Fighting back against government-imposed victimhood
For those paying attention, the general feeling seems to be despair and disgruntlement tempered by a thin layer of hope that things can still be righted. We see the truth. We hear the truth. But faced with a cataclysmic year, with the virus, local governments' responses to the virus, and the Third World–style election, it's all too easy to feel that there's nothing to do and no action we can take. In fact, there's a lot we can do, especially if we think locally instead of trying to fix all of America at once.
Conservatives in Democrat enclaves tend to feel especially helpless. We spin our wheels and don't complain too loudly because somebody might shut us down. Our neighborhoods still spout Biden signs on lawns, but we keep the "Stop the Steal" signs in a closet for fear that, if they show up on our lawns, our houses could be firebombed.
Moreover, when you're surrounded by leftists celebrating a stolen election (thanks, often, to help from a weak and corrupt local GOP), it's hard to imagine that anything you do could make a difference. Everyone around you hates Trump and what he represents: the individual, freedom, hope, patriotism.
Moreover, Congress is a slender reed on which to rely. I remember when somebody explained how Congress works. It's all about fundraising.
Want a position on a committee? Prove you can raise the bucks. To become the head of a committee, more bucks, and don't let the faucet slow.
How do you raise that money? You become beholden to the institutional powers that fund you. Then you must do their bidding rather than that of your constituents to keep the lucre flowing.
It's not just Joe Biden who got rich in government "service." Those few who keep their scruples and refuse to play the game don't gain power.
Most become adept at double-speak or sounding good while saying nothing and voting the wrong way. They show their fickle tendencies whenever it becomes more expedient to do so. Mitch McConnell talking about president-elect Biden, for example. How do we compete with that?
The answer is to begin to act locally first. With the big stuff, unless we witnessed the steal, we have no power to do anything at all. Finding local ways to make changes that people notice may be the only option.
We already have examples before us: a gym-owner in New Jersey, restaurant-owners in Orange County, a bar-owner on Staten Island — all making their voices heard and bringing awareness to the way this lockdown hurts us all. I believe that if we can break the lockdowns locally, here in our repressed states, it will make the news and wake a few people up. After all, the lockdowns are not a logical way to stop COVID. They are, instead a successful way to repress our voices.
My current plan is a local campaign that gets as many shuttered businesses as possible to open on a given day and stay open. They can seat dinners outside or, if they have space, let them come in. Gym-owners can open up and let a "safe" number of people exercise.
If one business opens, law enforcement can easily stop it. But what if a whole neighborhood opens? How will the government stop everyone? Ideally, this movement would catch on as one neighborhood after another, feeling left out of both income and normalcy, joins in.
Let's face it: doing this will take courage. And it's not just the business-owners who will need courage. So will the employees who are asked to work, the suppliers who deliver goods, and the customers who return to support them. Still, there is no way the authorities can shut down a whole city full of people who join hands and refuse to stop living.
There's still a problem of logistics, and that needs some thought. Every social media outlet is censored these days. Perhaps regional merchants' associations or Chambers of Commerce can spread the word? Or maybe it's time to ignore the internet and have an old-fashioned flyer campaign?
This effort needs crowd-sourcing, and I don't have a definitive answer. I just have the inkling of an idea that takes a lot of people, working toward the same goal, to make happen. Maybe it's a topic for everyone's next Zoom group meeting.
The day before yesterday was the 247th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party. I'd sure like to see Americans rise up again with another non-violent revolt against a repressive government. After all, peaceful civil disobedience is a time-honored American tradition. And if these local efforts make the news, they will catch on in more and more locations and, I hope, spread like wildfire!
Image: The Boston Tea Party. Lithograph from Sarony & Major 1846. Public Domain.