nation is being assaulted in much the same way. Our government generally works based on what the people want, so the direction of our country depends upon the ideas and beliefs of the people who make it up. For most of our nation’s history, the average person was fairly conservative, believing in individual liberty and maximum opportunity for all. Over time, the makeup of our citizenry has slowly shifted as we allowed new ideas to take root and change the way the average person looks at America.

Many people look at the current events and see just another iteration of America reaching out a helping hand to those who need it, never questioning that there might be some ulterior motive. To them, it’s just cutting through the red tape to get things done. They see the Biden administration as people who “get things done”, bypassing the “cruel conservatives” who care nothing for anyone. All the while, they are blind to the true intent and dire consequences of these kinds of actions.

The average person just isn’t well versed on how our government works anymore. They see all the conflict in our political landscape and tear their hair out in frustration that the people they elect just can’t seem to get anything done. It takes forever to get even the simplest of things passed, and some issues may never get resolved because of deeply conflicting points of view. It seems so much simpler to just have someone step in and take over and force things to start happening so that at least we can feel like something is getting done.

What they fail to realize is that the system was intentionally designed to not move quickly. Our system of government was always intended to be one where no one group was able to dominate anyone else. It was created with a system of checks and balances to prevent exactly the sorts of things we have seen happening over the last several decades. In our impatience to move forward, we’ve forgotten the warnings of our past. Tyrants are taking the lead and beginning to force their “better way” on us. The preventative measures our Constitution affords us are being ignored in favor of draconian laws that deny Americans their rights.

The real consequence in all of this immigration nonsense is that those of us who live hear have much less of a voice in how our government is run. The people being let into our country don’t have to go through a strenuous process that teaches them to value the country they are being welcomed into. They simply come here and bring whatever they happen to believe in along with them. When you add the fact that we have become very lax with our voting integrity processes, we get a new population of people with little or nothing in the way of American values voting on matters with a foreign frame of mind. We are being rapidly changed from the inside out.

You can see this as paranoia if you wish, but it’s very difficult to ignore the logic behind all of this. We’ve seen over and over that progressive ideology gets stymied time and again when the average person gets tired of the hassles that are caused by it. Rather than accept what Americans actually want, the easy solution is to just change the population to one that more readily capitulates to progressive demands. When the public is uninformed and uneducated, as most of these immigrants are, it becomes incredibly easy to manipulate the system in your favor.

What can we do about this? Not much for now. The current administration has shown they care absolutely nothing about what the average American wants. The power grab has begun and they’ve laid all their cards on the table. Fortunately, I believe they played their hand far too early, as most Americans lean toward conservative values and aren’t ready to live with these insane ideas for very long. With any luck, the next administration will be able to undo much of the damage being caused by this massive influx of gullible future voters, returning them to whence they came and restoring America to what it should be.

If you find this cruel, consider this: Americans have always been the most generous people in the world. We have used our power and resources to lift more people out of poverty across the world than any nation in history. Given the choice, most immigrants would much rather have their lives improved where they grew up and where they’re home is than have to uproot everything to take a risk on coming to another country. Removing emotion from the equation, which is better: gathering the world’s population all in one amazing place, or improving the rest of the world so everyone can have what we have?

What do you think about the current immigration situation? Is it helping immigrants, or hurting Americans? Is there an agenda behind it, or are they just trying to help people? It’s easy to ignore problems we don’t want to deal with, but sometimes problems come to our door and we have to make a decision. When it comes to the issue of federally assisted illegal immigration, time has run out. The longer we wait to do something about it, the harder it will be to fix and the more damage will be done.

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Progressive Cowardice

By the time this article is published, the situation will likely have been resolved, but most of us are aware of the situation in Texas where Democratic legislators “fled” the state to avoid an upcoming vote on a bill enforcing voter identification for elections. Any sane person would realize that requiring someone to prove they are a citizen prior to voting is just good practice and ensures that only people who have a legitimate voice in our political discourse is heard. Of course, progressive ideology isn’t sane, and they are doing whatever they can to ensure their own survival, no matter what it costs the average person.

