I Think I'm a Coward
I've come to realize I'm either a coward or just a lazy, ungrateful, undeserving old white male. Is free speech dead? Not for everyone, but it may be for me. The only thing we're really guaranteed about free speech under the First Amendment is that the government won't come after us for speaking our mind, within reason. No shouting fire in a theater, etc. We are not guaranteed that there won't be recriminations from others for our speech, though — job loss, loss of business, reputation, privacy, friends, family, even life in some extremes. The question is, am I willing to pay the price now demanded for fully exercising my rights? I should be, but I find I'm not.
Sadly, I have come to the realization that I am not of hardy patriot stock, for I am not willing to risk it all. I find myself constantly self-regulating my God-given rights, AKA biting my tongue, in an effort not to lose one or all the positives in life. I keep telling like-minded compatriots that people need to push back, take a stand, tell it like it is, all the while looking over my shoulder to make sure none of the Hitler youth has snuck up on me. They seem to be omnipresent. I shouldn't fear them, but I do.
I peruse my emails at work, every fifth one being corporate-wide from a self-righteous H.R. person or woke executive extolling the virtues of this or that Marxist organization or telling us old white guys how privileged we are, even though we don't know it, even though I personally follow the direction of a black guy. I read an article from one of our executives about how he has been awakened by going to a corporate retreat where he got to listen to counselors, all from the downtrodden class, of course, berate him for three days until he finally understood how his white privilege was the sole reason for everything he had. He hasn't quit his ill gotten position to make room for someone without privilege. I make jokes, concoct comical responses and questions to send to my bloviating betters, tell my friends about them, and then don't send anything.
I recently went on a family vacation with two grandkids and seven adults, one of whom is rabidly anti-Trump, anti-conservative, and constitutionally ignorant. Somebody around the table innocently mentions a current political player, I make a comment about that person siphoning off black votes from the Democrats, and the woke one walks off in a huff, ruining his mother's evening. Another effect he has is to make everyone else talk in subdued tones, lest he walk up on them, overhear something logical, and make a scene. I want to tell the young man, mid-twenties, master's degree, gay: I really don't give a damn if his feelings are hurt just because he can't logically refute anything we're saying, but I don't want to upset my wife, his mom, so I don't.
I talk a big game when the woke aren't around and then promptly change the subject or just clam up entirely when the little brownshirts walk up staring at the screens of their cancelation devices. I know that like the Hitler Youth fourscore years in our past, they are constantly on high alert for wrongthink and more than willing to destroy me in the name of the gods of social justice. Like the adults of those not so ancient times, if I speak at all, it's in the quiet, non-aggressive tones of a hiker being crotch-sniffed by a grizzly. Their power to raze lives is amazing. They're like a hyper two-year-old with a cocked revolver. I should be doing something, anything, to disarm them, but I don't.
I'm a member of the old silent majority, now the silenced majority. I should be speaking out against these spoiled denizens of the far left reaches of our culture. I should be able to make them understand the folly of their ways. I should be able to formulate arguments strong enough to cut through the web of lies that has been spun around the minds of these useful idiots, but I can't.
It's too late for anything but life experience and cruel reality to teach these Jacobins anything, but by then, this grand experiment we call America may be just a distant memory. Our younger generations have been stolen from us, and it's our own damn fault. The education system has been thoroughly corrupted by visions of perfected humanity. I should be running for a position on the local school board, or at least going to the meetings and making my voice heard. I could at least call bovine scat on the curriculum and the books they are buying, etc. I don't have school-age children anymore, but my taxes still go there, and I have every right to demand accountability for the decisions being made. But I don't.
The woke can't argue their points logically, coherently, or civilly, and most of them are intelligent enough to understand these simple truths, so they simply go to the time-worn argument of today's cultural highbrow. Orange man bad, you're all racists, fascists, climate change-denying, homophobic, xenophobic, culture-appropriating, misogynistic morons too stupid to realize that your so-called facts don't matter. The truth is out there, and its whatever we, the woke, say it is. Oh, the power of the arrogantly ignorant. I should keep trying to set them straight, but I don't.
I shop at Wal Mart, Sam's, and Amazon for a large percentage of the goods I want and need. These corporations are dangerous. They stand for everything I deplore and donate tens of millions of dollars to organized hate groups — hate groups that hate me, and my loved ones, and my country. I should never spend another damn dime with these companies. I should be taking the time and making the effort to find alternate sources for my needs. But I don't.
I see the oh, so obvious attempts of the Democrats to steal the election with mail-in ballots, ballot-harvesting, lost ballots showing up when needed, etc. I could volunteer to help count ballots or be an observer to make sure things are at least handled legitimately at the local level. But I don't.
Knowing that this is possibly the most pivotal election in our history and after listing and then reflecting on all the things I should be doing but don't, won't, can't, I've finally shamed myself into the conclusion that I must do something. I'm going to pick at least one thing, just one measly thing from this list, and I'm going to do it. I don't have the right to be angry about the theft of my country if I'm going to do absolutely nothing to stop it.
I am a coward. But I don't want to be. If I sit and watch my country circle the drain and don't try to help put the plug back in before all is lost, I don't think I can live with myself. If I can do just one thing that costs me something — time, money, friends, etc. — then maybe I can at least consider myself a coward on the road to redemption. Then maybe I can sleep at night. Then my anger will be righteous instead of the whining of a cowardly old white guy. Just one thing.