Don’t bother with the shades — the future ain’t bright (column)
For those who care about family, grandchildren concentrate the mind. What will their world and country be like when they are adults; when they have grandchildren of their own — assuming they do? It will be the world we are busily making; polished up by our children, but resulting from decisions we make and actions we take now. The auguries are not good.
Will we be a country that continues striving toward the ideal of a “more perfect union,” as our Founders put it? A nation that measures worth by the late Dr. King’s standard of content of character? Or will we be a nation that embraces one set of standards for people of a certain color and different standards for those who look different? Will we have restrictions and suspicions for males, credulity and exceptions for females and a different set of rules entirely for each of the 58 genders specified in self-identity surveys at some of our trendier universities and on Facebook? Will we expect rich and poor alike to contribute to society, or will we demand the successful to fill the basket while the “disadvantaged” are treated to the subtle distaste of lower expectations? Experience suggests the latter, not least because there is political advantage in catering to a special class in return for favor — money, voters, sheer anarchic chaos which must be “solved” by our betters in government. This is a path that throughout history has had one result: collapse. Remember Bosnia? Beirut? Rwanda?
Will we be a nation of “laws, not men?” Or will there continue to be one set of laws, rules, expectations and enforcements for the drones who make our country work, and another set for the elite who consider themselves smarter and better than we? Most of what passes for news media today seem to think the latter, and most of those who consume the news don’t even understand the question. An example: Hillary Clinton’s exclusive use of a private server for e-mail while secretary of state, coupled with her refusal to hand said server over to State Department archivists for review is a violation of several federal statues, including but not limited to, 18 USC, section 1001. Will she be penalized? Doubtful. She is Hillary Clinton, after all. The rules are different for her.
Which suggests another question: Will our government respond to its citizens, necessary for preservation of the personal freedoms we say we cherish? Or will government officials continue to act with impunity, ever broadening their power to reach into our lives and control our behaviors? This is not just about our ability to buy a 32-ounce soda or eat a cupcake for lunch. It’s about doing as one wishes with one’s own property — minding the important caveat of not causing harm to specific, identifiable others — free from the meddlesome interference of bureaucrats who know that they are better, smarter and more beautiful than those they administer. In the era of “my pen and my phone,” and government attempts to regulate a gas exhaled by every animal on the planet, the future of freedom seems bleak.
Will our country continue to have an enviable economy, a primary engine of the world? Or will we be subject to a proliferation of controls through which our masters determine who succeeds and how? What fields are worth developing and which should be fallow? Whose friends will prosper and whose will sink into penury? Or perhaps success will be crushed by the dogma that whomever becomes rich from innovation without government approval is actually a thief and a sociopath. Millions for Solyndra, not one cent for Exxon Nuclear.
Will our nation be secure? We thought we were before Sept. 11, 2001 — and before Dec. 7, 1941. In both cases, we were tragically mistaken. Will our leaders learn from these errors? Will they put our security first, and do what is necessary to establish it, come what may? Or will they subordinate security to ephemeral political gain and the dangerous strategy of giving our enemies what they want if they are willing to sign a document and provide an ephemeral triumph? We shall see, and soon.
There are things one can do if the answers to the questions above are distasteful. One can prepare one’s children and grandchildren for the chaos that our current political leaders are trying to create. One can prepare for a future which is smaller and more restrictive than the present. Or one can fight that future, arguing for a restoration of the values that made us great and a return to historical-minded common sense. We could do worse than be guided by what has succeeded — and failed — before.
Will we? That’s another question. The more important one.
Morgan Liddcik writes a weekly column for the Summit Daily.
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