While I am not surprised or even disappointed by their actions, it infuriates me that they continue to get away with circumventing our legislative process with little or no consequences. Sure, they are being threatened with jail time by the governor, but realistically they’ll either come back to business as usual or spend a few days in jail and end up being released with no further discomfort. Too many people will be on their side for any real punishments to ensue, and this is why American politics has become the swamp that it is.

Cowardice has always been the easy way out. It’s much easier to simply avoid a conflict rather than fight for what you believe in. Democrats are not the only ones to blame. Conservative leaders for the last several decades have been unwilling to truly push against the insane notions of the left, giving an inch at a time while progressives play the long game. A tiny river carved out the Grand Canyon, after all, and it only took time to make it happen. Our political landscape has undergone a very similar transition.

People always seem to find it so unreasonable when conservatives take a stand on something, wondering why we tend to be so obstinate about certain things. “We’re only asking for a little change”, they always say, never realizing that the slippery slope is a real thing and that there are forces actively seeking to take advantage of it. If you actually believe that there aren’t forces in our own country seeking to tear it all down, you just aren’t paying any attention at all.

The news media is praising the “courage” of these legislators as something noble which should be repeated on the national stage. Rather than listening to the people they are supposed to be representing, most of whom want this law to pass, they are siding with their political party in spite of their duty to those who elected them. They care nothing about their constituents; it’s all about lying down to progressive ideology and hoping there will be some sort of benefit to them down the road.

True Americans would never stand for this kind of coercion. Patriots would tell these manipulating vipers to go pound sand and vote as their districts want them to vote, regardless of their personal position on the matter. We don’t elect our politicians to tell us what to do; we elect them to vote the way we would if we were casting the ballot. The whole point of representative government is for the people’s will to be done. Instead, we get elitist fools who blindly do what they’re told because they’re too weak to do what’s right.

There is nothing heroic about people who run away from their responsibilities, no matter how much they try to sugar coat it. In the end, these people have a duty to perform and they are shirking it to further an agenda that the people of Texas don’t want. Sadly, this isn’t anywhere close to the end of the line because the conservative majority doesn’t have the guts to call them to account. In the end, it is weakness on both sides that leads to the decay we continue to see today. Only after we have no more choices and it’s too late to fix will anyone really stand up to do anything about it. It’s a tragedy as old as time.

What do you think about political vagrancy? Are the Democrats fleeing Texas heroes or villains? Do you see them as standing up for a cause, or running away from a fight? There are few legitimate excuses for failing to fulfill a promise, and it’s especially egregious when that promise regards something as sacred as American representative democracy. How can we trust people who put political ideologies over what people really want? We can’t, and the wall eventually come crashing down.

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Political Posturing on a Global Scale

I find it interesting sometimes to follow the politics of other countries. While I don’t spend a great deal of time worrying about what other nations decide to do most of the time, partly because very little of what they do has any real effect on our lives over here, there are some events that grab my attention. Many times these events appear concerning on the surface, but in reality aren’t nearly as bad as the media tends to portray them. It is important to remember that news is no longer about truth, but click count.

The situation that sparked the writing of this article is China’s recent expulsion of a United States warship from Chinese contested waters. The country is making a big show of how they “intimidated” one of our vessels from the South China Sea, forcing the USS Benfold to retreat to safer waters. While the facts might be that China took up an aggressive posture and the warship chose to leave rather than start a war, the reality is far from the picture that China would like to paint.

The truth is that while China is certainly a world player, they haven’t reached nearly the technological and industrial power required to seriously challenge America in a head on fight. Sure, they have nuclear weapons and could certainly choose to use them, but I think that none of the major nations really want to go that route since we all know that no one really wins that fight. If it were going to happen, I believe it would have decades ago before it was truly understood what mutually assured destruction would look like.

