In a free society, government reflects the soul of its people. If people want change at the top, they will have to live in different ways. Our major social problems are not the cause of our decadence. They are a reflection of it.
Tyranny. It seems that almost everything the government does is “tyrannical” these days. Clearly, that is a bit of an exaggeration. As defined by Merriam-Webster, tyranny is an oppressive power or a government in which absolute power is vested in a single ruler. Our president is, indeed, a powerful man. But he is no tyrant. Comparisons of Obama to these men is to disregard reality (not to mention commit dreaded logical fallacies).
President Obama is no Führer. Our nation continues to suffer from racial tension, we have no concentration camps. There are no plans for concentration camps. I will be the first to admit that this country’s media machine and news corporations leave a lot to be desired. However, news (biased or not) is presented for our consumption.
That means Dear Leader is out of this equation. News is handed over to us on platters, and we eagerly consume. We are, obviously, not being forced from urban areas into labor on collective farms. So, while Obama sports brown skin, he is not Brother Number One.
Then WHY all the talk of tyranny? We are very vocally angry. As well, we should be. We are being watched and heard everywhere we go. We are being profiled on the streets and in airports. We are losing our retirements, homes, and sometimes shirts, as corporations – and our representatives – gain more wealth. We feel powerless and we need someone to blame.
Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.
– Thomas Jefferson
Our government, good and bad, is only what we make of it. “We, the people,” is not just a catchy slogan. We, the people, are charged with holding our elected officials accountable. We, the people, are charged with being well-informed, so as to ensure that the elected officials are representing us. We, the people, are given the responsibility of keeping them honest and humble. We, the people, are, also, responsible for making short work of any who get too big for their britches.
In this, we have failed. Miserably. A great many of us are totally uninformed. Many are apathetic (perhaps out of a sense of helplessness) to the things taking place all around us. Some feel like their vote doesn’t count. Some feel like politics are too complicated or frustrating. Many say they are too busy. We, the people, don’t consider that our continued political disinterest allows our politicians the freedom to become disinterested in us.
Many of us, though, are misinformed. We are interested, yet are basing our viewpoints on issues that are simply not factual or true. Certain news outlets, and I use that term very liberally (pun not intended!), profit from our biases. This profit from slanted, biased news is not even a secret anymore! It really doesn’t have to be when you consider things like this. We, the people, are being told things, untrue things, and we do…nothing?
Times are hard, and we are frightened. I understand that. Our representatives don’t represent us often, and for that, we are rightly angry. I understand that. What I do not understand is placing blame everywhere…except where it belongs. With ourselves. We are the problem. We, the people, are the tyranny.
Did you hear me? I said, We, the people, are the tyranny.
We continue to be used by politicians who thrive off of our ignorance. We continue to be lied to, openly, without ever doing any fact-checking of our own. We don’t engage because that is why we elect politicians, right? Wrong. We discuss our children, our cars, our cats and dogs, complain about the price of gasoline, etc. If we will poke around Google to find out why a certain dog food makes Fluffy cranky, we should be willing to figure out why a certain politician is not voting in our interest. If we are willing to search for recipes (and pin them on a virtual board), we should be willing to search out representatives to replace those who forget their job description.
Oh, everyone will say, “Congress works for us, we don’t work for them! And they are driving us right over the cliff!” I have heard it a thousand times. But if we truly feel that way, it is time to put our money where our mouths are. The best thing we can do is take back the wheel. We need to take our feet off the gas, apply the brakes, and pull over. We must not be distracted by the smoke, and instead take action. Fix the car: pop the hood, dig deeper. Once we see what the problem is (or problems are), we can go about fixing it. It won’t happen in a day, or even a year, but we can get our car back in shape and running smoothly.
The vehicle is ours, we are not leasing it. We determine our direction. Nobody is forcing us to take Tyranny Avenue.
So, why are we?