Red, White, and Black?

A fellow libertarian commented recently that today we should all wear black. America, in his mind, is done for. He could be right. In the future, black may be the color we wear in our hearts if not on our sleeves each July 4–a dark remembrance of what we once had.

We are on the brink of a financial and economic disaster and all but a few “cranks” like me and my aforementioned friend think our leaders will get us through it. They believe that the Constitution is quaint and gold is barbaric. They believe individualism is trumped by “group rights.” They believe that when all their pet rules are in place and those unfathomable Tea Partiers are finally shut down, we can all live in peace, harmony, and perpetual greenness.

As a result, our shared values have devolved into a mush of shallow and vicious tribal interests. Our leaders grab more and more power and we do little to stop them. We are too busy making sure we get ours. We ought to be ashamed, but we aren’t. As we gorge on the blessings of capitalism and freedom–the computer, the cell phones, the panel TVs–we curse the ones who make it possible. A sickening envy rules the day.

We roll over for the ones who promise brighter days if only we would stop being so selfish, if we would only stop worrying so much about our own freedom and start thinking about the collective. Too stuffed to resist, we acquiesce and and are fast becoming exactly what the New Leaders want–gluttonous drunks who have all but forgotten self-respect.

We squeeze our besotted and portly selves behind the wheel and expect to drive. Our habits have made us a hazard. Our judgment is impaired and our reflexes slow. Will we wake up enough to listen to that voice that tells us not to turn the key? Will we shake off our drowsiness in time to avoid a deadly crash? One choice ends in celebration, the other in mourning. No, my friend, it is not yet time to wear black, but ask me again after I see which we choose.

About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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2 Responses to Red, White, and Black?

  1. Dick Richards says:

    That was a bit of a downer, though probably right on target.


  2. Terry Noel says:

    Yes, I thought so too. Now and again, I think it is good to remind ourselves of how dire our situation is, especially if it prompts us to gird our loins and go again into battle with our heads held high.


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