If we set aside a nuclear apocalypse, then all that’s left is conventional warfare, and while China certainly has us outnumbered from a manpower standpoint, they simply don’t have the ability to conduct a sustained global war outside of their immediate area of influence. It is true that their aggression is focused on the areas just outside their nation and could put up a serious fight that would be very difficult to win, but ultimately China loses that fight; not because the United States will be able to truly defeat China, but because the nation will ultimately expend significant resources for territories it will ultimately be unable to hold onto.

When I consider these facts, it becomes much more difficult to take events such as these seriously. China’s true power in the world today is political propaganda. They truly have a powerful military compared to the nations within their own sphere of influence, but unless they’re willing to resort to global annihilation they don’t really have much muscle in a fight with the rest of the world. Their hope is that, just as in World War 2, the nations of the west want to avoid a fight badly enough that we will abandon our promises and allow China to expand at will.

Like any bully, all it takes is for someone strong enough to stand up to them and remind them that they aren’t truly as strong as they like to believe they are. The nation has several critical issues that are rapidly coming to fruition, including severe water shortages, an aging population and a housing based economy that has only a finite amount of time before it all comes crashing down. As much as they would like to play the long game to build up to a level to truly challenge the west, the ugly reality is that they’re quickly running out of time.

In the end, we will see a lot of aggressive action from China as they attempt to convince us that they are bigger and stronger than they are, but as long as we stand our ground the likelihood is that we’ll be able to wait them out to the point that they are forced to simply back down and retreat to a much weaker position. The real deciding factor in all of this is not Chinese military power, but the resolve of the rest of the world to refuse to allow an aggressive power to dominate them. It’s truly up to us.

What do you think about Chinese aggression? Is it a real threat, or is it all for show? What would a real confrontation between China and the west look like? Normal people fear war, and legitimate effort should be taken to avoid it. However, giving in to bullies in the hopes of avoiding a fight usually results in a redoubled effort by those who crave power. We see it here in America, and it’s no different anywhere else. As unfortunate as it is, sometimes strength is the only viable solution.

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Revolution is NOT a Good Thing

As Americans, we tend to romanticize the Revolutionary War, turning what was a bloody and horrific conflict into an underdog story that resulted in an unexpected and exciting triumph of freedom. The problem is that this view of history is absolutely true. America was founded through violent revolution against an oppressive dictator and our nation was better off for it. It’s difficult to look back on that period of time and not paint a rosy picture of it. We’re living the results of it today.

Unfortunately, the reality is that what those people had to go through to give us what we have now wasn’t a good thing. There were many sacrifices made, not just in suffering through war but innumerable loss of life on both sides. People were killed over ideology and a desire for power; Britain wanted to maintain control over its far-flung empire and they weren’t about to allow their wayward citizens to go their own way. Fighting back was the only option, and the cost was severe. As much as we appreciate and cherish those sacrifices that gave us the lives we now enjoy, we must never forget the truly horrific aspects of war.

Today, there are many people who look back on history and believe that the existing system is much like the imperial Britain of the past. Inequity and disdain for the public are rife in our society and it is the duty of these “progressive” minded people to tear down the structures of power that hold them back to implement a new way that is more “fair” and “equal”. To accomplish this, they are willing to go to almost any lengths to shift the balance of power from those who have it now to others who think they can run things from a better moral standpoint. Noble in theory, but there’s a real problem with this way of thinking.

A society is much like a building in that it has many components that are critical in preventing the structure from totally collapsing. The framing and foundation support everything else, and if those things begin to weaken and crack, there is a very real possibility that everything comes tumbling down. It is only when those components are strong and reliable that we can feel safe inside, and it is only through constant vigilance and inspection that we can be sure about them.

The problem we have today is that most of us forgot the vigilance part of maintaining our societal foundations and framing. We have allowed radical thinking to infiltrate things like our school systems and government, putting people in key positions who promised to make everything better without really thinking about what it was they were proposing. It was an easy mistake to make and we can’t really beat ourselves up too much for making it. We all want to believe in the general goodness of our fellow man.

