I’m willing to bet that if I were to walk up to someone and tell them that they were ignorant they would become pretty upset; they might even punch me in the face. The reason they would do this is because they are ignorant of the definition of ignorance. Ignorance is not, and I repeat NOT stupidity; although the two often go hand in hand. Ignorance is simply the lack of knowledge or information; it has nothing to do with a person’s intelligence.
It is my firm belief that people have been taught that ignorance and stupidity are synonymous so instead of seeking to remedy their ignorance by obtaining knowledge, they simply get offended or angry. Everybody is ignorant to a certain extent; including me. Someone could be the most brilliant astrophysicist of all time but not know how to change the oil in their car; does that make them stupid? No, they are simply ignorant when it comes to the basic maintenance of a motor vehicle.
Yet you probably don’t hear scientists who are leaders in their field of expertise discussing things they know nothing about. For instance, you probably don’t hear microbiologists discussing string theory or quantum physics, and vice versa. People who have obtained a great deal of knowledge on a subject tend to keep their discussions centered on those subjects they are most familiar with.
So why is it that so many people today have an opinion on politics, but remain ignorant of how their system of government was designed to function? You know there is an old saying that goes something like this, “It is better to remain silent and let people think you are a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.”
Yet there is another quote by Isaac Asimov which pretty much sums up the beliefs of most people in America today, “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there always has been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
Author Harlan Ellison once said something I firmly believe in, “You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.” Yet if you were to ask the average person which section of the Constitution lays out the specific powers given their government, they probably couldn’t tell you; let alone tell you what any of those powers were.
Yet they vote and believe they are making informed decisions.
Since I began writing these commentaries of mine I have come to learn a painful truth; people don’t care about the facts, they only care how they feel on an issue. It doesn’t matter how much information you provide them with, if they don’t care about the truth then they will ignore or reject it. As the old saying goes, “You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink.”
I can’t force feed people knowledge, I can only present it and hope that they are thirsty enough for it to allow it into their minds so they can contemplate upon what I’ve said. Unfortunately I have found that most people aren’t thirsty enough for knowledge; that they care more about being entertained than they do about being truly informed.
I have had numerous people tell me that they don’t have the time to study like I do; yet they spend hours glued to their TV’s watching mindless drivel. I have had others tell me that they don’t want to immerse themselves in books they can barely make heads or tails of after a long day at work; they prefer to relax and unwind with a few beers and a good movie. Well that is their choice, but don’t dare say that you are making an informed decision when you cast your votes; because your decisions are being influenced by what you think you know and what the media tells you are the pertinent facts.
Twenty years ago I was just like everyone else; someone who thought they knew how their system of government was supposed to operate and cast their vote for their choice of candidates from among the so-called conservative party. Then I began studying, and to this day I don’t know what caused me to do so. The more I studied, the more I realized that my government was not the one that was established in 1789; it had strayed quite far from the purpose it was established for and in the powers it exercised.
This study inevitably led me to a serious study of our nation’s history; for if you realize that your government has strayed from its intended purpose you must also seek out an understanding of how it went from one of limited power and authority to one which wields almost unlimited power.
But like I said before, I don’t know what it was that caused me to undertake this quest for the truth; I only know that I felt compelled to do so. There is a scene in the film The Matrix that strikes a chord with me whenever I watch it. That scene comes when Neo first meets Morpheus and Morpheus tells Neo, “I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there, like a splinter in your mind, driving you mad. It is this feeling that has brought you to me. Do you know what I’m talking about?” (My emphasis)
To a certain extent I have always been a rebel; always one to question authority. I think it is this characteristic that separates patriots from slaves; the willingness to question what they believe to be unjust authority. Those who would call themselves patriots do not bow down and meekly follow orders; they question the authority behind those orders. A slave, on the other hand, follows orders, (or obeys the law), simply because someone in a position of authority tells them that they must do so.
I have no idea what the ratio is, but I would be willing to bet that for every patriot who questions the authority of their government to do the things that it is doing there are at least 100 who accept that their government has the authority to do these things. In short there are more slaves than there are those who seek the same thing our Founders sought in 1776…LIBERTY.
People think they have liberty because they can stay at home and choose from all manner of entertainment; they can go to the polls and cast their vote for the candidate of their choice; they can choose between Levi’s or Wranglers at the department store; or they can eat chicken or beef for supper. What they don’t seem to realize is the extent to which every aspect of their lives is monitored, regulated or taxed by their government.
One of the most fundamental freedoms any creature can enjoy is the right to defend what is rightfully theirs. In 1772 Samuel Adams told his fellow Bostonians, “Among the Natural Rights of the Colonists are these First. a Right to Life; Secondly to Liberty; thirdly to Property; together with the Right to support and defend them in the best manner they can.”
