on Apathy

“The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” Plato (427 BC-347 BC) Greek philosopher

It will be over soon. The election is coming up. Some of you may have already voted. Some are waiting to experience the Election Day excitement, and the satisfaction of checking the box for their preferred candidate.  We join the line of those who have come before us, being the longest running constitutional government in the world who is again participating in the peaceful transition of power. Our founders laid the first foundation of freedom with their own blood and sacrifice, just so that we may live in peace.

I have had many conversations with many people in the last few months, and probably the most disappointing was with one who asserted that they would not vote because it would not change anything. While I understand their frustration, I have no sympathy for it. When you do not vote, you spit on the graves of those that gave their lives so you could have that right. Not only that, you ignore the truth that elections in the past have turned on very small margins of votes.  Your vote does matter. It does make a difference. It is your voice, it is your right, and it is your duty. So many in the world do not have such a voice; why would you willingly silence yours?

I don’t disagree that there are lots of things going on in our government that are very discouraging.  We have a President who lies, covers up and cares not that his agenda resulted in the deaths of Americans (Ft. Hood, Fast & Furious, Benghazi); who treats all Americans as terrorists via the TSA/DHS yet fails to protect us from those who really are (Muslim Brotherhood, al Qaeda, Taliban) and who doesn’t hesitate to usurp the Constitution if his agenda is frustrated by Congress (refusal to enforce existing laws on marriage & immigration, creation of new law by Executive Order or bureaucratic fiat). We have some elected officials being caught doing illegal and unethical things, abusing the authority of their office for their own personal gain.  We have some in our judiciary either abdicating their responsibility to uphold the Constitution, or undermining the separation of powers by making new law (U.S. Supreme Court Justice Roberts & Iowa Supreme Court Justice Wiggins). We have some in our government bureaucracy putting their thumbs on the scale of fairness in order to force an agenda and manipulate the behavior of the populace (EPA, DHS, DOJ, HHS).  Americans have to either fight, at great financial and personal cost, against an entity that uses their own taxpayer money against them, or just give up.

But giving up is what leads to slavery and tyranny. Liberty may be a natural right, but is not a right that is naturally supported by government. Liberty increases the power of the individual, so by design it reduces the power of government and keeps tyranny in check. Yet, it is not something that parents can pass onto their children. Each generation is responsible for ensuring freedom’s survival and holding the line for the next. As Jefferson once said, the price of liberty is eternal vigilance. You cannot ride the coattails of others, hoping that they take up the fight to preserve your freedom so that you don’t have to.  We all must take up the torch, in order to beat back the darkness that is merely waiting for a moment of weakness, a chink in our armor, to finally overwhelm us. Don’t be that chink.

A demoralized, weak, and dependent populace is exactly what those who wish to rule over us want, as we are far easier to control that way. We must say NO. We must take control back. We have the power to elect men and women who will both honor us as their boss and the U.S. Constitution as their rule. Watergate did not have a body count, yet that President resigned in disgrace for his behavior. This current administration has blood on its hands – shall we do nothing but shrug? Don’t get apathetic. Get active. Vote both sides of your ballot on November 6th.

“The tyranny of a prince in an oligarchy is not so dangerous to the public welfare as the apathy of a citizen in a democracy”.  Charles de Montesquieu (1689-1755), French philosopher & politician

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