In reality, however, human beings are NOT good; we only behave that way when it benefits us. There has to be some gain or consequence that forces us to act in a benevolent way before most of us are willing to make any kind of significant sacrifice. Of course there are some exceptions to this, and we recognize them when we see them, but most people are supremely selfish without some sort of external pressure to be otherwise. It’s just human nature. It doesn’t matter what that source of pressure might be; it could be laws or religion or whatever. The point is that left to our own devices, most of us would not default to being selfless.

Why is this part important? Well, when we understand a bit about basic human nature, we star to understand how certain elements of our society can be so recklessly insane as to want to tear down an entire society in order to put their own vision of the world into place. They aren’t content with how things are, regardless of how good they have it, and they want their way so bad that they are perfectly fine with harming others to make it a reality. If people happen to suffer along the way, then so be it. They aren’t fettered by the rules or morality that our society was built on. It’s an “anything goes” world in their eyes, and as long as they come out on top then the ends justify the means.

Revolution is not a good thing, even if the results turn out to be positive. Our own American Revolution was borne out of necessity, a choice made because it was the only choice available. It was a last resort option to break ourselves free from an oppressor who would never allow us to live our lives free from their control. It is not reasonable to look back on that period of our history and ever think that it was a good thing. It was simply a necessary evil because the suffering was worth the price.

In today’s world, we can’t say the same thing. The fight isn’t for freedom from the control of an active oppressor; it’s to gain control of the population to satisfy the ideological insanity of a group of people who believe they know better than the rest of us. It is revolution to return us to a time where an “elite” group of people are openly forcing the rest of us to comply with their wishes. Their revolution isn’t about equality or anything as noble as that. They want power.

What can we do about this? At this point, the infection has spread too far to just make small changes to fight it. We have to actively raise our voices against it. We have to stop being focused solely on our own lives and start paying attention to what’s going on around us. It has become critical that the non-political amongst us take up an interest in politics and start voting in people who align with traditional American values. Sitting by on the sidelines just isn’t an option anymore; not if you want to keep the country you grew up in.

In the end, there will always be conflict between groups of people who disagree. As much as we might hate it, the fight will come to us if we don’t go to it. There will always be people who want to gain control of others, whether to take what you have or simply to enjoy the feeling of being able to tell other people what to do. Whatever the reasons and whatever their ideology, freedom has a cost in blood and treasure. If you want to keep it, you have to fight for it, one way or another.

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Why Is Our Government Fumbling So Badly?

It’s pretty hard not to see the incompetence in our government these days. We have a massive border crisis with undocumented individuals literally flowing into the country unchallenged. Nations across the globe who traditionally fear our wrath no longer have any reason to tread lightly. Our President constantly fumbles through his public appearances, making wild statements that make absolutely no sense at all while our Vice President continues to either ignore or make worse anything she puts her hand to. It is a crazy time in our history.

The question many people are asking is why? How can people in such highly important positions have been placed there who are simply incapable of doing the job? One would think that only the most highly qualified people would have any chance at all of gaining the most coveted positions within our system of government, but this administration has shown that this simply isn’t the case. What used to be a beacon of strength and competence has been replaced by a theater filled with bad actors.

When we really think about the people who were elected, however, it isn’t difficult to break down why things are the way they are. It really just comes down to the difference between the liberal and conservative mindsets. It’s much like the way we used to think about how our brains work, with one side being our practical and logical side and the other being our creative and passionate side. If we think about our political landscape in this way, it becomes much easier to comprehend why things are going the way they are.

When conservatives are in office, we tend to see a pull back on some of the more grand ideological agendas because they tend to be far more practical and every day about the way they do business. The focus is on living within our means and making sure we have security for tomorrow. Jobs and economic growth are key components, and many of the issues that we would like to get resolved get pushed down the road because they aren’t willing to sacrifice today for a vague future tomorrow.

