Ready or not, it is time to trigger the reflection process for this past week's revelations by Edward Snowden – formerly of the CIA – who now looks to defect from the US as he pleads for asylum from "any countries that believe in free speech" after he alleged that the US government abused the power that originates from its citizens and used it against those same constitutionally protected citizens that were viewed to be political enemies. Makes you long for Nixon's comparatively complacent attitude towards his political foes, does it not?
You know, when the world eventually regains its sanity…and it will, by the way. It always does after a wholly totalitarian meltdown of this magnitude…I have little doubt that history will view this week's events as a watershed in the American experiment. The only question that remains unanswered is which direction this seminal moment will drive America's traditionally free people.
If all that Edward Snowden says is true – and many people suspect that it is – then we have more perfectly illustrated the foolhardiness of 2007 - 08's battle cry that things can't possibly get worse than they were under George Bush than I would care to mention. Clearly, things always can and have gotten worse because not only is the economy no better than it was four years ago but the Obama Administration confounds our right to complain about it. Behold the difference that five years can make – seeing as how the United States is now perilously close to meeting Ronald Reagan's definition of what an evil empire is. Think…remember the future that Americans feared would befall us just twenty-five years ago if we would not diligently resist any and all encroachments upon our personal freedoms.
Ah. The good old days when only tap dancing defectors garnered the intense scrutiny of governmental bureaucracies.
I think we can all begin to appreciate the importance of the privacy debate as it explodes in soporific splendor across the front page of the UK Telegraph which, in and of itself, should just further illustrate the difference that five years can make. When we seek truth, it can no longer be found on the front page of the New York Times. That's a given. But it also can no longer be found coming from any of the thousands of publications that compete against the New York Times for readership. It can no longer be found coming from any of the network news sources...especially as Fox News hastily abdicates its once coveted role as lone dissenting voice in favor of compassionate conservatism in its effort to keep up with the rest of the lemmings. Dissenting voices can no longer be found coming from the plethora of cable news outlets. For all of the thousands of options that Americans have when choosing a news source, all of those varieties still only produce one story. Like thousands of choices of ice cream which are all vanilla, we must train our gazes now to the European media for a different perspective regarding our most difficult questions. We are no longer, as a nation, capable of any meaningful self-examination of our national conscience. We require an intercession from beyond our borders to help us gain some perspective and still the shame of letting the Europeans scoop us may not be enough to shake us from our complacency.
Oh! But the small miracles do give one hope. Thank God that Barack Obama has been so insufferably rude to the Brits or even they might have ignored the story. Instead they are reveling in the opportunity to stick it to a country that couldn't be bothered with even minor hospitality for their queen and couldn't appreciate the historical friendship between our two nations.
I hope you don't mind that I will be dealing in generalities for a moment as I take this in a different direction. I do understand that the philosophical disputes that are raging across America's heartland are complex in nature and deserve deeper scrutiny than the cliché that I am about to offer. But as Margaret Thatcher once said, "Platitudes are there because they are true." And as simplistic as this seems, a big difference between the tenets of conservatism versus those of liberalism is that conservatives embrace the principles of rugged individualism and laissez faire capitalism while liberals prefer a strong centralized government which can ensure that the smart phones of the many are bought and paid for by the productivity of the few. This is the wretched essence of the great American debate of the twenty-first century…independence versus codependence. When it comes to the future of the Republic, our nation is literally splitting in two over entitlements with half the citizenry working towards the other half's enslavement and honestly believing that any enslavement will come without their own bondage as a cost.
I also recognize that there must necessarily be a crucial difference in the worldviews of conservatives versus liberals to drive our respective behaviors as we interact within what is essentially the same environment. I mean, why is it that if I walk outside to a warm and sunny June morning, I can breathe in the fresh clean air, look to the crystal blue sky and marvel at the beauty and perfection of the earth's rebirth. I can consider planting some annuals or walking the dog before I begin the work of building my day which I will do not because someone has to force me but because work is not only necessary but it is good. How odd that a liberal can look at the identical picture-perfect scene and think, "Global warming, skin cancer, pollen counts, toxic waste. It's a good thing I'm around to organize the crisis or everyone would perish." How is it that they can look at the same environment and think that it might be time to create a new cabinet position to manage the dangers of warm and sunny June mornings?
This dissimilarity in worldviews weaves itself throughout everything Americans do. Googlegate is a prime example of the difference between conservatism and liberalism because conservatives naturally look at something as expansive as the World Wide Web and imagine the ingenuity and prosperity that are waiting to be unleashed. We are predisposed to viewing Goggle and the internet with an understanding of the Renaissance housed within them. We long for a new frontier as has been offered in the internet's oddly construed world and ready ourselves for the exploration and possibility of the unrelenting terrain.
Why then do Liberals see the internet as a weapon to be harnessed so that whatever is produced via this powerful engine starts as a peace offering for all of mankind to enjoy and ends as a Trojan horse that will cripple and destroy those who will oppose the Left's ascendency to their invented throne?
Fantastic. We can see the despotism that the Progressive Movement has produced and we all nod our heads in agreement with my prosaicisms which do wonders for singing to the choir but not much else. The problem with this kind of generalization is that it does little to improve the future political climate except to ignite a week's worth of opposition posting from the internet's conservative blogosphere before we move on to the next week's outrage having never resolved this one.
The fact that there even is a next outrage shows us that we are whistling in the wind – talking to ourselves because we can't break through the sound barrier that the media has concocted for keeping mildly disinterested parties fat and happy with subpar sitcoms and free Obama-phones. The reality that so many Americans regard liberty as a salable resource when they barely recognize salable resources as saleable resources promotes despair within the ranks of conservative reformers who truly love their freedom.
But the actual solution is not neat and tidy, it won't happen quickly and it can't be explained to the general public with defecting danseurs; nor can it rely on a simple loyalty to the promise of constitutionally protected liberty as no one has been taught the importance of such a thing in over thirty years. Through the conservative abdication of the education system, the conservative compliance to social engineering through the tax code, the conservative acceptance of the growing federal squatter's rights over state authority, we find ourselves dealing with a population of political agnostics who can only muster belief in self and their next government stipend.
There is only one solution. We must stop Hollywood-izing our long and arduous expedition back to America because we cannot resolve this conflict within the thirty second sound bite format that the Left has concocted for disseminating information. We will discuss this prospect further in: Googlegate…oh, what a tangled web – part two