Perspectives: Shutdown; who is willing to pay the price?

OPINION – When is the last time you felt so strongly about something that you were compelled to take action? Just so we’re clear, I mean something more substantial than anonymously pounding a computer keyboard or preaching to a sympathetic choir.

I’m talking about taking a stand on something you cherish so dearly that you’re willing to risk your life, your reputation, or your financial stability.

Judging by the comments that attend each news story on the current establishment power struggle, there’s no shortage of complainers. But where are the people with the courage to suffer the cost of putting their beliefs into action?

This question goes far beyond the current political theater being played out by members of both parties in Washington D.C. It encompasses more than simply political matters. It could easily apply to family or community deficiencies that cannot be ignored. When the time comes to make a stand, very few people appear willing to draw a line in the sand and say, “it stops here.”

For instance, suppose your 7-year-old son was suspended from school for chewing his pop tart into the shape of a gun and saying, “Bang, bang.” Would you as a parent fall into lockstep with school administrators and accept the punishment as just? Would you offer some token grumbling about the school’s overreaction and send the boy back after his suspension with the admonition to avoid anything gun-shaped?

Or would you rescue him from the clutches of an authoritarian system by removing him from the reach of those government functionaries and educating him at home or privately?

Obviously, there would be a price to pay for doing so. To home-school requires real effort and a significant investment of your time. To put the youngster in a private school would require an expenditure of income. But the real measure of how strongly a person values their child’s well-being is found in their willingness to pay those costs rather than make excuses.

Other associated costs might include enduring the disdain of school administrators whose controlling nature is offended that you’d choose to deny your child the blessings of their compulsory ministrations. Family members will question your decision over concerns that your child’s “socialization” will inhibit his ability to conform to the expectations of social engineers.

The sad truth is that those who are unwilling to bear the costs of pulling their child out of a toxic zero-tolerance environment are likely mired in apathy.

Widespread societal apathy is one of the primary reasons for the kind of overbearing, increasingly dictatorial nature of government at virtually every level.

It is why we have a federal government that claims the authority to spy on us, to tax us excessively, to deny us due process, and to murder anyone it claims is a threat to national security. Few people, outside of government, would openly defend such practices. But a great many people are apathetically allowing these policies to take root and spread by opposing them with pitiful, submissive mewling.

Bill Branon offers each of us a timely kick in the seat of the pants when he writes:

On too many occasions in the history of civilization, people have accepted authority without subjecting authority to rational examination. A complacent population leaves itself wide open to control. Eventually the abusive bureaucracy demands too much. The result is either revolt or subjugation. Perhaps the problem is not in the power of the abuser; perhaps the problem is with the individual who is willing to submit. Free men and women need not apologize for being enraged by arrogance in government.

So why don’t more people act? It’s the leverage of our fears that allows government to back us further into the corner. The strongest antidote to fear is action.

That action can take many different forms. It could include jumping the fence and enjoying a national park that has been shut down, even when threatened with citations and fines. It could include stepping up and providing the necessary manpower to open and staff those parks from a state and local level.

It could mean putting one’s foot down with a calm and unwavering declaration of, “No. I will not comply.”

As Aristotle noted, “Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees the others.”

Such actions, combined with an absolute willingness to bear the costs of resistance will get results. More importantly, it will inspire the courage in others to pay the price.

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Bryan Hyde is a news commentator and co-host of the Perspectives talk show on Fox News 1450 AM 93.1 FM. The opinions stated in this article are his and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @youcancallmebry

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2013, all rights reserved.


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  • Maggie October 9, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    It takes courage to stand up for what you believe for sure . I hope I have what it takes. I have in the past fought with school boards but never home schooled. I have won some battles and lost some and encouraged others to do act. . Others have of course encouraged me with their beliefs and actions.
    I do call and write my elected officials and donate and work for causes I support.
    I could do more ! However you are right ,many do nothing, yet we will all suffer if more do not wake up soon.
    If I would have to do with much less, I would do so in order for my children and grandchildren to have much of what I had in life. Much of it was not financial wealth, but it was freedoms. The freedom to be patriotic , moral, spiritual and law abiding with out being called a racist, bigot or greedy because I wanted to care for myself . Sounds so simple when you type it, but it is so meaningful when you see all of these things disappearing so quickly. Prayer from schools, public nativity scenes or sign’s of Christmas and complaint’s when we pledge to our flag, decent job’s for American citizen’s first. All going away from our lives because it is not politically correct.
    I question if the political, in political correctness, will fill the void that taking all the other things from our children will leave?

  • NO_SIX October 9, 2013 at 7:55 pm

    Why don’t more people act ?
    A rhetorical question — Hyde answered it in this column
    Apathy — people don’t care and don’t value their individual rights and freedoms. And this not new.
    I forget the percentage of people who participated in or supported the American Revolution but it was relatively small.
    The percentage of people eligible to vote who register and actually vote is small.
    Attendance at county and city council meetings and school board meetings in small.
    I don’t know the percentage of school age children who are home schooled, but it surely is small.
    When you don’t really care it might be difficult for you to be led — but you can always be driven

