A Great Awakening Decades in the Making
Over at The Conservative Treehouse, Sundance has again managed to generate a treasure trove of anecdotal history, evidence, and analysis from those who visit his site.
Last month, he asked readers: if "[y]ou did not take the COVID-19 shot, why not?" The thousands of personal responses were illuminating and created a kind of timeline showing how irreconcilable conflicts pitting available scientific knowledge and common sense against the government's own actions, orders, statements, and censorship heightened public distrust of COVID mandates and "vaccines," until various tipping points spilled over into outright rejection of political, medical, and media authorities.
This month, Sundance asks a more foundational question: "When did you start really paying attention?" In other words, when did you "recognize that things around you, things you perhaps didn't pay attention to before, were not what you thought they were"? What was the moment when "your political awakening began"?
The thousands of responses to this simple question are a cornucopia of rich history, personal reflection, and insightful analysis. Just as last month's COVID question created a powerful timeline documenting the last three years of COVID-1984 insanity, this month's more general question has generated nothing less than a near-century's worth of details and stories tracking people's "aha moments" as they discovered that the promises of American self-government are often but an ornamental fabrication plastered upon the stratagems of ruthless government actors pushing propaganda, accumulating power, and sacrificing American lives. Interestingly, they come from people traversing back and forth across the political spectrum. From a research point of view, the collected information is staggeringly comprehensive, impressive, and invaluable. From a personal point of view, the selfless entries and recorded memories are emotional, poignant, cathartic, and often deeply revealing. I encourage you not only to read through some of the many responses, but also to continue the conversation here at American Thinker, whose commenters, like those at The Treehouse, are well known for their crisp intellectual engagement.
What you will find is a compendium stretching all the way from before the Second World War to the present day, in which ordinary people describe jarring, face-to-face experiences with institutional corruption, malice, cover-ups, cognitively dissonant government propaganda, intimidation, sanctioned lies, and public betrayals. Some of those experiences are well known events: the perplexing details surrounding Lee Harvey Oswald's assassination of President Kennedy, followed directly by Jack Ruby's unbelievable live on-air assassination of Oswald; the Gulf of Tonkin incident that escalated the Vietnam War; the FBI's massacres at Ruby Ridge and Waco; the mysterious disappearance of the FBI's John Doe No. 2 after the Oklahoma City bombing; the explosion of TWA Flight 800; the FBI's and CIA's failures leading to 9/11; the use of predominantly Saudi hijackers to justify wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq; the PATRIOT Act; Obama and Holder's redirection of the PATRIOT Act into a political weapon for targeting American civilians; the 9/11/12 Benghazi attack; IRS, DOJ, and FBI harassment of conservatives; the conspiracy among Obama's FBI, Hillary's presidential campaign, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, and a morally corrupt media to frame Donald Trump as a Russian spy; statistically inexplicable vote totals after the introduction of security-free and fraud-prone mail-in-ballot elections; COVID-1984; the persecution of J6 prisoners; and dozens of events in between. These high-profile matters prompted people to question government "narratives" with much more scrutiny.
Alongside such historical nodes are numerous personal experiences in which normal Americans observed members of the U.S. government engaging in unethical, immoral, and at times criminal activities that shocked the formerly oblivious from their states of relative complacency. Some were military brats stationed all over the world who saw events as they were and not as they were reported. Many witnessed firsthand how news media distorted events right outside their doors. Others watched as federal authorities got away with outrageous lies. Most encountered some form of government corruption that was unmistakable yet covered up to this day.
It is worth pointing out that, just as with the great bulk of readers at American Thinker, the respondents at The Treehouse are generally America-supporting, freedom-loving patriots either who have directly served the nation through the military and supporting professions or whose parents, spouses, children, or other loved ones have made such sacrifices. These are not people who hate America, as the 1619 Project propagandists do. They do not cause reckless harm to their nation, as Antifa, Black Lives Matter, and other anti-American (yet DOJ and FBI-supported) rioters, arsonists, and left-wing shock troops do. Even after having had their "aha" experience, often in a personally gut-wrenching way in which some element of the U.S. government directly betrayed their trust and loyalty, these are people who would overwhelmingly still volunteer to be first in line to protect America and stand in harm's way.
Truly, this has always been the most disheartening aspect of our current reality — that Americans who have given their all to their nation and would do so yet again are the very people targeted today as "extremists," "terrorists," spreaders of "disinformation," and purveyors of "hate." Well, they are none of those things. They are truth-tellers, honest historians, keepers of liberty's flame, righteous warriors, and the generational glue still somehow preventing society from breaking in two. When a nation not only turns its back on those most critical for its survival but also denigrates their service, commitment, opinions, and personal loss as somehow contemptible and undeserving of respect, that nation will not endure many more days. Read the responses to Sundance's question, and you get a prophetically penetrating glimpse into any future answer should the depressing question one day be asked: why did America fall? Should America disappear from the map, it will be because decades of government corruption and abuse were never addressed until it was simply too late.
In fact, this growing collection of personal accounts from ordinary Americans, in which they take to task not only the inherent failings of any system of government, but also the specific train of abuses and usurpations choking too many Americans under the yoke of petty despotism, should be regarded as one of two things: a stark warning that decades of government lies and betrayals must rapidly come to an end, or as an autopsy report preserved in time capsule form for future generations to one day study and comprehend. Either more and more Americans will use forums such as these to stomp out the cancer before it finally takes the host, or the blessings of liberty will skip over several generations, until a time when those of principle and resolve rise to clear a space of Earth free from the evils of State tyranny once again.
Do not let the stories of so many thousands of passionate, patriotic Americans be this country's swan song, when they can just as easily be the accelerant spread across the land waiting for a divine spark. Do not assume that evil and pain presage more of the same, when they can just as effectively open up minds and hearts to the coming of a better age. People who find the courage to exercise "free will" will free themselves.
It is crystal-clear that more and more Americans (and Westerners generally) are awakening to the dispiriting reality that successive self-serving governments have turned our most cherished rights and freedoms on their head. This process, far from taking place overnight, has been many decades in the making. After so many generations have endured harms at the behest of Constitution-betraying bureaucrats and self-loving proto-tyrants, we are on the precipice of real change. It is a choice. It belongs to you. Do not be misled. Seize the day.