This is not a right granted us by government, it is our right as human beings and is superior to and supersedes any law passed by government. How then can a government tell me when, and under what circumstances, I can defend myself or my property…or my liberty for that matter? How can society deem to take it upon themselves the power to restrict the right of anyone to defend that which belongs to them? How can you say we live in the land of the free when our right to self-defense and self-preservation is restricted by laws passed by entities created by the will of the people?
I don’t care if you consider yourself to be Republican or Democrat, if you place your support behind candidates that seek to deprive me of my unalienable rights you are as much a part of the problem in this country as is the government that passes the laws which violate those rights.
If you knew, and cared about the reasons for which our government was originally established, and the few specific powers it was given, you could not in clear conscience support 99.9% of the candidates seeking office today. Yet these candidates do win, the power keeps shifting back and forth between the two political parties and government keeps getting bigger and bigger, while plunging us further into debt.
I believe it was Einstein who said that the definition for insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results. If that is truly the case then the majority of Americans must be stark raving mad; because that’s exactly what they are doing; flip flopping between a Republican controlled government and Democrat controlled government; without any regard for the purpose and powers given to that government.
If the truth had mattered to people, and this goes way back in time, the people of this country would have realized that their government has not acted under legitimate authority since the end of the Civil War; and possibly even further back in time than that.
In 1992 the grand dame of the White House Press Corps, Sarah McClendon, supposedly asked President George H.W. Bush what the American people would do if they were to discover the truth about Iraq-gate and Iran-Contra. Bush is quoted as saying, “…if the American people knew what we have done, they would string us up from the lamp posts…” I have often wondered what would happen to those in office should a grand awakening occur in this country as to the crimes committed by their government. I believe that the makers of rope would be raking in the profits, as those holding office would be dangling from lamp posts all across the country.
But that will never happen as long as a state of ignorance prevails in this country. As long as the people still put their trust and faith in the system, instead of asking themselves why this system was instituted in the first place, then it will be business as usual in America.
While some of you have put your hopes in Donald Trump to clean up government, to drain the swamp so to speak, have you ever asked yourself what will happen once Trump leaves office? Who will you vote for to carry on his work; if that is, in fact, what he is trying to do?
Those on the left I can almost forgive, for they have been indoctrinated to believe that their government does have the power and authority to do all these things; such as providing for the needs of the needy. Yet those of you who call yourselves conservatives are another story altogether. How you can support things such as the continuation of the violations of your rights by laws such as the Patriot Act, or the continued surveillance upon us by the NSA, while at the same time saying you support the Bill of Rights is beyond me.
When the truth is shunned for whatever passes for knowledge today there is no hope for the restoration of liberty and a government of limited power. Thomas Jefferson once wrote in a very famous document that government derives its just power from the consent of the people. (Declaration of Independence) Therefore, if our government is tyrannical and violates our rights, it is because we consent to it. By your choosing candidates who do not know, or care what the Constitution says, you are participating in your own enslavement.
You can call me a rebel or whatever other name you want to hurl in my direction; I know that the things I speak of are based upon historical fact. What are the things you are saying based upon? Before I close I’d like to leave you with two quotes for you to ponder when determining whether I am a threat to this country or a patriot who has grown tired of arguing with people who reject the truth.
The first quote comes from author George Orwell, “In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
The second comes from author/historian Charles Austin Beard, “You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence.”
Ponder those then tell me, in all honesty, in whose breast beats the heart of a patriot; mine or yours. And if you cannot answer that in your breast beats the heart of a patriot, then what does that make you; a willing slave?
When you cast your votes you should not be doing so for those who make the best sounding arguments for whatever course you think this nation should take, you should be asking yourself how the things these candidates campaign upon are going to expand your liberty. For as Patrick Henry so forcefully argued, “You are not to inquire how your trade may be increased, nor how you are to become a great and powerful people, but how your liberties can be secured; for liberty ought to be the direct end of your Government.”
If liberty is not the primary concern of those you vote for, then both the candidates and those who vote for them are not kin to those who sought America’s independence from the tyranny of King George, or fought on the side of the Confederacy in 1861; they are those who seek to enslave others to the will of an arbitrary and unconstitutional government.
You can argue with me all you want; offer all kinds of excuses for your choices at the voting booth, but the facts do not lie. Either you are voting to support and defend the Constitution and Bill of Rights or you are voting to undermine them.
James Madison said “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.” It’s up to you to seek out that knowledge, or continue on your present path towards a country in which all your rights and freedom have been taken from you by a government of your own consent.
And there is one final quote from Jefferson I’d like to share with you. IN an 1816 letter to Charles Yancey, Jefferson wrote, “…if a nation expects to be ignorant & free, in a state of civilisation, it expects what never was & never will be.”
The choice is yours, and it always has been. You can choose to defend liberty to your last dying breath, or you can choose to remain a slave to an ungrateful government that only seeks to regulate, control and tax every aspect of your life.
Choose well, for I’m tired of repeating myself to a people whose minds are slammed shut and whose priorities lie in being comfortable and entertained rather than in being free.