Sunday, January 27, 2019

Looking back, hoping for liberty

(My Eastern New Mexico News column for December 26, 2018)

Here we go, wrapping up another year. While there's still the possibility of something significant happening in the final days of December, there's an even better chance nothing significant will happen, but something trivial will be overblown to seem important.

Until that happens, how do things look?

For yet another year, after too long following the same downward path, the U.S. is still trying to become everything it previously opposed about the late Soviet Union.

Political prisoner Ross Ulbricht rots in prison, and two of liberty's heroes-- Julian Assange and Edward Snowden-- sit just out of reach of the U.S. government so as to avoid also becoming permanent political prisoners of the regime. This is how far the U.S. has gone toward replacing the USSR as the enemy of human rights and liberty.

It's fixable if enough people demand it.

Closer to home, the people who vote still seem to believe it matters which party has the power. Most of them don't seem to notice there's a Democrat in threadbare Republican clothing occupying the White House.

On a happier note, we received a year-end treat. An increasingly common one, but one which inspires hopeful daydreams. What is this gift? We've been given a government shutdown.

I realize it's not much. The only parts of the government to shut down are those parts the market would better serve if actually allowed to compete; those parts which will inconvenience the people most by closing. The shutdown is temporary and the non-essential employees still end up getting paid when the theatrics are over.

All the parts of government which violate your life, liberty, and property continue governing as usual. All such shutdowns are imaginary; nothing but political drama. If you want to keep your government, don't worry; the politicians can't risk you adjusting to being without it. You might realize how useless it is, which wouldn't be good for the job security of those who need you to believe they are necessary.

In the end, the political clowns will save us from this "horror" by reaching a deal to keep the government fueled with your money-- until the next time they can use another threatened shutdown against each other.

In reality, if liberty started taking hold, they'll have found a way to re-open government by the time you read this. Still, it's a happy thought while it lasts.

Whether you prefer liberty or government, freedom or slavery, I hope this holiday season is treating you and yours well.

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