Independence Day and other myths don't tell the truth
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Now that the Tea Parties and Independence Day have passed, I'd like to reflect on the contradictions on which these celebrations are based. The need for a Tea Party suggests we're oppressed while celebrating July 4th asserts that we're free. So, which is it?
I attended both Victoria Tea Parties, and neither lived up to their names. With the exception of having the ever-rebellious Congressman Ron Paul and Councilman David Hagan as speakers, the Tea Parties were crawling with establishment hacks trying to cling to relevance while facing shared complicity in our current economic state. The local GOP tried in vain to hitch its wagon to the growing popularity of Paul's true limited-government message. They masqueraded as proponents of freedom while standing in the colossal shadow of their stern dismissal of his message in 2008. When Samuel Johnson declared "Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel," he must've had these folks in mind.
The GOP's involvement in the Tea Parties was simply a matter of political necessity, not an exercise of rebellion of Tea Party proportions. They fear The People's increasing displeasure with our bloated system of government and are threatened by the mass awakenings from the false Left-Right paradigm, and they're scrambling to corral the herd with more empty promises. The masses are beginning to understand they've been duped into cheerleading for the illusion of party opposition. It's no longer as effective to simply present Obama as the scapegoat for socialist/fascist policies when the policies of past administrations have also swelled the size of government beyond control of The People, each regime opening doors for the next. The jig is up!
The two-party system is designed to lump society into diametrically-opposed camps that can be manipulated and played off each other, which makes it easy to frame national debates as needed to steer popular opinion. For example, the size of government has been incrementally phased out as a topic up for public debate. There is only debate over how Big Brother is going to take care of us from cradle to grave and how much money should be stolen from our children to fund future centrally-planned failures. This polarizing mechanism easily fulfills their unified desire to put a lien on what we all thought to be "unalienable." Our representative form of government has been displaced by an elite swap meet wherein our freedoms are bought and sold by corporate lobbyists, globalist think tanks and live-in military contractors.
Now, let's ask ourselves - Is Independence Day a celebration of our lasting independence from oppressive government or an affirmation of allegiance to a government whose only goal is to strip The People of the power to govern ourselves? Sure, over the holiday weekend, you had the freedom to pile the family into the car, drive down to the beach, drink some beer, burn some barbecue and return home in time for church. To take measure of your economic liberty, though, did those activities cost the same 10 years ago, or are you feeling the crunch of the hidden tax of government-controlled currency inflation? Does your 401k have the same purchasing power as it did when you set those funds aside?
Are you truly free if the fruits of your labor are confiscated through such a dishonest scheme, which is perpetrated by the Federal Reserve, a cartel of private banks?
What would an objective observer call a system that takes half of those hard-earned fruits through compounding layers of taxation?
To what degree is this freedom?
To become and remain free, we must make daily Declarations of Independence by practicing self-government at all levels and acknowledging that the two-party system is no more than a cattle chute leading us to slaughter. If these concepts anger you or put knots in your stomach, it's because doing the right thing is rarely the easiest option. Your comfort zone is too small and too cozy. I recommend you turn off your TV and read the Constitution twice for every time you've ever watched "24" or a mindless reality show.
Liberty isn't a slogan you can put on a flag and wave around at a Tea Party. Liberty can't be beaten into your enemy with a waterlogged rope. Liberty can't be preserved in a mob-rule democracy - only in a decentralized Republic. Liberty can't be granted by authority, but it can be taken away. Liberty is absolute, not relative. Liberty is lost when we worship government and lose the objectivity needed to scrutinize its every move. Liberty requires diligence, generation after generation. Unfortunately, liberty is an attitude that's been bred out of us.
Government gains power extremely efficiently through the Problem-Reaction-Solution dynamic. It creates the problems (inflation, poverty, business cycles, monopolies, etc.), you provide the reactions (save us from capitalism!), and it already has the solutions (I'll take that, thank you very much). For these power grabs to cease, we must temper our reactions with the wisdom contained within the Constitution. We must have a healthy distrust of all governments, not just the other party's version. There is too much at stake to let your guard down.
So, in the spirit of the Fourth, be honest with yourself: Are you a Loyalist or a Revolutionary?
Chad Byrd is a native Victorian and a member of the Victoria County Liberty Campaign.