"Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak, and that it is doing God's service when it is violating all His laws."
"I am confident that we can create a Kingdom right here on earth."
-President Barack Obama
In The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, American journalist William Shirer examined the causes that propelled the German people into acceptance of Adolph Hitler as their political savior. As an eyewitness, Shirer recounted the brutality with which the Nazis attacked dissidents, strangling freedom of speech and the press in an ever-tightening noose of official censorship.
Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels peppered the newspapers and airwaves with the glories of Hitler's Germany, and by and large the people bought it. When Shirer suggested to a companion or two that these proclamations were a tissue of lies, he was regarded by them as one who had blasphemed God. So warped had the thinking of the average German become that the truth transformed into whatever suited Hitler's immediate purposes.
The propaganda arm of the federal government - mainstream media - has done its job so well that most scarcely have any recognition of what constitutes, dare I say it, Americanism. We are now "global citizens" of a "new order," and are expected to act the part. No more of this constitution nonsense. As for the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness - dude, get real. That was then, this is now.
It often seems that big government has a cult-like following, devotees who take it as an article of blind faith that the ones running the country are doing so with pure motives. These converts have been suckling off the teat of big government so long they don't want to be weaned. After all, it's scary out there. They might have to dress themselves in the morning without help.
I've spoken with fellow Alaskans, and often I cannot get it across that rugged individualism should be thriving in this state, that bigger government means less freedom, that taxation needs to be flayed to the bone. I hear responses like, "That's a little drastic," or "The poor would suffer." Can I mention that it is the average taxpayer who is growing poorer by the minute?
If this is a taste of citizenship in the "Kingdom" that Barack is trying to create, please count me out. And just to give credit where it is due: Bush brought us to the edge of this abyss; Obama is pushing us off.
Can we possibly be any worse off if, say, 75 percent of government offices in Washington, D.C., closed tomorrow? How about statewide? Surely there are at least some taxpayer-bloated agencies that only take up office space.
It is morbidly fascinating that in a place dubbed "The Last Frontier" there even exists a ho-hum attitude concerning personal liberties, one that castigates as "fanatics" or "extremists" those who resent handing over those same freedoms. Ironically, much of the name-calling is from the "conservative" sector.
It's well and good to give honorable mention to national icons like Thomas Jefferson or John Adams, but many Americans today don't talk like them or believe as they did.
The sentiments of the Founding Fathers are largely the same ones upon which this state has been built. The past decades have seen us - and our countrymen outside of Alaska - buying into the nanny-state scam, but there's still time to reverse this course of action. It means making do or doing without, but developing a firmer backbone is good for the physique. Helps you stand taller.
And for all those quaking at the specters of Adams and company - why don't you move somewhere more soothing? There are lots of places you'd never hear of them again. Like California. And you'd get cradle-to-grave care, and all from somebody else's pocket.
Write us once in a while from your Utopian paradise. Only don't expect an answer anytime soon. We're far too busy working hard for a living and pulling ourselves up by our own bootstraps.
Kevin Reeves is a Haines resident.
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