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Living in Fear of “what” – this time?

Whether they realize it or not, Americans live in a constant state of fear every day.  I am not referring to the fears of everyday like losing a job or having an accident of some kind, but rather a more sinister and devious fear; a fear that Americans only dare talk about around the water cooler or at cocktail parties so as not to be taken seriously; a fear they try to mask with a whimsical tone of sarcasm or indifference.  Whether Americans want to admit it or not, it is the single greatest fear in their lives; fear of the government.

Right about now there are those reading this thinking… Diane is a nutcase… I answer… so what is new??? And what has that got to do with it?  Maybe more people should be goofy if that is what it takes to confront what they are really afraid of.

In their defense, I’ll admit that reality is scary.  No argument that living in delusion is warmer, safer, cozier and easier.  Pretending is always more fun than reality – perhaps that is why we go to the movies.  But fear of the government is a fear that invades a person’s soul and — since the government intervenes in every aspect of our lives — it really affects every move we make every day.

Fear of the government is hard to recognize and acknowledge.  It is a fear that we are taught early on in life and so… have become accustomed to.  We inevitably end up tucking it way in the far reaches of our minds in order to function “normally” every day and live our lives.  But just as a car backfiring will trigger a sense of fear from a shell-shocked veteran, so too can the “state” trigger that sense of fear they have instilled in us.

One need only ask: when you see a cop in your rearview mirror with his lights on, do you feel a sense of safety and comfort or do you get a shot of adrenaline from your body’s “fight or flight” reflex?  Do you immediately start asking yourself what he could possibly pull you over for, other than the fact that he was abused as a child, bullied at school and his mother didn’t love him and now he is going to whittle away at that chip on his shoulder by abusing you….. Well, you also might think…. Was I speeding?

As you search for your proof of government permission to drive (your driver’s license) and your government permission to own a car (registration) and your proof of government mandate insurance, do you do so calmly and with a smile on your face and with gleeful anticipation of speaking with someone who gives of himself to serve and protect you OR do you do so nervously, fumbling through your papers hoping everything is up to date and acceptable to him for fear of being detained for whatever reason and having it affect your job, your family, your pocketbook – every aspect of your life?

….And when it is all over, do you feel glad that it happened or are you just glad it is over?  Later that evening do your recount the story to others with a sense of pride or do you do so with a sharp tongue and kick yourself for all the things you wish you would have had the presence of mind to say at the time? Do you feel happy that you have to pay $150 to the government because you were driving down the street faster than the government allows you to, or are you angry?

And, in the end, do you send the money to the government even though you don’t agree with it?  Even though you feel it is unfair to have to pay so much money, yet you have harmed no one?  Of course you do.  And why? Because you are afraid of what the government will do to you if you don’t.  In the end, you will retreat back into your cubby-hole of delusion in order to justify paying the fine by convincing yourself that what you did was wrong, the government was right and you deserve the punishment.

One of my favorite delusional arguments is really to all of us who pay taxes voluntarily.  I sometimes ask (when I am in this kind of mood)…when you do your tax returns, do you take as many deductions as the government will allow you?  Of course, the answer is always yes.  Then I ask, if you could take enough deductions such that their tax liability was zero, would you do so?  Again, not surprisingly, the answer is yes.  I then ask them —- if their preference is to pay zero taxes, then why don’t they simply refuse to pay taxes?  Inevitably, that is where the train of thought always runs out of track… Of course everyone knows the answer: because of fear of what the government will do to them.

Now, I challenge you to ask yourself, when was the last time you even thought about the possibility you might be robbed, your house broken into or shot at?  Can you even remember?  Now, ask yourself when was the last time you were afraid of doing something that could be deemed “illegal” by the government and for which you could be fined, detained or arrested?  Something like not wearing a seatbelt, speeding, making a U-turn, going through a yellow light, not crossing the street at the cross-walk, riding a bike on a sidewalk, forgetting your license at home, taking too many deductions on your taxes, talking on your phone while driving, not allowing stranger to touch you or your children at the airport, cutting down a tree on your own property, collecting rain water and the list goes on and on and on.  I would wager the answer is: daily!!! The first word out of everybody’s mouth when asked a normal, completely benign question these days is: “Well legally…” It is first and foremost on our minds and why wouldn’t it be, there are 76,000 pages to just federal register alone.  Some argue that everyone commits at least three felonies every day!!!

Ignorance is a dangerous thing….

