It is supremely ironic that the United States has the most powerful government in history and, at the same time, the most frightened people in the world.
Many Americans are scared of everything. Russia. Iran. China. North Korea. Muslims. Saddam Hussein. Osama bin Laden. Al Qaeda. The terrorists. The drug dealers. The illegal immigrants. The communists. ISIS. Syria. Such Americans are convinced that every scary creature in the world is coming to get them.
Sadly, that is how we have lost our liberties in the country. Frightened over so many scary creatures in the world, many Americans agreed to trade our liberties away to the federal government in the hope of being kept safe and secure.
And it’s not just scary creatures that many Americans are scared of. Seniors and near-seniors are also scared to death of losing their Social Security and Medicare, convinced that they would die in the streets or at least their homes if these socialist programs were to be repealed.
This phenomenon is not a coincidence. That’s what omnipotent government does. It produces a weak nation, one consisting of citizens who are deathly afraid of everything, are convinced that every boogeyman in the world is coming to get them, and are hopelessly dependent on the government’s welfare narcotic.
An interesting aspect of this phenomenon is that many modern-day Americans get their courage vicariously through the government’s troops, where most of the power of the federal government is concentrated. Whenever some foreign regime doesn’t kowtow to U.S. officials, these Americans exclaim that “we” have to be tough. By “tough” they mean invading or bombing and wreaking death and destruction against the recalcitrant nation. By “we” they don’t really mean “we.” They mean the government’s troops. When the troops end up smashing people in Third World countries, these Americans celebrate how tough “we” Americans are. When one suggests to such Americans that they personally travel overseas and join foreigners who are beleaguered, they inevitably respond, “Are you kidding? That’s what the troops are for!”
The government, of course, takes advantage of the widespread fear among the citizenry by seizing even more power over people’s lives. Scared to death, especially during a crisis, people become more willing, even eager, to surrender their freedom to their own government in order to be kept safe and secure, including from dangers that the government itself produces with its policies.
Consider, for example, the government’s drug war. Making drugs illegal brings into existence drug cartels, drug gangs, and drug lords, who rely on violence to compete in the illegal drug trade. The government then scares American people into thinking that these violent people are coming to get them, which then induces such Americans to permit the government to destroy their liberty, for example, through evisceration of the Fourth Amendment.
Or consider the government’s war on terrorism. The government sends its troops into the Middle East and Afghanistan with orders to kill people, either directly with bombs, missiles, and bullets, or indirectly through sanctions and embargoes. People over there get angry and retaliate with terrorism. Many Americans then get scared of the terrorists (or the Muslims) and become over-eager to trade away everyone’s freedom for the pretense of safety or security.
Presidents Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson were quite possibly the two craftiest and most cunning politicians in U.S. history. They both knew that if they could get American seniors hooked on Social Security and Medicare, the federal government would have them right where it wanted them. And sure enough, we have ended up with a nation of frightened, dependent, and passive seniors who can’t imagine life under a system that depends entirely on a free market and voluntary charity, rather than one in which the state plunders younger people to provide the political loot that is given to older people.
Is it still possible to achieve a strong nation? Of course it is. But to do so requires the restoration of a weak federal government, which obviously frightens people who are already frightened. “Who would keep us safe and secure?” people exclaim. “Who would provide us with our dole?”
A weak federal government would require a dismantling of the national-security state type of governmental system under which we live, which is a totalitarian type of governmental structure, and the restoration of a limited-government republic, which was the type of governmental system on which our country was founded. It also necessarily would mean the dismantling of welfare-state programs, including the crown jewels, Social Security and Medicare, and the restoration of a free-market system that is based entirely on voluntary charity.
The restoration of a limited-government republic and a genuine free-market economic system is the key to restoring a strong nation, one characterized by independence, self-reliance, self-esteem, can-do, charity, compassion, and fearlessness among the American people.