Life ain’t for wimps. Thus did my congenitally-stoic, depression-era born mother counsel her eight kids. Over the ensuing decades, I came to recognize the profound wisdom of this simple, timeless truth. Experience taught me that every life is replete with hazards, some of them benign, obvious and easily avoidable, others deadly, terrifying and unseen. Risk and chance, I came to realize, are inherent in our every breath and every step. No amount of self-delusion would alter the inescapable fact that, in due course, death comes to us all. This is reality. This is The Human Condition.
The Coronavirus-related fear and hysteria permeating society are a byproduct of a nonsensical notion that has insinuated itself into America’s touchy-feely, post-rational culture during the past half-century. At the heart of this notion is the mindless delusion that “you can have it all”–a perfect life with a perfect soulmate, a perfect job, and perfect health–at the low, low cost of surrendering our essential freedoms to an omnipotent, coercive government. Far too many of us–particularly those with the most formal education but least common sense–have foolishly fallen for this illusory promise of government-provided, cradle-to-grave protection.
By way of comparison, once upon a time in America, virtually every sentient man, woman and child above the age of reason understood that no one gets it all. Not in this life, anyway. We knew that trade-offs were the rule, not the exception. Above all, we knew that no life is without pain and sorrow, just as no life is without joy and peace. In that earlier age, only a fool believed otherwise.
In the here and now, however, our collective gullibility has emboldened a cabal of self-serving politicians, social-engineering bureaucrats, and lifetime-tenured lawyers posing as impartial judges to implement utopian schemes to create heaven on earth through unprecedented regulation of our businesses, churches, schools and other private sanctuaries historically deemed off-limits to government. The jury is still out on the relative benefits versus the as-yet-unknown costs of these policies. What has already become crystal clear is that they have dangerously swollen the power of our national and state governments while simultaneously atrophying the rare and precious, God-given rights of 330 million citizens to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
Mistakes have been made in our nation’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This is understandable. It is even pardonable. What would be unpardonable, however, is our failure to learn a vital lesson which our wiser ancestors applied throughout their own lives and took pains to pass along to every succeeding generation. That lesson? Quite simply: Freedom requires courage, but cowardice guarantees servitude.
Of one thing we can be certain. Without a critical mass of courageous, liberty-loving citizens willing to withhold our consent from our lawless political masters in Washington, D.C., “government of the people, by the people, for the people” will very soon perish from the earth.
Lest there be any misunderstanding, what’s needed to prevent this tragic outcome is not a revolution to overthrow the federal government. What’s needed is a non-violent restoration of the nation’s founding principle of limited consensual government. Only in taking on this herculean task can we the people ensure America’s survival for future generations as–in the words of Ronald Reagan–“a nation that has a government, not the other way around” (ref. http://www.newguardsforliberty.com).