On the other side, liberals tend to be dreamers. They are focused on the future and what could be. Their lives are filled with fantasies of a utopian world where every person has everything they want and everyone lives in perfect and total peace. Because their attention is focused on a potential future, they tend to ignore the consequences of the present believing in the idea that whatever means they choose to use justify the end they have in mind.

Where this comparison matters is when we start to think about what it takes to run a nation as large as the United States. There are so many small, detailed tasks that need to be completed in a certain way to keep things running. This requires people who are capable of setting aside emotion and the future and focus on the routine of making sure these things get taken care of. Does it make sense that someone whose attention is fixated on the future would accel at these sorts of things?

Going up a few steps, even someone whose job isn’t as mundane as say administration or routine maintenance might struggle if they tend to be more liberal in their views. A person who is fixated on the future is going to struggle with doing the job they have right now while they yearn for something better. Nothing is ever good enough for them, even if they are making six figures and have many of the things that most people dream about. There is always something better on the horizon pulling their attention away from their current responsibilities.

Few things are worse than government officials whose mindset isn’t focused on getting their jobs done, but reshaping their environment to suit their own needs. This is the true bane of aggressively liberal politicians being exclusively placed in positions of power. They tend to be extremely effective at coming up with new ideas, but that very quality is exactly what makes them terrible at implementing anything. All of their energy and attention is focused on what they’d like to have rather than taking care of what is right in front of them, so rather than taking the most logical course of action in the moment, they make their choices based on how they hope they can shape the future. They do this regardless of the consequences in the here and now.

To be clear, there is nothing wrong with liberal thought. If people didn’t dream then we wouldn’t have the society and technology and all the amazing things that we enjoy today. I’m not even saying that it’s a bad idea to have a heavy liberal influence in our political structure, because those are the people who help us to right the wrongs of our society and push us forward into new ways of doing things. They are a critical part of making the country better.

The real point here is that it is our departure from a bipartisan or multi-partisan approach to government that is causing our problems these days. A government works best when you have a good balance between dreamers and the practically minded; when the two opposing viewpoints provide checks and balances to each other so that we don’t go too far in a specific direction. We need progressives to come up with new ideas and push for equality and justice just as we need conservatives to keep an eye on the economy and our influence around the world. It’s a team effort, and until we start seeing each other as assets rather than enemies nothing will ever get better.

Neither side can make our country the best it can be on their own. Conservatives might do a better job of staving off the chaos, but a nation with that mindset will stagnate and wither away without new ideas to propel us forward. In the same way a completely liberal government will simply tear everything down because they either care more about a potential future than what is happening today; or they simply have spent so much time focused on what could be that they haven’t developed the skills necessary to take care of what needs to be done. This is what we see from our government right now. It is full of incompetent people who never developed anything other than their imagination and ability to convince people of their dream…little help for the rest of us who need people who get things done.

What do you think about the composition of our government? Is going in one direction a good way to do business, or should there be more balance? Are there any differences in what you’re seeing today compared to the past that make you nervous? The cold, hard truth is that competence is becoming a rare commodity, and the more we focus on dreams rather than ability, the more we’re going to struggle as a nation. At some point, we have to dig in our heels and stop allowing those who can’t seem to focus on today to run our government.

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Freedom and Big Government Are Not Opposites

In some circles, the phrase “big government” is very much like swearing. It is spoken with contempt and hatred as we consider the possible outcomes that a powerful, overarching government can be capable of. As we look back through history, we can see the real world examples of how big government can wreak havoc and destruction and genocide on scales never seen before them. The fear garnered by this simple phrase is reasonable and a healthy push back against it is something liberty-minded citizens should always be ready for.

However, as I stated in a recent article, sometimes the way we’d like things to be simply can’t work the way we’d like them to work. One of the most interesting things I’ve heard anyone say in recent history was during the interview linked in the previous article where Michael Knowles stated that he’s not a Libertarian because he doesn’t believe in small government; he believes in limited government. The distinction hit me quite hard and confirmed some minor shifts in perception I’ve been having the last few years that has me moving away from the black and white view I had of politics not so long ago.

