The group alleged to have plotted to wage war on the Federal Government has asked for public defenders. Not that they are not entitled. That the principle of a fair trial trumps the particulars of the alleged offense was best exemplified by John Adams in his choice to defend British soldiers after the Boston Massacre. He paid dearly for his choice in the short run in the currency of reputation but later came to be admired for his dedication to principle. One who supports public defense is bound to support it in this case, though the irony is not lost on most of us.
More to the point, we have reached a point in our political culture where “pushing back” will become more common. I hope most of us have the common sense and decency to do so peacefully. Blogging, writing books, talking to people, and buying TV ads are all recognized as perfectly legitimate ways to persuade others to stand up against the specter of tyrannical government we now face. It is hard to hurt someone with a blog. But what happens when that is not enough? What happens when the mechanisms that ensure our voices are heard and that government is accountable are buried under tomes of regulations not voted on by any legislature? What happens when razor-thin majorities enact sweeping laws that are neither understood nor even read by the people voting on them?
It means it is time to push back.
Now before you go dusting off the Uzi, lets think a minute. Pushing back first and foremost means bringing to public awareness the political shenanigans that go unnoticed by most people most of the time. Cockroaches hate the light. Do your part to make out-of-control government a topic of everyday conversation. Think you are a minority if you believe things have gotten out of control? You’ll be shocked at how many people agree with you, many of whom are not single-toothed rednecks with a penchant for beer and bombs.
Next, write to your local paper. Write intelligently, and keep the righteous anger to a minimum. I am steamed too, and some days it is hard to avoid phrases like “mentally challenged jackasses” and “malevolent monkeys.” Work on it. We make our point better when people don’t mistake us for illiterate kooks. Oh, and “boogerhead” has only two o’s.
Last, THINK about ways to engage in civil disobedience. I am not issuing the call (yet), but I have to admit that the people who are refusing to buy health insurance have my support. No government can jail millions of people at once. And if you lean to the left, don’t give me that crap about obeying because “it’s the law.” Plenty of us have smoked pot in defiance of the law. It would have been more honorable to stage a national Smoke-In and beg them to jail all offenders.
Americans are astonishingly tolerant. Since the New Deal, we have watched while government grew and grew. And grew some more. We have allowed our system to work even after it became obvious that mentally-challenged jackasses and malevolent, booger-headed monkeys were running the zoo. We have been pushed and pushed, and have offered minimal resistance.
It’s time to push back.
Terry vaguely remembers something about smoking pot, but is pretty sure he never exhaled.