  • Matthew Sevald October 10, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    “Self-control is the chief element in self-respect and self-respect is the chief element in courage.” – Thucydides
    While referring primarily to courage on the battle field, the statement holds true for all manner of courage, however, ladies and gentlemen, allow me to make it clear in no uncertain terms: we are in a battle. To use some pop culture, those of you old enough to remember the “Pogo” comic strip may remember this line [adjusted from Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s victory at the Battle of Lake Erie] “We have met the enemy and he is us”. That’s right, we are our own worst enemy. Our apathy, our complacency, our sheep-like indifference of misfortune to others so long as we ourselves are not directly harmed hold us back from true sovereignty and noble self-determination. It wreaks of the litany of despair raised up in every medieval church and monastic institution in Dark Age europe: “A furore Normannorum libera nos, Domine” – From the fury of the Northmen deliver us, O Lord. It’s not a prayer for strength to confront an enemy or to justly right a wrong; rather it is a plea to be protected without having to do anything for one’s self. “Let the problem magically go away….or at least just not affect us here.” It is a mindset devoid of self-respect, it is devoid of self-control, and it is devoid of courage. It is weakness. It reminds me of a story I once heard.
    Once upon a time, there were two elderly sisters who lived together for years and years. One day they heard a noise come from their basement and were scared. They argued about what the noise could be, and what they should do about it; only working themselves up into frenzied worry. Ultimately they decided it must be some animal that had gotten in and in order to placate the creature they decided to throw their dinner scraps down the stairs and shut the door in hopes that the animal would not venture up into their abode. As the years went by, the sisters continued to throw the remnants of their meals down the basement stairs, ever fearful that the noises (yes, the problem had gotten worse) would break through their façade and wreak terrible havoc upon their otherwise happy home. Eventually, one of the sisters died and the lone surviving woman continued her ritual supplication to the great and terrible evil plaguing her life. Several more years of this passed until the second sister passed away. When the family went to clear out the house and organize things for an estate sale, they noticed a strong odor outside the house, and were nearly knocked unconscious from the stench which blasted them the instant they opened the door. How had the sisters lived with this, they thought? But the house was spic-n-span, only a faint layer of dust was noticeable on the hard wood. Not a doily was out of place. The refrigerator and pantry weren’t spoiled. Perhaps an animal had gotten in the attic and died recently? That’s when the family discovered to their horror what lay beyond the basement door. At the foot of the stairs lay a midden heap the size of a sedan and crawling over it and scurrying around the basement were dozens of rats the size of small dogs.
    There is an old Punic (Carthaginian) proverb which states: ” If a plague asks you for a coin, give it two and make it go away.” It is the mindset of those who believe staving off problems “just long enough” is all that’s needed. (Does ‘kicking the can down the road’ sound familiar? It should, because that’s the phaseology used by even the mainstream media about our government’s practices.) The problem is, however, that the “plague” will return and demand more. It’s always that way, the way of bullies. In fact, in the Dark Ages, Norse warriors extracted such ridiculous amounts of tribute in gold and silver from the Saxons in England that a yearly tax called Danegeld (Dane Gold) had to be levied on the people just to buy off the threat of invasion. When the protection racket couldn’t be paid, if not an outright invasion and sacking/raping//pillaging fest, the Vikings would take a knife and slit one of your nostrils open, hence the phrase “pay through the nose”. One way or the other, the oppressor was going to get his ill-gotten gains. One way or the other, you, the victim, would pay unless you were willing to stand against the ferocious enemy and risk your life to stop them.
    The victim mentality is the mindset of the sisters in the story and it’s the mindset of most of the American people who don’t stand up for ourselves. The majority of the elected members of the Congress, our President, most of the unelected, appointed positions, and the great number of people who leech off the government on subsidies, like a tumor needing excision, when they don’t truly need them (not wanting to work hard and sacrifice does not constitute need) need to be removed from office for the greater good of our country. They continue partisan bickering and wasteful spending for the sole purpose of maintaining their power status or attempting to retake power from those currently highest on the hog. Like spoiled children, they take from those who have little so that they themselves can have more. Like spoiled children they need to be sent to their rooms without dinner, and possibly even a belt taken to their backsides for good measure.
    But as Bryan says, all this talk is well and good, but it doesn’t pay the bills. We have already seen one Patriot shed his blood to fertilize the garden of Democracy by immolating himself at the National Mall. Yet, disgustingly, in this modern culture of apathy and indifference to anything outside of one’s IPAD screen, no one is moved to action by the abject horror of this situation.
    There is a planned “shutdown” of Washington DC scheduled for this weekend by truck drivers who are intent to not only clog the Beltway’s roads, but also physically arrest members of the Congress they find, because they are believed to be culpable of treason for backing arms shipments to Al-Qaeda in Syria.
    We have WWII vets storming memorials like they stormed the beaches of Iwo Jima and Normandy, and citizens climbing gates at National Parks in the face of fines and scare tactics. But is this enough? Is ‘making change happen at the ballot box’ a possibility anymore when over 50% of the pitiful percentage of actual voters (a further insignificant amount of eligible voters) re-elected Obama in 2012 and couldn’t depose Harry Reid in the Senate? When the politically active factions are split 50/50 along ideologies, is any kind of reconciliation possible?
    I believe it is not possible. People are too stubborn, too self-absorbed, too bent on taking from others which they did not earn to change their ways. As Homer tells us in the Iliad, when Achilles speaks to Hector: “There can be no covenants between men and lions, wolves and lambs can never be of one mind, but hate each other out and out.” As a nation we should seek to evict and elect new representatives with term and wage limits, and completely erase and create new and only necessary laws, or seek to peaceably dissolve this once great union into 50 separate nations which are free to interact as they please.

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