Can Anyone be Only a 'Little Bit Pregnant?'
The claim to be "little bit pregnant" has always stood as the height of absurdity. But just as you can't be only a "little bit" pregnant, you can't lose only a "little bit" of your freedom.
If you doubt this, just ask yourselves this question: Are you a "little bit" less free than you were last year?
Are you a "little bit" less free than before you went off to college? Were you asked to justify your sexual preferences then? Were you asked about your political views? Were you penalized because you served in the military? Or because you hadn't? Or because you didn't agree with a professor?
Are you a "little bit" less free when it comes to deciding where you will send your own kids to school?
Are we all a "little bit" less free to form or join social organizations that choose to have rules that our "betters" deem inappropriate? Or would membership in such an organization create a fear of legal action from some individuals with whom you would prefer not to interact with socially in the first place? Does an induced fear of legal action make you feel free?
Are we all a "little bit" less free to speak our minds because we might face being ostracized as "reactionary" or "extremist", or be accused of mindlessly clinging to our guns and our religions?
Are you a "little less" free to eat what you like or drink a soda in a container of a size you alone choose? Are we all a "little bit" less free to put salt on our French fries?
Are you a "little less" free when you aren't allowed to purchase any light bulb you choose but are being forced to buy one that contains deadly levels of toxic mercury?
Are we all a "little bit" less free to attend a house of worship that might not fully agree with the edicts of our government and its leaders? Oh, we can attend services of course. Churches do not (yet) require a license to preach on the Sabbath. But do you feel that the sermons that are being preached are being edited by forces outside of your church? Do you ever get the feeling that in the past religious instruction was pretty clear about what was "right" and what was "wrong" but now everything seems to revolve around the phrase "Well, it depends..."?
Our intellectually unchallenged president, the members of his party and the sycophantic media will try to sell the idea that you are now freer than ever before. At least in the sense that you are free to believe what they believe. You are free to act in the way that they direct. You are free to give up your hard-earned wages so that your "betters" can spend it on what they absolutely know is right and proper.
All these "freedoms" will be allowed only under their compassionate guidance, of course, and only to the extent that we do not abuse those freedoms that they allow us. After all, they're just trying to protect us from our own bad decisions. They're just trying to protect us from our early education that unfortunately failed to indoctrinate each of us in what is "acceptable" as the behavior of free adults. They're only trying to counterbalance that early, non-union controlled educational that clearly failed to teach us to respect our "betters". And why are they our "betters"? Why because they know better than we do what is good and proper for us, obviously. The fact that their own behaviors are markedly different than those that they expect from us is not, absolutely not, hypocrisy.
For instance, should one of us make an innocent remark such as "Your hair looks nice today" there is a chance that you will be, at a merciful minimum, be sent to a re-education camp, er, I mean "sensitivity training", so that there will be no more inappropriate comments that could be construed as sexual harassment.
On the other hand, if you are a member of the favored elites who make up such rules, you (like Congress) will not be subject to them. Hollywood elites, for example, apparently know better than we do what is right and what is wrong. For example, take the case of Roman Polanski's alleged statutory rape of a young woman that preceded his fleeing to France. It was not considered to be a case of a moral wrong since, as the noted moral relativist Whoopi Goldberg explained, it wasn't really "rape-rape".
The elites who determine right and wrong have also managed to immunize themselves from any culpability with regard to the mass shootings of children or people just going to see a movie. No, no, no -- it's not that Hollywood generally kills more people in any "action" or "slasher" movie than real life sociopaths could possibly manage. They couldn't possibly be part of the problem of gun violence. They couldn't possibly influence anyone who watched such movies. No, it must obviously be people with a propensity toward gun violence, such as veterans, Tea Partiers, Republicans, conservatives, folks who believe the Constitution actually is the law of the land, parents who prefer that their kids not be taught that homosexuality is just fine and others who constantly criticize these elites. So the elites want to take guns away from such people but reserve the right to employ their own "hired guns" to protect them and their families from the dangers that all of us face on a more or less daily basis. They are making sure that they and those they love are protected, while the rest of us must live at constant risk and in constant fear.
Does knowing that make you feel free? No? I don't feel free either, and it's starting to really make me angry. Are we still allowed to feel angry, or is that another freedom that has been reduced just a "little bit"?
Jim Yardley is a retired financial controller for manufacturing firms, a Vietnam veteran and an independent voter. Jim blogs at http://jimyardley.wordpress.com/, or he can be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org