Wednesday, July 2, 2014

King George III Has Nothing on Our Government Today

I’ve been reading “Spies, Patriots, and Traitors: American Intelligence in the Revolutionary War” by Kenneth A. Daigler. I won’t insult your intelligence by telling you what it’s about, since the title is pretty self-explanatory, but I will tell you that it’s a fascinating read that’s giving me better insight into this country’s origins.

Here’s one of the things I’ve been reminded about: We didn’t always do things the right way. Or the intelligent way. Or even the truly free way. Yet our Founding Fathers definitely started, continued and ended their struggle based on a belief that they – and consequently, us – were meant to be free and that no government has the right to say otherwise.

Today, our political climate is dangerously similar to that of 1775, when we first officially declared war on our motherland, and 1776, when we decided we were better off without it altogether.

Today, we have a government that strips businesses of their freedoms, most dramatically in the case of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceling the Washington Redskin’s right to its name, without due cause or even any actual complaints being filed on the subject. And we have a president who tells dissenters, “So sue me” when they object to his power grabs, acting like he’s King George III reincarnated.

Now here’s an interesting thing about King George and the original American colonies…

According to Daigler, no more than a third of our predecessors truly supported the Revolutionary War. The rest either believed that king and country across the ocean were more important than freedom, or they couldn’t be bothered to stand up for their freedom to the degree required.

And guess what? Today, a Gallup poll tells us that 79% of U.S. residents are satisfied with their level of freedom. (Incidentally, that’s a major drop from 91% in 2006, and it knocks us solidly off the Top 25 places in the world where citizens consider themselves free. We’re now #36. 36!)

“Satisfied” is an interesting word choice for that survey, since “satisfied” doesn’t necessarily mean happy or benefitted. It is, however, a shoe-in for “content.”

So 79% of us are content to let our government treat us like errant children who can’t even be trusted to name our own businesses. And 79% of us are content to let our president mock us as he oversteps his place and treats us like trash.

Here’s the difference between today’s 79% and 1776’s 67%...

King George III wasn’t demanding even half of what our government is today.

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