By Bradley Harrington
“But when the country, into which I had just set my foot, was set on fire about my ears, it was time to stir. It was time for every man to stir.” – Thomas Paine, “The American Crisis No. 7,” 1778 –
Last week’s column (“Asset forfeiture just thuggery,” WTE, Mar. 20) has flooded my inboxes with more responses than I have gotten to any article I’ve written.
Nearly everyone who contacted me had almost the same thing to say: They were glad that I “had the courage to stand up and speak up,” as one writer put it.
Sadly enough, the other common theme was: Nearly everyone admitted they would never do that themselves for fear of retaliation.
And therein, Dear Readers, lies the root of the problem. For while I appreciate the positive feedback more than you know, why are you looking for a leader when you should be leading yourselves?
Why are you not taking a greater involvement in what you see happening around you?
As you observe sheriffs who care nothing for the Constitution, Congress-critters who view you as little more than taxpayer pockets for their “welfare” state schemes, and governors and presidents who believe “job creation” consists of stealing your property at the point of a gun to hand it to some corporation that never earned it, have you ever asked yourself, “Who makes this possible?”
Take a look in the mirror, people. You do. That’s right – in your deluded belief that you must vote for the “lesser of two evils,” you are now surprised that you have … Evil. What were you expecting?
Some of you told me how helpless you feel under the crushing burden of the political power being wielded against you today. That you feel as if you have no control over your own lives any longer. That you are little more than playthings at the mercy of forces beyond your control.
Well, you couldn’t be more wrong. In so thinking, you have negated the only true power you really do have, which is personal, moral and intellectual, not political in nature.
Do you want to hear about the greatest power on Planet Earth, against which no “welfare” or totalitarian state can stand when it is unleashed?
It is the power of an individual human being engaging in independent thought – and then of acting on that thought.
It is the vision and power of our ideas that inspires and influences the hearts and minds of men, a personal power that each and every one of us possesses. Most of us let it sit there, dormant, unused. But it’s there, waiting.
Have you ever wondered why it is that tyrants the world over spend billions on propaganda campaigns? Why bother? Aren’t their enslaved subjects completely within their political and military control?
Hardly. Because those despots quake in fear at the realization that those “powerless” serfs might decide to rise up one day, clean the self-defeating crud out of their minds and topple their regimes like houses of cards in the wind.
And if you don’t think that’s true, then I would suggest you read your history. For that’s exactly how Mahatma Gandhi wiped out the British enslavement of India back in 1947, and how Lech Walesa, in the depths of Soviet socialist servitude, blasted the rule of communist thugs sky-high in Poland back in 1989.
On a more local level, consider the following:
“The most recent skirmish between the city and the local business and development community in the battle over impact fees ended Monday before a single verbal shot could be fired… ‘The votes (needed to approve the resolution) weren’t there, and that was obvious,’ Councilman Mark Rinne said. ‘We were inundated with emails (from impact fee opponents) … That was a lot of the reason for (the decision to) withdraw the resolution.’ (“Impact fees off city table,” Mar. 24.)
And there you have it: Tap into your power and the authoritarians scatter like cockroaches. Your sanction is what makes them possible. Withdraw it!
So instead of looking for someone to “lead” you, how about getting off the couch and start agitating for your liberties instead?
The very lifeblood of our Republic is flowing freely into the soil around us. If ever there was “a time for every man to stir,” this is it.
Stand up. Reach inside of yourselves. Get hold of that power and use it.
Withdraw the sanction you are handing to those who seek to enslave you. Holler and scream and resist and engage in civil disobedience as if your freedom, indeed your very lives, depends upon it.
For you see, it does and they do.
Bradley Harrington is a computer technician and a writer who lives in Cheyenne. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.