As he so clearly put it, you can’t really have a small government in a nation of more than 300 million people. There’s just no way to make that work. With so many people having so many differing ideas about how things should work, the only way to have any form of cohesion as a country is to have certain standards that we live by. This means that we come together on a core set of ideals that we imbue into our society, which is then followed by a long list of compromises we make to coexist peacefully within that particular sphere.

Of the things that make us American are a fear and hatred of anyone who finds it acceptable to force or coerce others into actions designed to benefit those in power. The American Revolution was fought specifically to free ourselves from the control of a tyrannical dictator who believed it was his right to profit off the backs of those who came to a brave new world looking to find their own path. The spirit of America is one of adventure, self-reliance and maximum liberty.

As we’ve grown into a more mature nation, we’ve had to pull back on some of that independence we once held as the highest ideal. The limit to which one person or small group can reach is found quite rapidly, and further progress requires more and more collaboration between larger and larger groups to get anything done. A simple look at the various space programs around the world prove this beyond doubt. For us to continue progressing into the future will require ever expanding teamwork between groups of people with differing points of view.

Though we understand that it is through the collaboration and pooling of resources that we advance our society and species as a whole, there is a massive difference between the size of a government and the philosophy by which it is run. This is where we break down the difference between “big” government and “limited” government. It doesn’t sound like much of a change, but in reality the difference is night and day.

A big government can be quite tyrannical, especially to the minority groups included within it. When a government decides that it knows best and should force people to comply with the way it operates, the people live in fear and exploitation is experienced across most spectrums of the system. The people at the top get nearly all the benefits while everyone below them suffers horribly to provide the lifestyle enjoyed by those in charge. Even if the control is more broadly based, as conservatives fear a powerful progressive party would be, there is still one group that is forcing another to bend to its will.

Of course, a small government has a much smaller chance of making this work, which is why many advocate for reducing government to the smallest possible level before hitting the category of anarchy. The problem with this is that this leads to the fracturing of society because it is the national framework of collaboration and pride that has made America into the greatest nation that has ever existed. We were tempered by the fires of war and came together as brothers and sisters under a single banner.

Big government doesn’t have to be a dirty word. What we should be afraid of is pervasive government; a system where the people who are supposed to be working for the people are actually maneuvering for themselves. This is where we move into the concept of “limited” government. It is the idea that regardless of the size and scope of the organizations we put in charge of making the machine run smoothly, no one individual or group can ever acquire enough power to make anything meaningful happen on their own. It requires collaboration with everyone.

One of the things we fear as citizens is the idea that we will experience a crackdown and invasion of privacy by our law enforcement and other agencies. While it is reasonable to fear this in our private lives, perhaps the best way to enforce limits on our own government is to implement these same concepts we fear being used on us to the people who are placed in charge of our government. I used to believe that overly aggressive investigators were a bad thing, but the ugly truth is that it is only when people are digging into the back room deals that we can figure out what’s really going on.

The difference between a big, pervasive government and a big, limited government is simply a reversal of roles. Instead of a small group of elites digging into the lives of the citizenry, we switch it around and start digging hard into the lives of the elites. If they want that level of money and power, then the cost that comes with it is having their every move and motive exposed. This is the definition of limited government, because when every step of every official is being watched and scrutinized with no room to hide in the shadows, it becomes nearly impossible for nefarious plots against the people to grow. It’s pulling the weeds before they become choking vines.

We live in a crazy time right now, most of which is being caused by groups of people maneuvering their way into positions of power through fear and manipulation. This can only work as long as the average person remains uninformed and unable to group together to defend against the vipers. Once we realize that we outnumber these groups many times over, it becomes easier to be brave and stand up to these ridiculous vocal minorities who only care about themselves. It simply takes enough people taking those first steps to get the ball rolling. Will that be you?

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