Beyond the Ballot Box
For many, life in today's America is becoming ever more unsettling. It's not only what has been unfolding in Washington; the relentless affronts by Mr. Obama and his administration, the lack of basic accountability in government, the unraveling of our Constitution, or the specter of what the numbers tell us about the future of our nation. What is most startling of all is witnessing America's reaction to these developments, or perhaps more succinctly, the lack of reaction.
To behold the nonchalant attitudes and obsessions with all manner of insignificant distractions among the unfazed crowd is an increasingly alarming exercise. It appears, regardless of what comes out of Washington, that life goes on unchanged for many Americans. When combined with the "spiking of the football" by the acolytes of an almighty, infinitely expanding government, the entire matter is disconcerting, to say the least.
Rather suddenly, the incremental erosion that has haunted America for decades seems a distant memory. Under the Obama administration, particularly within the last couple of months, America has now accelerated headlong into the wholesale destruction of constitutional limitations and inalienable rights.
"Laws" are now created by simple proclamation, while other laws are rendered irrelevant. Some are even subject to public pronouncements that they will not be enforced by those constitutionally charged to do so.
The concerted level of ignorance, apathy, and selfishness necessary to deliver America to this rather dismal station is becoming ever clearer, and the extent to which a lack of personal responsibility by some subsequently results in a loss of freedom for all has never before been so present.
Our nation's problems are not limited to the man who dared to be king, Barack Obama, nor to the destructive forces of the modern Democratic Party, nor to the corrosive MSM and the bias they spew forth day in and day out. Equally haunting to freedom-loving Americans is the apathy and antagonism of fellow countrymen.
In sum, too many Americans fail to grasp the proper role of government and, in a Republic, their own part in that government.
Go out and attempt to strike up a conversation based on some fundamental principle. Try to suggest that there is a world of difference between an inherent God-given right and one the government simply manufactures -- say, health care, for example.
Point out that what the government gives you, it can just as easily take away. Try to explain that it is government intrusion which has decimated the current system and dramatically driven up costs, and that after decades of Americans abdicating personal responsibility to government, as tragic as it may be, we can now see the writing on the wall -- we cannot afford all of the services the government has promised us.
Or try to explain why it's really not a good idea to allow the POTUS -- that is, any president -- to create laws by fiat, simply proclaiming, "It's the right thing to do." Lay out a rationale for the distinctions between the Rule of Law and the rule of man, and the resulting consequences for the individual.
You might as well have just arrived from the planet Mars. Unfortunately for the nation, a good number of souls, perhaps a majority, will struggle to process this type of information at all, for it exists wholly outside their personal life, or perhaps defies everything they have been taught.
For those who do have an interest in matters of national import, if they fall in that camp which believes that government exists to take care of its citizens, you are more likely to be subject to a vile, nonsensical rant against Republicans or Fox News than you are to a rational conversation.
Today, most dialog has been reduced to petty partisan squabbling, much of which misses the point altogether. Increasingly, we find perception within the bounds of reason replaced by points of view rooted in some bizarre combination of the political, the emotional, and the sensational.
But then, it should be of little surprise -- cue the aforementioned MSM. Indeed, in response to this ravaging of American ideals, the industry which was intended to help safeguard the people from their government, "the press," when not parroting the outright deception of the political left, offers up cutesy tidbits in place of anything with true significance.
Being devoid of all objectivity, while spectacularly following the tradition of the antiquated "White House press corps" meme, allows for media sources to transform the utterly irrelevant into "news," such as the AP report (which was cast far and wide)from last week's stop on Mr. Obama's "Official" Campaign Bus Tour.
Never mind that the man who promised to focus on job-creation more times that anyone can count (yet he never has) and continuously rails on about jobs outsourced by evil corporations happens to be parading around the countryside in a bus made in Canada.
Forget that fact that the dozen ears of corn he picked up for $4.95 could be had for $1.50 a few short years ago. That was before meddling politicians like Mr. Obama, in their endless quest for "green" energy, forced the nation to pursue the horrid inefficiencies of ethanol.
Apparently of paramount importance here was that the president bought some sweet corn and offered members of the media some peaches, and everyone in attendance had a delightful time.
This is not just the stuff of utter vapidity; it is one more signal of a culture which has spun horribly out of control and, short of a massive decentralization of power, will soon fail in the exercise of self-government.
Though Mr. Obama and his congressional ilk need to be vanquished in November, America will find many of the solutions to what ails her lie beyond the ballot box. There is an anchor weighing on the nation's ability to reverse course. It is interwoven throughout our entire culture, and it has been strengthened for decades.
Regardless of what unfolds in November, and long after Mr. Obama is gone (whenever that may be), peril awaits. Dealing with the uncomfortable reality that America is destroying itself is the true measure of the task which lies ahead.
George Scaggs is a freelance writer, commentator, and audio/video producer based in Austin, TX. His commentary can be found at sites including Ramparts360.com, American Thinker, and GOPUSA.