At the impressionable age of seventeen I took an oath to defend the Constitution of the United States. My zeal for the keeping of that promise has not abated over the last forty-nine years.
However, I must say that how I view what constitutes that defense has changed quite a bit. At the time I first took the oath (I have taken it again a few times since), I believed that it was the intention of elected officials to operate the government within the constraints and safeguards of the Constitution.
This is not a perfect system, not even the best system, but the best workable solution for a large area and population. I was young and naïve at that first oath taking, but looking back, my assessment for that day was accurate. I am not, and never have been a starry-eyed old hippie idolizing the virtues of Camelot. I was only ten at that time, and even in 1964 I could see the Kennedy myth was more hype than substance… more marketing that production.
I was watching a movie the other day about the trial of the Chicago Seven (Google it kiddies). There was a scene in which John Mitchell and his chosen prosecutor were discussing the Federal law the seven would be charged with violating. To paraphrase, the prosecutor said the law was not meant for the purpose the government was using it. To which came the reply, “It’s not about what the was intended for, it’s about what it can do.”
Enter the Great Society and its tsunami of laws meant for simple safeguards that buried freedom in what they could be used for and the slow death creeping over us today. Equally, effort and responsibility were replaced by entitlement, indifference, and special privilege. Social justice became the buzz taken up by “warriors” who assigned themselves the title of the enlightened and only ones who could to “fix” America.
The “fix” has been to eradicate all fidelity to the Constitution remaining in America. Even among those who once hazarded their lives, it is all hype about standing up next to you… when there’s not a swinging Richard on his feet.
I am not about to try and tell anyone how to vote. I see no point in voting while surrendering one’s basic civil liberties to mindless political machines. I have come to hold the belief that if voting could actually change things…it would be illegal.
Real change as three faces one sighting down the barrel of a gun, the other peering out from behind a mask, and the third no one wants to know because it requires more personal fidelity, integrity and courage than we wish to invest. We have only to decide which face to wear. I have chosen mine and so will continue to be ignored.
The heroes of my youth came from places with names no one recognizes Thermopylae, Masada, Cold Harbor, Tobruk, and Chosin to name a few. Places were personal integrity, right, and honor could only be eclipsed by overwhelming supplies rather than courage of spirit.
I’m going to throw a bunch of numbers at you. In The War Between the States 655,000 Americans died. In World War I approximately 116,500, not counting those lost to the flu. This was followed closely by 405,399 in WWII. Korea cost 36,516 lives to which we added 58,209 in Vietnam. Afghanistan/Iraq is approaching 7,000 dead so far and no end in sight. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_military_casualties_of_war)
Unfortunately, we can’t ask those men and women how they feel about our meekly donning masks and cowering in our homes because the government kicked the Constitution to the curb and demanded we surrender our liberty for “the good of all” that has done no good except to the corporate sponsors of Congress.
But, then, maybe they have already spoken and we been shamed into ignoring their sacrifice and patronizing the survivors with a hearty “Thank you for your service.”
In a couple of weeks, we will see what their service was really worth when we total up the traitorous incumbents returned to their jobs that they may dispense more fear mongering and call it leadership.