Funny, Karen Kwiatkowski’s “Perfect President” post hitting the ‘Net this morning. Similar thoughts were trying to form in my mind over the weekend.
Some related observations:
Kwiatkowski is absolutely correct that the big-government left created Trump, not only by the immediate cause of alienating so many ordinary Americans, but by gleefully establishing the “stroke of the pen, law of the land” machinery he’s now using to terrify them.
But will they understand that? Will they ever get how naive and wrong they were with their “this is a democracy; you’re just being paranoid to worry about tyranny” attitude? Or will they continue to believe that putting such power into the hands of the “right” leader is all that’s needed?
Funny, too, to hear the left screeching about the Constitution when, under their latest Big-Gov administration, talking “too much” about that would get you branded a domestic terrorist — and I never heard a one of them saying the label was undeserved.
Kwiatkowski also cautions against giving any of these people in the elite (or the currently panicking classes) too much of our valuable attention.
And where have you heard that before? I regularly preach that very message to the choir — and regularly go out and commit the selfsame sin of paying too much heed. But then, I’m an addict and I admit that. Been mainlining politics since my mother turned me into a junkie when I was a mere stripling of 11 or 12. And there’s no 12-step program for people like me.
But as Karen and I both admit, it’s necessary to observe the political scene to a certain extent. And that right there is a sign of the incipient tyranny we’re living in. In a tyranny, everything becomes political. You can’t get a job or start a business or apply for a scholarship or plant a crop or burn trash or carry a self-defense weapon or put a culvert at the bottom of your own driveway without having to worry about politics, bureaucracy, regulations, taxes, and potential prison sentences. So we can’t not keep an eye on politics. And once you’ve got one eye on it, it’s nearly impossible not to get your whole brain sucked in.
This is a dilemma that has no ideal solution. All you can do is make sure you have a real life, determine to live it, and forcefully declare parts of it off-limit to political vermin and their destructive works. I used to say “kill your TV,” and that did (and does) help avoid the worst of the worst. But the Internet is far more pervasive and because it has a real value that TV never did, it’s not so easy to kill. We just have to make sure to put boundaries on it. And live. Always, really, truly live.
Which brings us to the final and most important point.
Unfortunately (though understandably) Kwiatkowsky relegated the most important part of her message to an inspirational, non-specific concluding statement:
Our energies should be spent on living freely, prospering and helping others to do so. We should pay attention to the teeth-gnashing of the ruling, chattering and echo-chamber classes only so far as it informs us on potential vulnerabilities of the state that we may use practically, and as teachable moments.
There’s the real-deal: living free, prospering (which does not just mean money), and helping others do the same.
We here and at Claire’s Cabal strive to live free, and a lot of us do an amazingly good job at it. Some of us prosper financially; others of us are content to prosper creatively, spiritually or in some other way. Some of us also help others toward freedom, be it through teaching jury rights or shooting skills or just trading and establishing connections with neighbors.
But we’re approaching a time when freedom outreach is both more needed and (potentially) more possible than ever. And are we taking advantage of this perfect moment?
One other person and I have raised this subject at the Cabal and gotten a less-than-satisfying response. Some people say they’re already doing as much outreach as they can; others say they’ve tried and failed; still others don’t engage in the discussion.
Ouch. But of course, that may be because “outreach” is a fuzzy-wuzzy term. It doesn’t even hint at specifics, let alone give people a solid subject or plan to chew on.
“Outreach” sounds like work, too. And vaguely lefty work, at that. Do I have to go out with my copy of Alinsky in my back pocket if I want to do “outreach”? Heaven forbid.
But outreach is many different things. Writing is outreach — if you either reach beyond the choir or offer the choir some useful information for freedom. Skill training is outreach. The firearms classes LarryA and Mama Liberty give are outreach. So is the training Kit Perez offers via The Order of the White Rose. Merely taking freedom-building classes may be outreach, too. So could joining an existing non-political organization. Friends of the Library, anybody? Habitat for Humanity?
Getting together with neighbors and establishing a community garden, a food-coop, or even a monthly run to the dump is outreach if it establishes and cements connections between independent people. Forming a ladies sewing circle or a book club is outreach if you use the opportunity to discuss the philosophy or reality of living free. Heck, just chatting over the backyard fence is outreach — if we use it as such.
Of course, outreach can also take some unusual (and unintended) forms. You could say that the regimes of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and the mere threat of a Hillary Clinton administration constituted the greatest-ever “outreach” for gun rights. And now Trump (who hasn’t yet threatened gun rights, but who eventually will) is performing “outreach” to the left by reminding them that “it” can happen here, and they’d better be ready to protect themselves.
Yet another sign of interesting times.
Reality: This time of turmoil, rage, and strife is also a time of opportunity. The ways we might reach out are as varied as our individuality. But when we’re tempted to think of it as just too much work and bother, we should remember that in the looming dark times, everybody we can bring to our side is one more person on our side. Everybody with whom we can teach, learn, or build skills may be a skilled ally.