At the end of the day, all government mandates are enforced at the end of the barrel of a gun and that scares the hell out of everyone…. But if we truly believe we are free, then we have to start acting like it… it is time we cared about something bigger than ourselves… it is time we stopped living our lives in fear.

I am not saying at all — that laws are bad…. This was really a piece that went way, way overboard to show you what fear of government is… but I gotta tell you, folks, I am getting tired of being in fear of the very government that is there for us…. not for politicians….  Folks on the far right or left all have agendas that have nothing to do with “we the people”….  Get out of ignorance…. Don’t believe what you “hear or read”…. Find out for yourselves…. If you give your liberties away… at least be aware that you are doing it….

Whew, heavy… don’t have someone else’s opinion or someone else’s ignorance…. Get your OWN (well, opinion or ignorance…)… find out what YOU believe….. Again…. I will never try to sway you… I just want YOU to not be a lemming….. What issues do YOU stand for?  Entirely up to you…. AND, for heaven’s sake – watch more than one channel of news (Fox vs msnbc – both sides of the issue… CNN does not count)…. Find out what is going on while the headlines/news is talking about 1 issue for days and days and days… what is the government up to then?

Off…. Probably have had enough coffee today…..

3 thoughts on “Living in Fear of “what” – this time?”

  1. Wow – this is a wonderful topic! In January of 2010, I wrote an awesome article for the edge. I can call it awesome because it never got published. I wrote it about being of compassionate thinking of our politicians. At the time, I thought there was so much hatred in politics and that our politicians went into politics to help people and not to be famous and that their decisions did have ramifications to all of us but that they are doing the best they can. I worked for about 3 weeks calling daily to every politician I knew from Mark Dayton, Amy Klobuchar, Tim Pawlenty, Keith Ellison, Barack Obama, Michelle Bachman, and many others from other states that were some what famous and contentious. I said I was from the press (no one even asked about The Edge’s readership) and after 3 weeks of work, every single politician refused to give a political comment that had anything to do with religion except for Al Franken. I was shocked. I even got all of the way up to the White House Press office and heard back from the head of the White House Press corp. It was not that big of a deal – anyone can do it – but they all agreed that compassion is religion and they would not quote on it. What the heck? When is religion which I think of dogma have anything to do with us being of a compassionate heart. I wrote the article still about my own life and how I find compassionate leaders where ever I look from my childhood teachers to neighbors to church authorities to authors and political leaders. I did submit it the article again after the Arizona shootings but I guess it was too “religous” for The Edge.

    I am writing this because I, too, am very freightened as to what is happening in our government. I try to open my heart and be compassionate and say the mantra, “everyone is doing the best they can” and “things will work out” but things keep getting a little crazier every day. Our transparent government that Obama campaigned on bombs a country – perhaps for the right reason, perhaps necessary – then tells us 10 days later in a speech that it is over. It is just confusing and scary and well, I think I should just go take my dog for a walk and breathe in and out and say to myself while I walk the 3 miles around the lake ~ “Everything is right with the world.” Perhaps I will believe it today!

  2. Very well said Diane! Kudos and Bravo to you for addressing an issue we all do have in our daily lives! And you poked at things but not in a judgmental way…just in a ‘real’ kind of way.

    I really like your point of…..not being harmful with the things we do or don’t do that go against what the government deems to be the law. Really. Is going 8-10 mph over the limit hurting anyone? Man, I’m late….so I’m flying to make up for time! (when even tho I don’t need to do this because all I really need to do is bend time and tell myself I’ll be ON time and to just go with the flow-and not look at the clock!)

    But really…who are we harming? Are these seemingly benign things really that horrible? Is not paying taxes, not wearing a seat belt, making a bad left turn, blocking the box…what else is there….plenty of stuff we do that is ‘illegal’ that doesn’t harm a soul.

    It most certainly does not make sense. Nope, not at all.

    So from your perspective….from your wise words….and from the energy you put into your post today…there is a much deeper level at work here. What you are saying helps us to dig a little deeper and ask ourselves…really….am I really afraid of the government?

    Hmm….maybe I am. And maybe I really need to stop. 😀

    Wonderful words today Diane! Something to really think about. What is the true sense of the word….freedom?! 😀

  3. OK, I’ve just started my 4th version of a comment and I think I have to leave it at this: Diane, you absolutely MUST continue writing your blogs. I, personally, need this level of contemplation to shed light into all the dark little corners I have hidden and stuffed full of fears.

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