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December 6, 2012

Government has failed at discharging its most basic duties. We are on our own. But during this present crisis, we need one another, and the government just seems to get in the way. Ronald Reagan once said, “Government is not the solution to our problem. It is the problem.”


An article titled “Lock Your Doors and Prepare to Defend Your Family,”on the cheerfully named Economic Collapse, a website economic news aggregator, hit a chord with me. Actually, it several chords with me, most of them dissonant and a little rattling. The article details the local nightmare resulting from San Bernadino, CA’s fiscal implosion. The city attorney of that town was recently quoted saying, “Lock your doors and prepare to defend your families.” He was warning the people of San Bernadino that as a consequence of its insolvency the city would be unable to maintain a proper police force. The attorney, Jim Penman, was not-so-gently informing his townsfolk that they would be on their own in defending their lives and property against criminals.

This article struck  me because it’s the perfect example of the failure of government to discharge its most basic and essential duty–to defend and protect the lives and liberty of its citizens, while simultaneously managing and interfering in citizens’ economic and personal relationships which are way outside its purview. San Bernadino, with its lavish city office buildings and history of borrowing and spending like a drunken GSA bureaucrat, is a microcosm of the coming collapse of our federal government and many state governments. This happens because government, at whatever level, insinuates itself into every aspect of the lives of citizens, doing things it was never meant to do, and fulfilling roles that are best be reserved for families, churches, and civilian organizations. And in doing so it sacrifices its primary purpose, to defend and protect individual liberty.

Gun sales have soared since the election. This is not because Americans are arming themselves for insurrection, but because they feel vulnerable against the world, and the government that is supposed to defend them. Our federal government is gutting our Military. The Department of Homeland Security and TSA do more to stalk and harass American citizens than they do to secure our borders and keep terrorists and criminals out of our key institutions.  The prepper/survivalist mentality is not borne of rebellion, it is borne of the evidence all around us that bad things are happening in the world and at home, and our government is powerless to defend us against it.

Indeed, the Federal Government and many local governments have positioned themselves as the enemies of small businesses, job creators, small farmers and ranchers, land developers, and those who have worked their entire lives to create a comfortable life through saving and investing. The government is more of a threat than a protector. FEMA failed miserably in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy and most of its victims were on their own to rescue themselves and rebuild. President Obama seems determined to takes us over the “Fiscal Cliff” because he refuses to relent on raising taxes on wealth creators. This will lead to a deep recession, a loss of 2 M jobs, increased taxes for everyone, decreased wages, and ruin of an incalculable extent. We are all on our own.


Aside from my heart, something significant broke as a result of the election last month; my faith in people.

I’ve always resisted attempts by forces and people outside of myself to define who I am. I am deeply offended by any party who names me this or that because I am a patriotic, religious, staunchly principled Conservative.  The polarization of political adversaries, the heel-digging by the ideological Left and the Bible-clinging, Constitution-loving by the principled Right, underscores the differences that have always been there, and, in the wake of the election, has magnified personal suspicions and misunderstandings a thousand-fold.

I love people.  I always have.  My career in Special Education has been exceedingly rich, not because of my professional achievements, but because of the love I developed for my little charges. So I’m pained that the country, indeed the world, has presented the loving and charitable members of the human race with a terrible conundrum.  Treachery and danger lurk in the hearts of conspiring men in these times. 51% of my countrymen believe the lies and follow the admonitions of those conspiring men. To open myself to love those who have accepted the lies of corrupt leaders and who empower the enemies of America, is to further endanger the thread of personal liberty that has already been so frayed by years of political contention.  How can good people love their enemies when to do so is like handing over the keys to their jail cell to the jailer.

These are my personal anxieties in a nutshell. I know thousands, even millions of my conservative friends feel they same way. They’ve withdrawn from public discourse and collegial relationships. Their hearts and faith were also broken as the nation fell into two parts on November 6th, 2012.  The producers mistrust the takers, and the takers hate the producers. And while we grow ever more apart, the government and its bureaucrats who care not a whit for us as individuals, overtake the civil society and carefully wraps their binding cords around our wrists, binding working hands and grasping hands alike. We are on our own, together. But to live in the absence of human love is to live without hope that we can have a better future.  How can the broken and hopeless condition of our social institutions, and, sadly, our national cohesion can be remedied, if at all?

All good solutions start with the individual. As Christmas nears its important to remember the characteristics that make Americans exceptional.

Gratitude is simply being thankful for that which is in front of you. We may never have the life we once had, or the dreams we once planned, but we can be grateful for what we have, now and here.

Respect for others’ humanity, even if they seem indolent or stupid or devious, can take the form of good manners and kind words. We might not allow everyone we meet into the inner circle of our lives. But our kindness may make its way into the corners of their hearts.

Empathy is in greater supply during the Holidays. Empathy is the marrow of compassion. It is the shared humanity that reminds us what it is like to hurt or go hungry or suffer in the cold. Empathy is the godly impulse to rescue and heal innocents when they suffer.

Adaptability is the differentiating aspect of survivors. The body adapts quickly, but expectations and dreams are harder to adjust. Hard times may force us to adapt and simplify, and survival need not be a complicated matter.

Time is the treasure that once it is spent is gone forever. What is the plea of the dying? More time. What is the pleasure of your loved ones? Your time.

Government has failed at discharging its duties. We are on our own. But during this present crisis, we need one another and government just seems to get in the way. Ronald Reagan once said, “Government is not the solution to our problem. It is the problem.”

Love, of course, is the answer.

 by Marjorie Haun 12/6/12


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