Saturday, February 1, 2014

Commentary - Resistance, Defiance, Revolt



  • refusal to accept something new or different
  • effort made to stop or to fight against someone or something


  • a refusal to obey something or someone : the act of defying someone or something


  • to fight in a violent way against the rule of a leader or government
  • to act in a way that shows that you do not accept the control or influence of someone or something

I keep looking for a place of “peace” when looking at my country – a sign, a glimpse of something – anything – to nudge me towards a feeling of “it’s going to be OK”.

I can’t find it.


I’m sure like my grandparents, as they saw the plunge into world war – twice, our parents experiencing the “Great Depression” and another world war as well as the first of the “limited” wars, and my generation and the experience that was Vietnam, the boom of the 80, bust of the late 90s and the rise of our first truly Marxist/Socialist president (small p fully intended), we have “been here before”, we’ll make it! I hear their ghosts whisper this reassurance in my ear . . . and I find no comfort in their words.

I see the rise of the Dow, the booming stock market, the growth of our particular retirement accounts – and realize their value is massively inflated and that the true “worth” of Wallstreet is probably half of what the ticker says at the end of the day.

I view an education system intent on – and successfully accomplishing – the dumbing down of multiple generations of American school children, their minds “full of mush” at the end of their K12 experience.

And still I hear the whisper of my mom . . . “Oh hunny, it’ll be OK.” I find I doubt . . .

These were individuals raised in an America where the citizens “made” the country, not the other way around. Their support system consisted of their own bare hands, family, church and neighbors. They worked, built, created and depended first on the person that they saw in the mirror. Our president is fond of saying “you didn’t build this” . . . and in many cases he’s right. These people built it; they earned their wages, paid their taxes and then used the money they paid in taxes to build the world’s best highway system, rail system and communications system. Not the government, but the citizens – with their hands, their blood, their sweat and THEIR money. Not the government.

These were people that could raise their own food, slaughter-dress-store their own livestock. They valued their spouses, their children, their families, their parish and their community. They took pride in their work and their country.

They knew things would be OK simply because they would MAKE it OK, with their own hands, their own sweat, their own blood and their own lives if necessary.

We have lost so very much . . .

In my mind there were two watershed events – the passage of the Social Security Act of 1935 and the beginning of the “Great Society” and the “War on Poverty” which began around 1963. Both were political moves meant to indenture citizens to the federal government – and they have been highly successful. Add to that Medicare, Medicare Part D, Medicaid and now the Affordable Care Act . . . as well as a burgeoning governmental work force . . . and suddenly 25% of those adults that are of working age are paying the ticket for both those caught in the trap of governmental assistance and those working for the government. 25% are pulling the entire train . . .

I listen to the excuses of the “99 weekers” . . . the welfare kings and queens . . . the government worker living off the taxes of the 25% . . . and try to imagine my mother saying the words that we would have to wait for our government check to eat. We have lost so much.

And where we are, here I am – looking for some peace . . .

My wife and I are parents and grandparents. Let’s look at the country through the eyes of a parent – for our country is, indeed, our “child”.

At one time or another both of our kids were “Resistant”. They didn’t want to eat their peas, wash their hands, make their bed, take a bath, pick up their room, do their homework, be in the house by 10PM . . . any parent or child was lived this Resistance.

I’ve seen this same type of resistance from our country . . . folks don’t want to look for work, sacrifice a “benefit”, plant a garden, trim their expenses, live within their means . . . after all they’re Americans and they have “rights”.

On the other side, the 25% are becoming resistant to taking risks, continuing innovation, growing companies, hiring new workers, building new plants . . . because . . . why should they?

I see more and more glimmers of “Defiance” . . . the demand that unemployment be extended past 99 weeks, the expectation of a welfare check as long as they “need” it, the expectation that the “haves” do with less because they “need it” more . . . the largess of the government past has become the expectation of the government today . . . and many citizens – nearly half – will not be happy when it ends . . .

The “Defiance” of the 25% simply takes the opposite side of the argument – the private sector contracts, companies move to regions with cheaper labor, while states like California, Illinois and New York place higher and higher tax burdens on companies, their defiance takes place with moving vans and factories built elsewhere.

Perhaps the most visible evidence of the population’s defiance today is Obamacare. 67% didn’t want it to be voted into law. Now, nearly the same percentage see it as an abject failure and the young and healthy that were expected to pick up the tab openly defy payment even under threat of fine and legal action by the government.

There is a palpable tension in our country today. It feels like we are balanced on a knife’s edge and we could easily go either way.

We have the option of the government regaining their senses, cutting the volumes and volumes and volumes of local, state and federal regulations so we can once again become a thriving and growing economy. Of living within their means and not on the backs of our grandchildren.

Or, they can continue down their current path of turning the resources of the government against the people of the nation. The IRS, FBI, NSA, Homeland Security as well as many state, county and local governments are viewing this Resistance to government control as something to be quashed. It comes in the form of seizure of property, attempts at gun control, implementation of one zoning action after another . . . all to insure the 25% have little choice but to submit.

Their choice will determine whether we move to the final phase of the title – Revolt. I am grateful that our children never felt that they were pushed to the point of Revolt. We always worked things out. I find I am not as confident with the state of the relationship between government and populace in America today.

The vast majority of the people distrust the government. President Obama has single handedly ushered in an era where the American people believed it was necessary to purchase over 65 Million guns since he took office. I suspect they were not for target practice. The American people are communicating in a very direct manner with our government. I pray those in the capital are listening . . . but fear they are not . . .

So I sit and wonder . . . is a true Revolt a part of our future? Will those inside the beltway continue to be so deaf, so withdrawn, so superior, so arrogant, so detached . . . from the America that elected them – that the 25% finally reach a point of open rebellion?

Or will those enslaved by our current form of governmental dependence reach a point where they will no longer be happy with what the government “gives” them and they simply act to take what they want?

Or will the America of my youth – confident of its future and its ability to solve any problem find a way to reemerge?

We are balanced on the very knife’s edge . . .

It could go either way.


  1. I read this twice, looking for a point at which I could point and say, "No, I think you're mistaken."

    I can't find such a point. It appears you're spot on.

  2. I am part of this country, and do nothing! I am for the most part pretty darn comfy in my life. No need to rock my own boat. I don't want to see my oldest grandson go back to Afghanistan again, or have any of my family put in harms way. I don't want to risk anything, yet I want change. If all I'm willing to do is talk about how it's a crying shame what is being done to my country, I'm part of the problem. But do I really care enough to get off my old butt and really try to make change happen? ... apparently not! (Just my 2cents... and not directed at anyone but myself)

  3. Yep, we ARE at a tipping point... And I don't know which way it's going to go either...

  4. Rev - if you find something, let me know . . . still looking for that glimmer.

    Ms. B - It gets more difficult to really care as the virtues we grew up with are discarded.

    Jim - Either way . . . it's a long way "back".