Featured image by Angelo Brathot. Follow the link for more of this artist’s work.
I needed a break from things. I was going through some personal things, and I had to figure out what I needed from life. I’m back to a point where I can continue this project. Life is like that sometimes.
The biggest problem that I have with the two party system is that they inevitably become mirrors of each other. So much of the dialogue has become essentially what-about-isms and picking apart the hypocrisy of the other side. To me, it’s small minded. As Elenore Roosevelt once said,
We’ve long since ceased discussing ideas in our public discourse. We’ve stopped talking about what the proper role of government is, or the deeper meaning on how people should be judged. We’ve gone silent on the impacts of modern monetary theory and the damage that has historically been done by those who thought printing money will have no consequence. We ceased to discuss the toll of our continued involvement in “democratizing” parts of the world through force, and the negative impacts those behaviors sow.
Instead, we discuss people. Trump, Biden, Harris, MJT, AOC, Gina Carano, Ben Shapiro, Bill Maher, Cardi B, the list goes on and on. We look at them and decry or praise their words and deeds, while leaving the larger issues to rot on the vine. It’s lowest common denominator discussions. Instead of trying to elevate our standards, to rise above the petty differences and show people actual leadership, our political “betters” simply look at ways of justifying the escalation of their own behaviors and pushing of the boundaries simply because “they did it so why shouldn’t we?”
I don’t really care about who did what, to a certain extent. This type of justification spirals out of control like a drug addict. We develop a tolerance for that behavior, and become desensitized to it. We chase the high of pushing our limits, up until it destroys life the way that we know it. Unless we catch ourselves, it requires us to hit rock bottom before we can come back.
My standard is liberty. There are a few parts to it. First is definition. One of the things that I’ve learned over the years is having a clear, measurable understanding of something makes it more achievable. It is why, when I set goals, I use the acronym SMART…
Liberty is individual freedom coupled with personal responsibility. It requires people to associate voluntarily, and requires fighting institutions that would infringe upon an individuals ability to decide for themselves.
The second part of my liberty standard is reading the terrain. It’s all well and good to have an ideal definition of something, but knowing the distance from where you are to where you’re going is important, otherwise, it’s more likely that you’ll give up. We’re over one hundred years into a progressive campaign to move the workings and power of government away from the elected, and therefore accountable people to unelected, unknown bureaucrats. From aids that draft legislation to the people within the alphabet soup bureaus that execute the laws, and the myriad of scholars, clerks, aides, and pages that interpret the laws, I recognize how effective this movement has been. We have, in large part, relegated our ability to choose to “experts” living in cities far away from us, out of sync and out of touch with the lives of the common working folk. We operate based on credentials, “education,” and initials more than experience and proximity, and it shows.
Finally, I define liberty as both holding to a standard, and moving in that direction. I fully recognize that it may take a hundred years or more to undo this wave of progressive consolidation, but if the standard by which we should operate is liberty, then any movement towards it is progress. Take advantage of the alliances along the way, find common ground with people to achieve the desired ends. It’s how the neo-leftists captured many of the institutions. They were smart enough to form working coalitions to gain power, why not use it to our advantage?
Let’s get back to discussing ideas, and let the small minded folks talk about people. Let’s rise above the petty what-about-isms and finger pointing. Let’s pursue liberty, before we lose our ability to do so forever.