Such has been our slow march to tyranny in this country. Dribs and drabs of increasing laws and regulations, a few sudden moves, add a few generations, and you go from free and prosperous to teetering on the overt police state we who came of age before the fall of the Berlin wall were raised to fear and hate.
Oh, and combine all that with decreasing the purchasing power of each American's dollar:
More and more Americans have discovered the plight of the increasing heat under their pot, or the dripping water on their heads.
Its the degree of recognition of the problem that varies widely.
There are those of us who are perhaps hyper-aware or hypersensitive to the threats in this country to personal freedom:
There are the sheeple, just waiting for good old government to save them, and are fine as long as their Tivo works:
There are the leftists, cringing from recent proposals for government austerity, who only know they must now fight to maintain the flow of other people's money to their pockets:
There are a lot of regular folks waiting for a clear message that makes sense to them, and they are amenable to change political direction.
There are the folks that punish the party in power for whatever has gone wrong every 4 years (frequently misinterpreted and spun by the media pundits as embracing whatever variety of "change" the just-elected party was selling). You know, the people that swing elections from one party to another in a way that never helps the situation:
So many Americans are sick of how nothing changes. So many Americans see that government sucks and the economy sucks but aren't sure why.
The American people are not putty in the hands of government.
They are Jell-O...and governing the American people is like holding Jell-O in your hands:
|(We all know lots of Americans are soft and flabby; that's not what I mean in this context...;-))|
The looser the hold on the people's freedom and earnings by the government, the more people the government can hold in thrall.
The tighter the hold by the government on the people's personal freedoms and earnings , the fewer people will accept continued control by that government.
Tighten the squeeze of government, the more people will squish under the squeezing hand, and squeeze in between tightening fingers, and squirm from the pressure applied.
The first movement under such pressure is mental and psychological. Over time, and with decreasing prosperity, increasing laws, regulations, and decreasing freedom, the oppression of the squeezing government "hand" on the people will produce a physical effect.
Squeeze too tight, and the government will lose what they had held:
The current governmental system utilizes earmarks, pet project money, and things like Obamacare "waivers" as signs of relaxing their "squeeze" on certain target constituencies. All this does is waste more and more tax money, making one part of the country relax while another part seethes. The left hand squeezes the Jell-O, and the Jell-O shifts to the right, and vice versa every two or four years.
On the other hand, certain precipitating events, like Katrina or 9/11 come along, and the hands of government squeeze tight in a spasmodic reflex. After all, they are government...if they don't "do something, anything" they have no reason to exist.
Government restrictions on personal liberty and the current loss of economic vitality have created a tighter grip on the people of the United States. But the sum total of this pressure, if you look around, isn't nearly bad enough to cause the people to slip out of government control. Seems like a way to go to me.
Who knows when the next economic contraction, spurt of unexpected inflation of the price of cotton, gas, or Taco Bell , or passage of the next big government power grab bill will start Americans writhing?
So this analysis of the American mindset begs a question: does the Constitutional conservative movement need to help things along by proactively precipitating events, causing the people to rise in revolt to the heavy hand of oppressive government, or should the constitutional conservatives be passive?
Personally I think it is too early to "help things along". Continued preparation for the various contingencies is warranted, for example:
|The "other" gelatin: ballistics gel...|
If eventually government could be altered and diminished in power and scope, I would love to see a vibrant much smaller but defense oriented military, a federal government limited to specific enumerated powers with a budget linked to a percent of GDP, and a restoration of popular sovereignty and local governance. The markets should be free, with products and services bartered and exchanged for sound currency. Caveat emptor would have to return to everyone's consciousness.
This small "r" republican/libertarian type government, as envisioned by the Jeffersonians, would be able to rule the most Americans with the least opposition by our ever "diversified" American people. The people would be freer to keep what they earn, and would have to decide how to best take care of themselves, their families, and their communities.
Think of this "libertopian" government as two widely open hands holding a whole lot of Jell-O.